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Business Africa Online Announces Its Strategic Advisory Board

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Business Africa Online (BAO) Board Members – Joy Harrison-Abiola, Amb. Olivier Arrindell and Prof. Remi Duyile

Business Africa Online very pleased to announce that Joy Harrison-Abiola, Amb. Olivier Arrindell and Prof. Remi Duyile recently joined its Strategic Advisory Board on the 15th of January 2021. Mrs. Joy Harrison-Abiola is a legal management professional with about 23 years’ experience in the legal industry. Currently, she is the Practice Administrator of a leading law firm in Nigeria, Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun (“ACAS-Law”). Amb. Olivier Arrindell was the Managing Director of Financial Planning, Investor Relations, & Corporate Planning for Grace Aviation Holdings, LLC, and in December of 2019 was appointed as the CEO of Ava Airways by its Board of Directors. While Amb. Remi Duyile who was recently appointed into the Forbes Coaching Council is a seasoned Mentor, business owner and an influence strategist who is passionate about helping people maximize their potentials.

They join Business Africa Online in an exciting and challenging times as we continue to drive our omni-channel forward and build deeper relationships with our critical stakeholders to fulfill our vision of enabling emerging leaders and businesses especially in Africa.

“We are confident they will provide valuable perspectives as we continue to execute our strategy, build an agile brand and make greater impact.  We look forward to their contributions and are excited they chose BAO” said Alaba Ayinuola, Business Africa Online Founder and CEO.

Get to know them better in this recent interview.

Mrs. Joy Harrison-Abiola

Could you briefly tell us about yourself and current engagements?

My name is Joy Harrison-Abiola. I am a legal management professional with about 23 years’ experience in the legal industry.  Currently, I am the Practice Administrator of a leading law firm in Nigeria, Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun (“ACAS-Law”). I am very passionate about leadership and business best practices. In 2008, I was instrumental in putting together the first law firm management development program (MDP) at the Lagos Business School (LBS) Pan-African University in collaboration with the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) Lincolnshire Illinois USA. I serve in the leadership of the International Relations Committee of ALA.

I am a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria (ISMN). I am serving a two-year term as the President of the Association of Law Firm Administrators, Nigeria (“ALAN”). I started off my career about 25 years ago writing copy for an advertising company. Today, I still enjoy writing a great deal. It is therapy for me – Presently, I am a columnist with Thisday Newspaper. I am married with two sets of twins.

What excites you about our organization and attracted you to join our Board?

The entrepreneurial spirit BAO exudes, embodied in its founder is attractive. BAO is very future focused. That is also attractive. What is also attractive is its social impact agenda, its concerted efforts at collaboration and bringing together different segments of the society. Last but not least, its Pan-African focus – I am a strong advocate of preserving what is beautiful in our heritage even as we embrace globalization.

You are joining at a particularly challenging times (global pandemic) What are your expectations in terms of growth?

Crisis provides a good backdrop to excel. It puts values and vision to the test yes but its also a good time to thrive. I am optimistic.

What is your view on entrepreneurship as a catalyst for Africa’s development?

Entrepreneurs think differently. They have a mentality that can turn trash to treasures. Entrepreneurship, innovation, are therefore critical to any country’s economic development; and certainly Africa’s. Africa is the last frontier for global growth. Entrepreneurship will prise open sectors such as agriculture, mining, trade, tourism, financial sector etc. Entrepreneurs are playing an important role in creating wealth and reducing the unemployment rate in Africa. Entrepreneurship will enhance the standard of living of our people   Botswana and China are good examples to reference – It is a viable developmental agenda for Africa to pursue.

How do you relax outside work and what books do you read?

I love listening to Jazz music – John Coltrane, Louise Amstrong, Nat King Cole, Asa, Sade Adu, Bez, Michel Buble, etc. Leadership books – Robin Sharma, John Maxwell, Dale Carnegie, Steve Murrell, etc. and of course my Bible.

Amb. Olivier Arrindell

Could you briefly tell us about yourself and current engagements?

Olivier Arrindell was the Managing Director of Financial Planning, Investor Relations, & Corporate Planning for Grace Aviation Holdings, LLC, and in December of 2019 was appointed as the CEO of Ava Airways by its Board of Directors. In this role, he is responsible and accountable to the Board of Directors for carrying out his duties and possesses a demonstrated track record in interacting with a policy board. Mr. Arrimdell plans, coordinates, directs, and is responsible for all activities associated with the operation of Ava Airways and its related economic development activities.

During his career, Mr. Arrindell has been instrumental in several initiatives including the development of Antigua & Barbuda’s new International Airport and many others, in addition, he has led the communications efforts around Grace Aviation’s company’s investment negotiation with investment partners and debt offerings. Most recently, he played a key role in the development and communication of Ava Airways balanced capital deployment strategy plan for its commercial airline plans which have resulted in favorable terms and conditions through a dividend principle policy.

What excites you about our organization and attracted you to join our Board?

What attracted me to your organisation is the fact that it is under the management and lead by young bright Africans. One of my goals is to give guidance and support Africans, Diaspora, Investment and community.

You are joining at a particularly challenging times (global pandemic) What are your expectations in terms of growth?

The current global pandemic is relevant to the growth and situation. I believe the expectation should organic. That’s growing organically regardless the pandemic. There are opportunities in challenging times.

What is your view on entrepreneurship as a catalyst for Africa’s development?

I believe that entrepreneurship is the machine that will move Africa forward. Government and African leaders should support the development of these entrepreneurs with policies that support the ecosystems.

Prof. Remi Duyile

Amb. Remi Duyile is a seasoned Mentor, business owner and an influence strategist who is passionate about helping people maximize their potentials. Remi’s unique value proposition is her ability to excel in Corporate America to the pinnacle of her career and transition to a successful serial entrepreneur with intentional impact. She enjoys the support of her loving husband and friend of 28 years plus and their adorable grown children of repute.

Remi is a certified trainer, Les Brown Platinum Speaker, and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. She is also an author of the book titled “Perseverance the winning key to your destiny”

She has invested in herself in the area of human capital and personal development from a successful corporate executive who was the cynosure of eyes due to her commitment to mentorship and career growth of others to better serve the needs of individuals and business leaders in quest of growth and sustainability in their life journey. 

Remi is a certified human behaviour consultant with specialization in the DISC personality profile assessments for individuals, professionals, businesses and religious organizations.

She currently serves as a commissioner in the great state of Maryland USA, sits on several local and international boards in influential capacities for impact.  Member of the National Coalition of 100 Black women and other Notable associations. As a serial entrepreneur with social impact, she doubles up as President and CEO of Image Consulting Group and Founder of Legacy Premier Foundation in the USA.

Remi’s passion, dynamism, energy and the power in her story is evident in all her engagements with her clients. She is so fired up to helping develop leaders with succession and transformational leadership mindset so they can fulfil purpose, pay it forward and leave a legacy.

She is an example of faith, hard work, perseverance leading to countless blessings. Remi enjoys the support of her loving and supportive husband with her amazing adult children.

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Entertainment

TuneCore Launches Operations in Africa, Appoints Two Female Regional Executives

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TuneCore Jade Leaf and Chioma Onuchukwu

TuneCore, the leading digital music distribution and publishing administration company for independent artists, has launched operations in Africa. Jade Leaf has been hired as Head of TuneCore for Southern Africa and will share responsibility for key countries in East Africa with Chioma Onuchukwu, who has been hired as Head of TuneCore for West Africa. Both Leaf and Onuchukwu will report to Faryal Khan-Thompson, Vice President, International, TuneCore.

Onuchukwu will be based in Nigeria and oversee countries in West Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. She will also look after Tanzania and Ethiopia in East Africa.  Leaf’s territory encompasses Southern Africa, including South Africa, where she will be based, as well as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho. Leaf will also manage TuneCore operations in East African countries Kenya and Uganda.

Said Onuchukwu, “I am elated to be joining a renowned, independent music distribution powerhouse, especially in an incredible era for music creators in Africa at a time when we are gaining global recognition and increasing momentum. I look forward to collaborating with and supporting local artists.”

Before joining TuneCore, Onuchukwu was Marketing Manager at uduX Music, a music streaming platform in Nigeria. There she worked directly with popular African artists such as Davido, Yemi Alade, Patoranking, Kizz Daniel and more.

Commented Leaf, “I am incredibly excited to join the team in a time where the global conversation is around independence and ownership. TuneCore opens up a world of potential for independent artists at every level of their careers. Africa is home to a diverse range of artists who are seeking a reliable distribution service who understands their local needs and can ultimately give them the opportunity to turn their art into commercial success.”

Previously, Leaf worked at Africa’s largest Pay TV operator, Multichoice as the Marketing Manager for Youth & Music Channels, where she led brand re-imaging and marketing efforts for Music TV giant Channel O. Before that, she worked at Sony Music Entertainment Africa, focusing on African artists and content, as well as numerous marketing campaigns & projects for local and international artists.

There has been a meteoric rise in the uptake of streaming services in Africa, the growth has been attributed to several factors such as an increase in internet penetration via smartphones, the entrance of international and local streaming platforms in key territories and its youth population – More than 60% of African’s are under the age of 25.

In 2020, TuneCore saw an increase in music releases globally, with many African artists opting to use the DIY Distributor – DJ Spinall and Small Doctor in Nigeria, Spoegwolf in South Africa, Mpho Sebina in Botswana and Fena Gitu in Kenya to name a few.

Stated Khan-Thompson, “Africa is an extremely exciting music market with a lot of potential for growth. By hiring Jade and Chioma to lead our efforts, TuneCore is well positioned to maximize opportunities for independent artists across the continent. Both Chioma and Jade bring a wealth of experience and genuine interest in helping artists make their dreams come true. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have two incredible women representing the TuneCore brand in the continent”

TuneCore

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IFC Invest in Liquid Telecom Bond to Support Broadband Connectivity in Africa

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested in Thursday’s bond issued by a subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd., which will allow the telecoms and technology solutions company to expand access to broadband Internet and digital and cloud services across Africa, further facilitating the growth of the continent’s digital economy.

Proceeds from the bond issued by Liquid Telecommunications Financing PLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd, will enable the company to refinance existing debt and free up funds to expand its digital infrastructure network across Africa, including in markets with low broadband penetration.

By developing digital infrastructure, Liquid Telecommunications, Africa’s largest independent fiber, data center and cloud technology provider, aims to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and support the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

IFC played an anchor role and subscribed to 16 percent of the bond, equivalent to $100 million, which was listed on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange, on February 25, 2021. The issuance raised $620 million.

Internet access in Africa relies largely on mobile networks, many of which are enabled by wholesale connectivity providers such as Liquid Telecommunications. Broadband penetration is low across the continent, with a mobile broadband penetration rate of 34 percent and fixed broadband penetration of less than five percent in most countries across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

“We are delighted that IFC has taken a significant anchor position in our new bond. In the countries in which we operate there are great opportunities to address under developed telecommunications and Internet access, as well as to accelerate the adoption of digital and Cloud-based services. Our refinance enables us to continue to invest in the African digital eco-system including driving penetration of digital and Cloud-based services to businesses who may not previously have had the resources to benefit from them, helping to bridge the connectivity divide, which is more crucial than ever in our current circumstances,” said Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom Group Chief Executive Officer.

“Our best chance at ensuring much-needed internet access for everyone in Africa, from large corporates and small businesses to individuals, is to invest in digital infrastructure. Our investment in the Liquid Telecom bond will help the company free up capital to further expand broadband access across Africa, laying a solid foundation for a faster, more resilient recovery,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer of IFC.

To support Africa’s digital economy, which could be worth $180 billion by 2025, IFC provides financing to mobile network operators, independent tower operators, data centers and broadband connectivity providers. IFC also provides capital to help entrepreneurs and innovative businesses grow and works with financial institutions and telecommunications companies to speed the adoption of digital payments and lending to expand financial inclusion.

Source IFC

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North Ladder Secures $5 Million Series A Financing Round To Accelerate Global Expansion

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North Ladder Team (Source: Siddharth Sudhakar)

North Ladder (previously called BuyBack Bazaar), a UAE based secured trading platform for pre-owned luxury assets and electronics, today announced a $5 million Series A funding round led by regional venture capital firm BECO Capital. The new investment will help the company scale up its technology platform, enhance customer experience and pursue further geographic expansion.

The homegrown start-up also revealed that it will begin operating under the new brand name North Ladder effective immediately, representing the company’s strategy of charting new markets and supporting individuals across the globe in their endeavour to elevate their financial situation. The disruptive and innovative technology platform is the first of its kind, providing access to verified buyers of second-hand goods and instant cash. North Ladder currently enables users to sell electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, and smart watches, as well as luxury assets including watches and cars, with a unique option of buying it back within a few months.

The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for North Ladder which saw rapid growth of its clients, network of buyers and corporate partnerships. To date, the platform has witnessed over 15,000 transactions in the UAE, with over 85 different nationalities served while earning an impressive 4.9/5 customer satisfaction rating. In 2021, the start-up is looking to establish its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States, with a focus on scaling the platform significantly in the next 18 to 24 months.

“North Ladder has demonstrated tremendous success with its unique model of helping customers access immediate funds against their assets. The provision of a seamless and trusted digital platform for the sale of pre-owned goods has immense socially transformative potential at a global scale. We are excited about partnering with them to take their services to the next level,” said Dany Farha, CEO & Managing Partner, BECO Capital.

The company recently appointed Sandeep Shetty, former Managing Director of the core ride hailing business at Careem, as Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of North Ladder. Prior to Careem he also led the digital transformation program at Emirates NBD and has held leadership positions at McKinsey & Company and GE Capital across India, the United States and the Middle East. Sandeep joins the leadership team of co-founders Pishu Ganglani and Ricky Husaini who together bring years of prior global start-up, financial services, technology and operations experience.

“Our exciting partnership with the region’s leading investor BECO Capital gives us the opportunity to scale operations in the UAE and expand to other strategic markets, with the mission of meaningfully impacting people across all strata of society,” said Sandeep Shetty of North Ladder. “Our global auction brings professional buyers from around the world to compete and provide local customers with the best prices and no hidden surprises.”

Since its launch in 2018, North Ladder has been recognized as one of the “Top 5 innovative start-ups in the MENA region” by PayPal backed accelerator, Village Capital and awarded as an Innovator by Entrepreneur Middle East.

 

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