Toyin F. Sanni, driven by a passion for impact is the Group CEO at Emerging Africa Capital Group. A Nigerian based provider of financial services aimed to facilitate the investment process for and with African entities and individuals. In this interview with Alaba Ayinuola, she speaks on leadership, business, inclusion and the gap her company, Emerging Africa Capital Group is filling.
I always love to ask thought leaders like you about their dream jobs. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a young girl, I dreamed of becoming an advocate when I grew up so I could defend the oppressed and fight for just causes. I did qualify as an advocate and practice law for a while, but then I discovered the world of finance.
The path to the top isn’t always easy but you have accomplished a great deal. What’s the greatest hurdle you’ve encountered, and how did you overcome it?
The greatest hurdle I encountered was occasional opposition from peers or superiors who seemed more interested in competing than in collaborating, even when we were supposedly on the same side. I have always handled this by continuing to give my best and to add value indiscriminately to them and to the rest of the organisation and group.
What are the best and worst decisions you’ve ever made?
Best decisions have been hiring and later coaching and mentoring people whom others had given up on and who ended up becoming star performers. My worst decisions have been hiring one or two personnel with technical abilities but major character defects.
Talking about gender inclusion, what is the most significant barrier in achieving more equality between women and men in business and leadership? What solution would you proffer?
Significant barriers include unequal opportunities and bias – conscious and unconscious. I would proffer the following solutions;
- Awareness creation amongst both men and women.
- Deliberate affirmative action in favour of women opportunities where qualifications are equal.
- Investigating adverse decisions on requests or applications by women in cases where same requests were approved for men to ensure bias played no role.
- Organisations should set and monitor measurable inclusion targets for HR, Executive Management and the board.
For women faced with the challenges of balancing the multiple roles they play as a mother and wife while in leadership positions. What advice would you proffer?
I advice setting out your priorities and communicating it to your family and business partners to secure buy in. Also, delegation and establishing support structures at work and home is also critical.
Lastly, hire competent aids and empower them.
As the world keeps evolving, what will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women coming up after you?
Challenges for the next generation women include managing their increasing roles as breadwinners, the need to strengthen our level of technology adoption and proficiency. Women also need to master the management of personal and family finances.
You are an experienced and reputable CEO and Board member. What advice would you give a woman who wants to advance into an executive level role?
If you are a woman aspiring to executive roles, you need to develop your leadership abilities and not just technical skills. Your commitment to the organization and its objectives must be clear. You can’t be just about your department and its narrow goals and targets. You also need to network consciously within and outside your organisation and to build your personal brand intentionally.
Let’s talk about your company Emerging Africa Capital Group. Tell us about this brand and what gap its filling?
At Emerging Africa, we are building what will become a premium African brand. Our vision is to be the leading catalyst to the emergence of Africa as leading global investment destination and origin. We are filling the financial inclusion gap by helping organisations in growth phase to raise much needed capital and by providing attractive investment alternatives to domestic and international investors.
How do you feel as a Thought Leader and award winning African female entrepreneur? What drives you?
I feel grateful for the opportunity to be a blessing and to impact lives. I am driven by the desire to fulfill purpose by making maximum impact.
What are your predictions for 2019?
Globally, it’s a challenging year as global leaders like Trump, May and Marcon face domestic struggles. It’s an election year in Nigeria, so most expect the first half of the year to be pretty slow. I think that for those who, nonetheless, apply themselves from the start, there will be some unexpected opportunities, even as others play a waiting game. In markets, I expect activities to be focused on fixed income at the short end such as commercial papers and government debt.
Her Short Bio:
Toyin F. Sanni is a graduate of the CEO Program of the Lagos Business School, holds a Masters Degree, LLM (Hons), from the University of Lagos and the Professional qualification of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (I.C.S.A.) UK. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (C.I.S.) Nigeria amongst other qualifications. In 2017, she was declared “The All African Woman of the year by CNBC and also “Nigeria’s CEO of the Year” by Pearl Awards.
She leads a multiple award winning group that provides advisory and capital raising solution and development across Africa. She has spoken at Conferences such as Howard University USA, UK African Business Conference to mention but a few. Her past role includes CEO UBA Trustee, UBA Global Investor service, Cornerstone Trustee etc. President CIIA, IAPM, Chair WIFNG, Financial Literacy Committee, National Bond Steering Committee amongst others.
Industry event co-location to boost science-based industry development
Three industry trade shows across interconnected value chains for food, drink, water, waste and analytics
The future of South Africa’s key industry sectors – including food & drink, water, sewage and waste treatment – rest heavily on science, and never more so than now, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of testing and analytics in assuring a compliant work environment and safe products.
Messe Muenchen South Africa, organisers of several of Africa’s major industry trade shows, have co-located food & drink technology (fdt) Africa, IFAT Africa and analytica Lab Africa to bring science and innovation closer to food & drink, water, sewage and waste treatment, for one-stop access to the interconnected value chains in these sectors.
analytica Lab Africa, food & drink technology (fdt) Africa and IFAT Africa bring to Africa the full spectrum of the science and technology laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics behind consumer products and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage production, and water, sewage, refuse and recycling, water and waste management as environmental concerns and food security become a top priority around the world.
The format of the trade shows and their peripheral events are designed to spark knowledge transfer, showcase global trends and solutions to Africa’s challenges, catalyse business and facilitate introductions that support collaboration and economic growth.
The industry response to co-locating analytica Lab Africa with fdt Africa and IFAT Africa has been resoundingly positive, with up to 10,000 visitors and nearly 400 exhibitors from across Africa and around the world converging at the events to network, share knowledge and explore multi-sectoral business opportunities. Suzette Scheepers, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Muenchen in South Africa, said the synergies between the three sectors were immediately apparent, and gave visitors an opportunity to learn about trends, innovations and opportunities across sectors. Together, the events occupied 17,000 square meters in four halls of the Gallagher Convention Centre.
In 2021, IFAT Africa, food & drink technology (fdt) Africa and analytica Lab Africa will be staged at the Gallagher Convention Centre from July 13 – 15.
analytica Lab Africa is the only trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and diagnostics in South Africa. The show features both local and international market leaders, addressing visitors in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The first analytica Lab Africa, in 2019, featured solutions by 148 exhibitors from 15 countries, as well as a strong supporting programme including a forum and demo area with practical presentations on food safety, laboratory applications and topics such as laboratory safety.
food & drink technology (fdt) Africa is a biennial trade fair held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The trade fair and its accompanying programme (including a high-quality exhibitor forum) is the third successful offset of Messe München’s drinktec, the world’s leading trade fair in the beverage and liquid food industry. In 2019, approximately 65 exhibitors from 13 countries presented custom solutions for the African market: from innovative developments for resource conservation to raw materials, through to processing, filling and packaging machines.
IFAT Africa is the leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling in Southern Africa.
In 2019, the show welcomed 172 exhibitors and recorded an 83 percent increase in visitor numbers from 2017, with 3,302 visitors from across South African, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 2021, the show will again feature a high-calibre forum programme addressing various trends, challenges and solutions from the water, sewage, refuse and recycling sectors, bringing together public and private sector, solution providers, academics, practitioners and decision-makers for three days of valuable knowledge sharing. Highlights of the event also include focused masterclasses hosted by the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) and Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) the 3rd edition of the University Challenge, product demonstrations and interactive corner.
Issued by ITP Communication
Black Mamba- Changing the world one chilli at a time
Black Mamba, the HOTTEST African brand is on a mission to bring sustainable, freshly made products to the world, that taste good, look good and do good. In this exclusive chat with Claudia Castellanos who is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Black Mamba, Claudia shares her African story with Alaba Ayinuola of Business Africa Online. Excerpts.
Black Mamba is a fair trade producer of gourmet chilli products, based in the African Kingdom of Eswatini. Founded in 2010, and manufactures a range of chilli sauces, pestos, pickles, chutneys and jams, all made with natural, fresh ingredients, and no artificial flavours or preservatives.
Currently Black Mamba exports its products to South Africa, the U.K., Germany, Norway and the US, amongst other markets. And their premises posses a FSSC22000 food safety certification, one of the strictest in the world.
This business was started by Claudia Castellanos and her husband Joe Roques who both share their love for chillies with the passion for development of communities and sustainable farming. From the beginning, while stirring a pot of chilli sauce from the back their house, they believed that it was possible to make a high quality, distinctively delicious product with a 100% sustainable value chain that would benefit those involved and the environment.
Black Mamba works in partnership with a local NGO called Guba, whose mission is to improve the livelihood of communities in Eswatini through the use of permaculture practices. Black Mamba and Guba have a symbiotic relationship where Guba develops the farmers and their farming skills, and Black Mamba provides the marketplace for the Guba-trained farmers to sell their organically grown products.
To date, Black Mamba provides a sustainable income to 60 farmers, mostly women, that are part of this initiative. Over 1000 individuals are directly impacted as each farmer has in average 6 dependents and shares their knowledge with 11 members of their community.
Claudia said; “We have established ourselves as a cult brand locally, and envision growing this worldwide, connecting chilli heads and ethical foodies across the world to generation of growers, providing proof that planet and people matter.”
- 14 full-time employees, 12 of which are women and the main breadwinners of their households in average 5 dependents.
- 60 farmers, of which 50 are women- in average 6 dependents and sharing knowledge with 11 members of their communities.
- Current impact over 1000 individuals Possibility to engage up to 180 farmers with a potential impact on 5000 individuals.
- Access to work and sustainable income.
- Welfare programmess: Peer education on health and gender topics, mobile clinics (general checkups, breast and cervix cancer, HIV) and savings programmes for employees
- The farmers have also learnt how to grow herbs for medicinal use, other crops to sell to their communities, healthier food and firewood.
- Improved soil structure.
- Diversity of ground cover crops.
- Reduced erosion.
- Improved use of water resources.
- Improved biodiversity at homestead level.
- Packaging material: glass and cardboard.
- 90% of our waste gets recycled or composted.
Visit Black Mamba Foods
Biography: Remi Duyile- RemiSpeaks, Career and Impact
Remi Duyile: Author | International Speaker | Empowerment Coach | Strategic Consultant
About Remi Duyile
Dr. Remi Duyile is a Nigerian-born and accomplished author, founder of Legacy premier foundation, a business leader with expertise and extensive experience in the financial sector, government and corporate strategy and communication , an eloquent International Keynote speaker who is intentionally in the Diaspora and abroad impacting the next generation and being a business bridge to Global Investors. She is an insightful legislative advocate and trusted community leader. Remi Duyile wears many hats, the one that she wears very proudly is being a devoted wife, and mother to three awesome children.
Dr. Duyile is an example of how faith, hard work and diligence can lead to numerous exposure and growth, she is passionate about seeing others succeed, it’s no doubt she was honored by the Governor of Maryland in the United States of America for her matchless efforts to better humanity. She has made it her life’s purpose to empower others to recognize their own strength, skills and abilities.
Early Life and Education
Dr. Remi Duyile was born and raised in Ondo City and Lagos State, Nigeria. where she learned the thesis of discipline, hard work, commitment and staying true to oneself. With this strong foundation, she relocated from Nigeria to the United States over 30 years ago with just one purpose: to shatter the glass ceilings which she fulfilled, is still fulfilling and will continue to fulfill.
As a fervid believer in the power of education as the key to unlocking opportunities, Dr. Duyile enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia between 1982 and 1987 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Masters’ of Business Administration in Finance and Business Economy.
Dr. Duyile started her corporate career at one of the nation’s most revered banking institutions, Bank of America(one of the largest financial institutions in the United States). It was here that she shattered glass ceilings when she was promoted to Vice President of Retail, Premier, and Mortgage Banking. Dr. Duyile served in these roles managing over 600 financial portfolios of high net-worth clients for several years, until she decided that it was time to step into her true calling as a serial entrepreneur and empowering others in her community.
Impact and Philanthropy
Dr. Duyile founded Premier Mortgage Solutions (a mortgage solutions business), Image Consulting Group (an international consulting firm), and Legacy Premier Foundation (a non-profit providing mentorship and financial literacy for women and girls. She’s also the founder of RemiSpeaks. RemiSpeaks is a Coaching, Speaking and Training Platform for Management, Emerging Leaders and Entrepreneurs in quest of sustainable growth with Global Relevance. Under the umbrella of her companies, she has become an empowerment mentor, community mobilizer, certified trainer, as well as an international key note speaker.
She has spoken throughout Africa, Europe, and extensively within North America (Canada and the US) teaching financial literacy, offering entrepreneurial development, and encouraging emerging leaders to engage in the Diaspora and beyond.
Professional Memberships, Affiliations and Boards
- Member Continental Who’s Who
- Member, World Trade Center Institute
- Member, National Black MBA
- Advisory Council Member, Leadership Initiatives
- Member, Wambia Capital
- Advisory Board Member, Mentoring International
- Member, National Speakers Association-DC
- Member, Les Brown Platinum Speaker Network
- Member : NCBW 100 of Prince George’s
- Member: LPGA Golf Female Executive Member
- Board Chair: Pan African Diaspora Women Association
- Board Member, Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc.
- Member, Jesus House, DC
- Chair, Census 2010 Complete Count Committee. 2009 – 2010
- Member, Maryland Democratic Party, Continental African Leadership Council
- Member of the National Coalition of 100 Black women
Nomination and Recognition
- Top 100 MBE award winner 2009
- 2010 Smart CEO Award
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, 2013