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Empowering Entrepreneurs is the Route to Eradicating Poverty in Africa – Tony Elumelu Foundation CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu

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As Tony Elumelu Foundation Past Beneficiary, Wecyclers, Receives King Baudouin Award African Development Prize

Brussels, Belgium, June 13, 2019—The CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, stated that building and empowering entrepreneurs is the route to eradicating poverty and creating economic transformation in Africa. She said this in a fireside chat in Brussels where she was a guest of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium as one of Tony Elumelu Foundation past beneficiaries, Wecyclers received the African Development Prize awarded by the King Baudouin Foundation.

During her remarks, she emphasized the need for Africans to develop a job-creating mentality, not a job-seeking mentality to catalyze the economic development on the continent.

She linked this to the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its impact on the African continent. Its mission is to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years through its Entrepreneurship Programme. Just half-way through the Programme, the Foundation has empowered 7,520 African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries, providing its alumni with a non-refundable seed capital of $5,000 each, training, mentoring and networking opportunities. To further scale the impact of its work beyond its 10,000-beneficiary goal, the Foundation launched TEFConnect—the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs—late last year. Already, the platform boasts over 500,000 registered users who network, do business and forge partnerships across the continent.

Hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation, the ceremony was in honour of the Nigerian business Wecyclers for their contribution to the development of sustainable recycling and environmental wellbeing. In 2012, Wecyclers received seed capital from the Tony Elumelu Foundation through a partnership with accelerator, CCHub.

Following the presentation of the prize to Olawale Adebiyi, Wecyclers CEO, Mrs. Ugochukwu commended the work of the team. The award represented further credence to the importance and potential of entrepreneurship in Africa in transforming the economy and lives of Africans.

She said, “The Wecyclers initiative is further testament to the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s belief that all of Africa’s problems are businesses waiting to be taken on by the bright young minds we have in Africa”.

Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu closed her remarks by reiterating the commitment of the Tony Elumelu Foundation to supporting SMEs and MSMEs and in turn creating the millions of jobs that the youth population of Africa needs.

 

Tony Elumelu Foundation

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PepsiCo to Acquire South Africa’s Pioneer Foods for $1.7 Billion

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Image: IndustryWeek

The beverage and snack giant has agreed to purchase the maker of Weet-Bix breakfast cereal and Ceres fruit juice for roughly $1.7 billion.

PepsiCo (PEP – Get Report)  has agreed to purchase South Africa’s Pioneer Foods Group for $1.8 billion, or 24.4 billion rand. The deal allows PepsiCo to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Pioneer for 110.00 rand in cash per share. According to a press release, that price represents a 56% premium to the 30-day volume weighted average price “prior to the cautionary announcement on July 15, 2019.”

The acquisition is PepsiCo’s first major purchase since it bought carbonated drink maker SodaStream for $3.2 billion in late 2018. The Pioneer Foods Group makes local brands such as Weet-Bix breakfast cereal and Ceres fruit juice.

Also Read Cycles, Nigeria’s No.1 Bike-Sharing Platform Achieving The United Nations SDG Goal 11 – Damilola Soladoye

“This transaction is all about growth. We are looking to expand our footprint,” Eugene Willemsen, executive vice president, Global Categories and Franchise Management, told Bloomberg Friday.

Willemsen, plans to move from PepsiCo’s New York headquarters to Cape Town to oversee operations there. Expanding even further into sub-Saharan Africa is a near-term possibility for Pepsi, some speculate.

PepsiCo shares were down 0.9% to $131.68 following the announcement on Friday.

 Credit: The Street

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Fenix reaches 500,000 customers in 6 markets, announces new leadership team

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Fenix International, a company of ENGIE, offering Solar Home Systems across Africa has appointed co-founder and current COO Brian Warshawsky to the role of CEO

KAMPALA, Uganda, July 19, 2019 – Brian Warshawsky, co-founder and current COO of Fenix to succeed the current CEO, Lyndsay Handler.

Jit Bhattacharya, CTO and Chris Bagnall, Group Marketing Director, step down from the company with successions plans in place. New CFO appointed and Head of Credit position established alongside new Chief Commercial Officer, Junior Zerebela Kwebiiha within executive team. 

Fenix International https://www.FenixIntl.com/ , a company of ENGIE, offering Solar Home Systems across Africa has appointed co-founder and current COO Brian Warshawsky to the role of CEO to drive the next phase of the company’s ambitious growth plans. Warshawsky is succeeding Lyndsay Handler who has been with the company for 7 years and served as CEO since 2016. Warshawsky is well-placed to lead the company, having previously spent 5 years at Apple as part of the iPod Operations team before co-founding Fenix International in 2009. Having worked as COO with Fenix from inception, Brian has a deep understanding of the business from product design to manufacturing, country operations, distribution and last-mile customer experience.

Ivan Topalov, who previously served as Corporate Finance Director has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer following the departure of the previous CFO, Josh Romisher, in June. The company has also appointed a new Head of Customer Credit, Alison Boess, reporting to the CEO.

Also Read Interview with Badejo Stephen, CEO and Founder of The Removalist Logistics

Yoven Moorooven, CEO of ENGIE Africa, said, “Brian is a highly regarded leader with the right mix of skills and experience to lead this new chapter for Fenix as we continue to establish ourselves as the market leader across Africa. With commercial operations in Uganda, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin and Mozambique, Fenix is growing from strength to strength. Under Brian’s leadership I’m incredibly excited for the future of our decentralized energy offering in Africa.” 

He continued, “I join everyone at ENGIE and the Fenix team in thanking Lyndsay, Jit and Chris for their many years of dedicated service and commitment to the Fenix Mission. Under their leadership, Fenix transformed millions of lives across the continent and built an inspiring team that is driven to succeed.” 

Brian Warshawsky, newly appointed CEO commented, “While it is difficult to say goodbye to such incredible colleagues and collaborators through so many years, I’m proud to be able to continue their legacy. On behalf of the Fenix team I would like to thank Jit for his technology leadership and the work he did to build Fenix Power, our next generation solar home system platform. I would like to thank Chris for his commercial and marketing leadership as Fenix grew from a few customers in Uganda to 500,000 customers across 6 countries in Africa. And I would like to especially thank Lyndsay for leading Fenix through so many milestones, most recently the ENGIE acquisition and establishing Fenix as the strongest off-grid solar home system company in the industry.”

He added, “Backed by a world class product, a world class team and with the full support of ENGIE, I am excited for what we will do to take our life changing product to customers across the continent. We are now set for an exciting future as we continue our expansion across Africa and achieving universal energy access for all.”

Lyndsay Handler added, “Building Fenix from 2011 to 2017 and accelerating our growth following the acquisition by ENGIE in 2018 has truly been an honour. Together, we have delivered clean, affordable energy to over 500,000 households or 2.5 million people in six countries across Africa. I am especially proud of the way we built a passionate Fenix team based in Africa who are deeply committed to our mission, values, and customers. Looking ahead, I am happy to pass the torch to our co-founder Brian and I am confident that the entire team will put the customer first in all that we do in Fenix’s next chapter. I hope that Fenix will continue to create new products and drive forward innovation so that clean energy is affordable to all at the last mile.”

Credit: Fenix International

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Key economic issues to be addressed at WEF Africa in Cape Town

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CAPE TOWN – The World Economic Forum on Africa to be held in Cape Town will address a number of key issues facing the region’s inclusive development, the organisers said on Thursday.

WEF on Africa will take place in Cape Town, on September 4 – 6, under the theme “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

The organisers said the meeting will be the first that the Forum has held in sub-Saharan Africa since 2017 when leaders from government, business, and civil society from around the world gathered in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

This year’s meeting falls in a year when 20 elections will take place across the region, and nearly 100 days since South African President Cyril Ramaphosa took office. While progress has been made politically in sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth is also expected to accelerate modestly in 2019 from 3.1 percent in 2018 to an average of 3.6 percent in 2019, according to the World Bank.

Also Read Interview With Sanne Steemers, A Dutch Chocolate Entrepreneur Connecting Europe And Africa

According to the organisers, the Forum will address a number of key issues facing the region’s inclusive development, including supporting growth and integration through the African Continental Free Trade Area, creating high-quality employment opportunities and protecting workers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and employing drones to address health, infrastructure and other societal needs, among others.

“Africa’s successful development depends on building the right conditions for its new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders. This means smart, agile institutions; an enabling environment for innovation that includes access to skills and capital; and a determined approach by policy-makers to level the playing field and implement policies that prioritise sustainable, inclusive growth over short-term imperatives,” said Elsie Kanza, head of the regional agenda, Africa, and member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum.

PHOTO: weforum African News Agency (ANA) 

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