Interswitch, the leading Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company, has announced the appointment of Kenneth Olisa OBE, FRSA, FBCS, as its new Chairman, succeeding Adedotun Sulaiman, MFR.
This appointment follows the recent minority investment by TA Associates in Interswitch in March of this year, a landmark transaction being TA’s first ever investment into the African continent.
Helios Investment Partners, which invested in the company in 2011, is majority shareholder of the company.
Kenneth Olisa is a British businessman with a career in technology that commenced at IBM and spans well over 40 years.
He founded and led the technology merchant bank Interregnum and is also the founder and chairman of Restoration Partners, an independent boutique technology merchant bank, reputed as architects of the Virtual Technology Cluster model.
He is currently a Director of Thomson Reuters. In 2015, he became the first black Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London having been appointed by Her Majesty the Queen.
Mitchell Elegbe, founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, stated that, “Ken’s inspiring business leadership, vast experience and professional expertise will be great assets to Interswitch as he comes on board as Chairman at a defining phase in our journey of transformation and international expansion.
“We are delighted to welcome him on board, in succession to the visionary and highly successful tenure of Adedotun Sulaiman, who as country CEO of Accenture, played a key role in the formative years of our company and upon assuming the role of Chairman, oversaw the successful transition of Interswitch to private equity ownership”.
Kenneth Olisa commented that, “Interswitch is a shining example of financial technology entrepreneurialism at its best.
“Unlike many of its global competitors, Interswitch is not only a fast growing and powerful innovator, it is also profitable.
“This is a testament to the skill and drive of its founder – Mitch Elegbe – and I am delighted to be joining him and his team.
“As the son of a Nigerian father I am particularly honoured to have been elected to fill the shoes of my distinguished predecessor – Mr Sulaiman – whose steady hand has helped steer Interswitch’s journey so far. They are big shoes to fill.”
About Kenneth Olisa
A native of Nottingham, England, with Nigerian roots, Kenneth’s technology career, spanning well over 40 years, commenced in the 1970s at IBM having won a scholarship from the firm whilst being an undergraduate at Cambridge University.
He held various posts at IBM before joining Wang Laboratories in 1981. Following a period as Marketing Director for Europe, VP of US Marketing and then of Worldwide Marketing based in Boston, he was appointed Senior VP and General Manager of Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) located in Brussels, leading the team which restored the EAME operation to profitability.
Kenneth then founded Interregnum, the technology merchant bank, leading it through its early growth; its entry into, and exit from a joint venture with BDO Stoy Hayward as well as the AIM IPO in 2000.
At Interregnum, he worked at the forefront of the entrepreneur/technology growth cycle that began in the mid-1990s. As well as serving on the boards of many of Interregnum’s investments and advisory clients, Ken notched up some interesting firsts, including chairing the UK’s first publicly listed Internet Service Provider (ISP), Voss Net, on its admission to AIM and holding a similar position on the board of DMATEK, the first Israeli technology company to be listed on the junior exchange. He retired from Interregnum in 2006 and now runs Restoration Partners.
Ken was the first British-born black man to serve on the Board of a major UK public company (Reuters) and remains a Director of Thomson Reuters (where he is a member of the Audit Committee).
He was also a Director (and Chair of the Remuneration Committee) of Canada’s largest independent software developer, Open Text Corporation. More recently, he served as a Non-Executive Director of FTSE100 company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), as it made its debut on the London Stock Exchange.
Today he serves on the Board of, or is an adviser to, several privately held and innovative companies including the UK’s leading corporate governance advisor, Independent Audit. He is committed to social inclusion and has served on the Boards of various charities.
Today he is Chairman of Shaw Trust a national employment and well-being charity with a turnover of £100+m. In 2010, he was awarded an OBE for his services to the homeless of London and he is an honorary Fellow of his old college, Fitzwilliam, Cambridge.
On a more personal level, he describes himself as a keen skier and bad golfer. As a former IBM scholar at Cambridge, and reflecting a lifelong passion for information technology and education, Ken, and his wife Julia, donated money to build the new Library and IT centre at Fitzwilliam College.
Yobe Gov Approves Employment of Staff @ State Owned Broadcasting Stations
Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe State has approved the appointment of experienced casual staff working at Yobe Broadcasting Corporation (YBC) and Yobe State Television (YTV).
This is as part of efforts to ensure enough manpower for the on-going digitization of the two stations.
Abdullahi Bego, commissioner for Information, Home Affairs, and Culture revealed this when the officials of the Radio, Television and Theatre Art Workers Union (RATAWU) paid him a courtesy visit at the office in Damaturu.
Bego said the governor had after approving millions of naira for the total overhauling of the two stations directed for formulation of all strategies that will ensure effective implementation of the digitization process.
The commissioner also said, “His Excellency Hon. Mai Mala Buni is passionate about the digitization process of the media organizations in the state especially when it comes to equipment, staff strength and capability.
“The next step is the training and retraining of the staff of the two media organisations for efficiency in the execution of their job,” Bego disclosed.
He said the casual staffs billed for employment were serving at the stations for more than eight years while others five to six years without permanent appointment letters.
“We feel it is good to employ them taking into cognizance their experience in the system and dedication to duty.”
Bego commended RATTAWU among other members of the organization for their effort in informing, enlightening, and entertaining the public at all times.
Comrade Nasiru Illiya, chairman of RATTAWU, while speaking, said they were at his office to register their gratitude to the giant stride of Governor Mai Mala Buni, especially on the digitization of the two media organisations in the state.
“Sir, we are equally very grateful to note that within your short stay as commissioner of Information, we have started witnessing a positive transformation in the sector through the award of contracts worth millions of naira for upgrading YBC and YTV from analogue to digital transmission
“As I am speaking to you now, YBC is online transmission live,” Illiya disclosed
FirstBank Supports Author on New TV Series
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its partnership with Arese Ugwu for the television adaptation of her best seller, Smart Money Woman.
The weekly show – in its first season – is billed to premiere on Africa Magic Showcase this Wednesday.
The Smart Money Woman is a programme that shows the experiences, sacrifices, struggles and vigour of women in society as they carry out their day to day activities in spite of the gender imbalance in the society, especially in Africa.
The series is an adaptation of Smart Money Woman written to tackle debt, providing tips on inculcating the right savings culture of the African middle class (why don’t we say – every individual – as against limiting to African middle class), the fear and misconceptions surrounding money and the lack of it, love, friendships, cultural and societal pressures and the roles they play in success.
The half hour 13-episode series which is directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye and Co-, produced by Kemi Lala Akindoju, Akin Marinho and Arcadia Tv Africa would have viewers exposed to financial literacy nuggets. Its cast include; Osas Ighodaro, Toni Tones, Ini Dima-Okojie, Eby Eno, Eso Okolocha, Timini Egbuson, Karibi Fubara, Tope Tedela, Seun Ajayi and Temisan Emmanuel.
According to Arese Ugwu, author and executive producer, Smart Tribe Media; “The Smart Money Woman is a love letter to every modern and upwardly mobile African women who are exploring life opportunities and experiences to find that right balance in their day to day activities especially in their career, friendship, relationship and of course, family.”
“We thank First Bank of Nigeria Limited for being the first corporate sponsor to believe in my dream and take a chance on a first-time producer. This is a partnership we are pleased to reckon with, whilst we recognise how they have successfully empowered women across the geo-political zones in Nigeria through its various initiatives, especially the FirstGem product. They have provided mentoring, support and capacity building opportunities for all to create a new generation of financially literate women thereby contributing to the continued growth and development of the country.”
Speaking on the TV show, Folake Ani-Mumuney, group head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said: “FirstBank has been at the forefront of promoting female empowerment and we understand the role financial literacy plays in deepening financial inclusion, whilst promoting female independence.
The essence of the TV programme is to raise financial awareness to inspire every individual in the society, especially women, to make informed choices and take effective actions for their financial wellbeing, she concluded.”
OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria
OurTV, a DTH free TV broadcast satellite service provider, has secured broadcast rights for Laliga matches in Nigeria.
OurTV will broadcast Laliga Santander matches live on its Sports Channel 120.
Commenting on the development, Olushola Peters, Head of Marketing of OurTV, said: “This is one major milestone for OurTv and we want to thank our esteemed users, who have always believed and supported us. We value your input and suggestions as it is a core culture in OurTv to listen and please our viewers as much as we can.”
OurTv is a Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV broadcast satellite service with onetime payment of set-up boxes that offers over 18 unique and exciting channels with the use of homegrown services.
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