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Investing in Africa: Interview with Amb. Prof. Nabhit Kapur, Founder Global Chamber of Business Leaders

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Amb. Prof. Nabhit Kapur is acclaimed as World most influential Psychologists by the FAAVM-Canada and Founder Global chamber of business leaders. He was nominated as the first non African Ambassador designate to the state of African diaspora (AU 6th region). Recently, he was appointed as the Social impact advisor to Vice President of Liberia. In this exclusive interview with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online, he shared his passion for Africa and current initiatives. Excerpts:

Could you briefly tell us about yourself?

I am the Founder Global chamber of business leaders and the President of PeacfulMind Foundation. Applauded for establishing one of the most successful Mental Health forums in the world called the global Youth Mental Health Forum, a platform for youths to train in psychological first aid. My passion to bring perception about mental health cross continents through my network or business collaborations has lead me to establish various successful ventures like PeacfulMind health innovations in Zimbabwe, PeacfulMind center of happiness, tolerance and leadership in UAE, PeacfulMind center of leadership excellence in Ghana etc with PeacfulMind Foundation as a success platform in Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, UK, Canada, South Africa etc.

Through my appointed ambassadors and directors passing a strict protocol, I work at the ground level to create the perception for mental health as a necessary aspect of daily life. My knowledge, skill, commitment, consistency and precision to get things done are one feature hard to find in people. I am privileged to sit on advisory board of many organisations like Reset global people, TAFFD, UCI investments etc.

Tell us more about Peacfulmind Foundation and its impact in Africa? 

PeacfulMind Foundation (PMF) is a global organization registered with United Nations (U.N.) Global Compact based in New Delhi, India. The foundation is present in more than 36 countries across the world. Embarking its vision i.e., “To make psychology a household term”. We have established a wide range of network in Africa and have appointed directors and coordinators who work in teams and conduct wide range of training programs on the vision of the foundation. 

What sparked your interest in Africa?

Moving into Africa was by chance and not circumstantial. I went to receive an award in Mauritius where I met few high profile dignitaries from Africa (Malawi and Kenya). We spoke and they understood my work profile from where I received my first invite to go to Malawi. From that moment onward my interest began into the continent and got connected to many people, professionally and personally. Africa as a continent and people have been really receptive to me, my organisations and my initiatives. 

Amb. Prof. Nabhit Kapur  with president of Zimbabwe

How does your foundation measure its impact?

The work on mental health or brining well-being and happiness through the global chamber of business leaders is measured by the quality and quantity of people who are joining us or willing to join us every month. More members want to represent the core values of Peacfulmind foundation in every area and region. Recently we received 537 applications who want to be a member or director of Peacfulmind. Also our impact is measured by the people’s willingness to work with us volunteering.

How do you feel as the first non African to be appointed the Roving Ambassador to the State of African Diaspora (AU-6th Region)?

Well, honestly at first I was really surprised and happy but then I realised the responsibility given to me with the trust from the prime minister and cabinet. I have started the activities relating to my job profile getting connected to the Diaspora and getting them involved in the continent. Various initiatives so far conducted by me were connecting business organisations that provide mentorship programs to students, nominating ambassadors to the Diaspora who could support its vision, etc. 

Amb. Prof. Nabhit Kapur

What are your achievements since your appointment?

As mentioned above working for the African Diaspora (AU 6th region) is like a huge responsibility. The major achievements since my appointment includes;

– Nomination of 3 ambassadors and advisors on board.

– Providing scholarships to African Diaspora for education.

– Creating a mentorship program for students and young entrepreneurs by connecting them with business houses. 

– Representing the African Diaspora state at various platforms. 

– Building up the Diaspora chamber of commerce and business. 

Kindly share your major projects in Africa?

I have been working on some initiatives through my organisation Peacfulmind Foundation and now through Global chamber of business leaders. We are also setting up a new project “Global Impact Africa”. 

The major projects which I had done and still continuing includes; 

– Mental health and wellness training programs. 

– Connecting various investors to the continent. For example various investment companies where I sit on the board.

– Initiated a project called “power life energy”. Giving way for solar energy in the continent 

– Distributes as many as 3000 scholarships to students willing to go for vocational trainings. 

– In process the project called “global impact Africa”. 

Amb. Prof. Nabhit Kapur speaking with Vice President of Liberia

What are the challenges and how are you overcoming them?

Obviously whatever new comes always has its hurdles and nothing comes easy in life. Even taking the first step is always a challenge but as soon you get in the process the path itself becomes clear. The challenges I faced was new continent entry and no guidance as to what to go for. I started exploring, researching and reaching out to people, building my own network and my own team. Communication and outreach has been a great help and as my network started to develop I moved deeper into Africa. 

Also Read: Interview: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls Executive Director, Gugulethu Ndebele On Girls And Leadership

How are you telling the African story in the Diaspora?

As the recently appointed non African or not even from the African decent I have a view of the continent from a third angle. My visit to Africa started with Malawi and then from there it kept on growing. I must say it’s a continent that is underestimated, overly dominated and underutilisation of the youth’s energy. Africa has the largest number of youths and huge amount of potentials to invest in entrepreneurship, startups and youth resources. 

What is your view on governance in Africa? Any advice?

Any government sustain on the policies it frames upon which the people or a country is governed. It’s a very mixed view on the governance style in Africa. According to me as much as I have studied, the style should be changed and more young faces need to come forward as I mentioned Africa is the land of the young. Leaders should believe and focus more on nurturance of the continent and less of domination. 

Prof Nabhit Kapur felicitating the Prime minister of Uganda

As the President of the Global Chamber of Business Leaders, how are you connecting African business leader to the world?

Global Chamber of Business leaders is a platform we are creating to connect various business organisations and established business entities with young entrepreneurs. Through the chamber we are also engaging investors to serious business opportunities towards Africa and also giving them a different outlook towards Africa. The global chamber has a diverse and wide group of advisors on its board which gives a diversified and a global outlook to the chamber. 

What is your advice to African youths and entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship is not a one day game. We need to be more thick skin and think out of the box. Leadership skills and ability to survive on hope is another true feature of an entrepreneur.

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CEO Corner

African Bank Appoints Kennedy Bungane, CEO

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African Bank New CEO, Kennedy Bungane (Press Release & Image: African Bank)

African Bank (“Board”) announces the appointment of Mr. Kennedy Bungane as the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and as an executive director of the Bank and its holding company, African Bank Holdings Limited (“ABH”) effective 14 April 2021. The Bank confirms that the appointment of Kennedy was done in accordance with African Bank’s policy on the selection and nomination of executive directors, and in order to fill a vacancy as well as add to the skillset on the Board.

Kennedy brings over 20 years of banking experience with him, having started his career at Standard Bank in 1991, holding a number of senior positions, including Head of Global Markets Sales, Head of Institutional and Corporate Banking, CEO Corporate and Investment Banking for Standard Bank South Africa, and a member of the Standard Bank Group Executive Committee. After joining Barclays Africa in 2012 as Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Limited and Head of Absa Group strategy, Kennedy led the sale of Barclays Africa Limited to the ABSA Group. More recently, Kennedy headed up the Phembani Group as its CEO. He also brings investment and strategic experience gained as the founder and chairman of Nokeng Telecoms and chairman of Idwala Capital.

Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Master of Business Administration, and completed the advanced management program at the Harvard Business School (USA).

Commenting on Kennedy’s appointment, the Chairman of the Board, Thabo Dloti, stated, “We welcome the appointment of Kennedy as the new permanent CEO. Kennedy has a keen sense for managing complex stakeholder issues. He has a proven track record in identifying and nurturing leadership, which promotes strong teams to deliver successful results. His passion for the role that banking can play in transforming society resonated strongly with the Board.

As an experienced banker, he also critically has a good grasp of the strategic challenges facing the Bank, within a muted South African economy and competitive landscape, as well as the required regulatory and governance framework.

 

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African Visionary Fund (AVFund) Appoints New co-CEO, Atti Worku

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African Visionary Fund (AVFund) New co-CEO, Atti Worku (Source: African Visionary Fund Website)

About a year ago, African Visionary Fund launched with a bold mission to tackle the inequities and power imbalances in global philanthropy by driving unrestricted resources to African visionaries. At the heart of all they do their values of equity and solidarity, which compel them to center African voices at every level of the organization. They are thrilled to announce the Fund’s new Africa-based co-CEO, Atti Worku!

Atti brings a wealth of experience in the nonprofit world, is a strong advocate for local founders, and is dedicated to righting the historic funding inequity that can hold them back. Prior to joining the Fund, Atti founded and led Seeds of Africa for over 10 years. Seeds is an Ethiopian grassroots organization dedicated to developing the educational foundation for the next generation of African leaders. Under her leadership, Seeds grew from an after-school program serving 15 kids to becoming a full-time multi-dimensional school educating 250 students from pre-K to middle school, and working with over 150 of their mothers providing small business entrepreneurship micro-loans and resources. In just over a decade Seeds has impacted the lives of over 2,000 people, transforming the trajectories of students, teachers, mothers, and their families and creating a future brimming with possibilities beyond a poverty trap.

“My mission is to advocate for African visionaries to be recognized by funders as experts, equal partners and critical drivers of systems change. I’m excited to learn from incredible African leaders with big dreams and even bigger global potential.” -Atti Worku, AVFund co-CEO

Why Co-leadership

The African Visionary Fund is built on the firm belief that proximity matters. Seeded by a group of foundations and philanthropists who wanted to not only take action on equity but also be intentional about shifting the power over resources to African visionaries, shared leadership has been part of the Fund’s DNA from the beginning.

“Co-leadership is mission critical. We cannot build new models for equity-centered philanthropy without living those values within our own institution.” -Katie Bunten-Wamaru, AVFund co-CEO

The AVFund’s organizational journey started with collective and shared leadership in mind as our Founding Working Group worked with our leadership to inform and design all aspects of our organization and funding model. This majority-African, majority-doer group considered a number of different leadership structures for the Fund but gravitated towards co-leadership because it prioritizes proximity and equity, centers the experience of African visionaries, and ultimately helps us shift power.

Our Founding Working Group proved that we can co-create new models of philanthropy centered on collective leadership that shift power and center equity – our co-leadership model is the natural, values-aligned extension of that founding idea.

The Fund

Atti’s lived experience as an African founder has given her firsthand experience of the realities and complexities that local innovators face, making her a great partner in executing the Fund’s mission.

“This role is very personal to me. I see myself in the ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs we engage with at the AVFund. I hope to learn from them, and partner with them to redesign funding systems that give African visionaries an equitable chance of success.” -Atti Worku, AVFund co-CEO

The barriers for African visionaries have been well documented with data showing that less than 5.2% of US foundation giving specific to Africa goes to African-led organizations. And in Atti’s experience, sometimes philanthropy’s oversight of African founders translates into a heavy emotional toll, an internal struggle she also had to deal with in her experience fundraising for her organization. She is committed to helping other African visionaries by being “the voice that reassures and validates them in the face of injustices.”

“Raising philanthropic dollars can be a long trauma for African social entrepreneurs and other leaders of color. On one hand, you’re doing innovative, high-impact work, but on the other, you are constantly being asked to prove yourself on a level far beyond your peers, doing so, and somehow still falling short. Aggregate data on racial inequity in philanthropy already speaks volumes, but systemic injustice is deeply personal. It took me years to realize that I wasn’t the problem,” Atti shared.

On Co-leadership

At the core, the AVFund seeks to create a bridge between global philanthropy and innovative African social changemakers and to do that, it’s critical to have proximity to both our visionary partners and our funding partners. Shared leadership makes this possible.

“There is an inherent tension in the work of the AVFund – we call it the ‘play the game, change the game’ balance. We want to support African social changemakers to play the game to access more sustainable funding now, while also challenging the status quo in ways that build a more equitable philanthropic ecosystem in the long run,” Katie explained. “There will always be a need to balance this tension – having a co-leadership model helps us balance both sides of our work and not lose sight of either goal.”

Having been on both sides of the table, Atti believes a further added benefit of co-leadership lies in the fact that representation matters. “I have been a micro-funder through Seeds and have seen the value of someone like you believing in your vision and empowering it,” she shared.

“At AVFund, we celebrate and choose co-leadership because we recognize the importance of diversity for strong, grounded and authentic leadership.” -Melizsa Mugyenyi, Advisory Board Member.

The Future

Atti joins the Fund at a crucial season of our organizational journey as we look to deepen our impact across the continent – we are more than a third of the way towards reaching our goal to raise US$10 million which will enable us to provide 35 nonprofits across Africa with unrestricted, multiyear grants by 2023.

In the near-term, the Fund is also on track to commit atleast another $US1 million later this year and partner with more African social innovators. Atti is particularly excited to work with those at the forefront of leading-edge innovations whose potential for impact is inhibited by lack of resources and buy-in from funders.

“African visionaries aren’t often given the resources they need to validate the new concepts they have which really makes innovation very difficult. A lack of unrestricted funding for the disruptive ideas coming out of Africa limits potential and slows development. I’m ready to help change that in every way we can!” -Atti Worku, AVFund co-CEO

Source AVFund

 

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Rolake Rosiji, ex-Country Manager M-KOPA Solar Appointed As The New CEO Of Jobberman Nigeria

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Rolake Rosiji, CEO at Jobberman (Source: ROAM)

Jobberman, the single largest job placement platform in sub-Saharan Africa, has announced the appointment of Rolake Rosiji as the new CEO. Rolake takes over from Hilda Kragha, now Managing Director of ROAM Africa Jobs, and will continue the work of establishing Jobberman as the primary platform for job searching, talent acquisition and transforming workplace productivity across Nigeria.

Jobberman’s technology-driven platform, which uses tools such as application tracking, data science for skills and personality assessment, connects over 1 million job seekers to employers. With over a decade of experience in the recruitment industry, the company has built a reputation of trust and strong partnerships with the country’s most coveted employers; matching talented candidates with jobs according to their skillset.

Rolake joins Jobberman with a decade of global experience in strategic leadership and operational excellence. Most recently, she led the technology and sales operations for credit financed smartphones and solar power sets as Country Manager of M-KOPA Nigeria; a connected asset financing company that makes financing for everyday essentials accessible to everyone. Prior to that, she was Head of Strategy & Business Development for Arla Foods Africa, where she developed distribution and joint venture partnerships across West Africa to rapidly scale up sales and worked in Corporate Strategy roles in Denmark and the USA. Her proven track record of business expansion projects, digital and technical transformation and executing strategic partnerships will be key to her implementation for growth and development of the brand.

Commenting on her new role as CEO, Rolake Rosiji said “This is a very exciting chapter in my career and I am delighted to be joining such a passionate and innovative team. Jobberman has built a brand of excellence by using technology to revolutionise the recruitment sector. I look forward to steering the company vision to build a market of greater technology adoption, democratic access and transparency that will tackle dominant challenges, notably youth unemployment and underemployment.  It is a privilege for me to be at the helm of this dynamic team as we set out to empower job seekers with key skills and improve workplace productivity for employers in Nigeria.”

Hilda Kragha, Managing Director of ROAM Africa Jobs added “I am delighted that Rolake has taken on this position. Rolake’s expertise, understanding of different markets and high performance is what makes her the perfect person to anchor the next phase for Jobberman. I look forward to working with her to take Jobberman to even greater heights.”

Rolake took on her role as CEO on February 1st 2021. Her focus will be to broaden the impact beyond the white-collar space and continue to work closely with Jobberman’s impact partners in tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria.

ROAM

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