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Press Release

Shelter Afrique Becomes Development Bank

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Shelter Afrique Delegates at the EGM

In a historic move that promises to reshape the landscape of African housing and urban development, Shelter Afrique Shareholders have approved revised Statutes to elevate the pan-African housing and urban development financier into a dynamic Development Bank during the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in Algiers, Algeria. This transformative effort, spearheaded by a reputable international law firm under the guidance of the Board of Directors, is the culmination of numerous bilateral and multilateral reviews, leading to a broad consensus among Shareholders on key amendments in the Company’s revised Statutes. This sets the stage for a renewed, innovative, and impactful Shelter Afrique.

Highlighting the importance of this gathering as a turning point in the continent’s housing development financing, His Excellency Aymen Benabderrahmane, Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, inaugurated the opening ceremony. He was joined by four Cabinet Ministers of Finance, Trade and Export Promotion, Infrastructure, and Minister of Housing, Urbanism and the City.

Gathering under the inspiring theme of “Transforming Shelter Afrique into a Development Bank for Sustainable Affordable Housing and Urban Development in Africa,” visionary leaders united for this momentous event. They were graciously hosted by His Excellency Mohamed Tarek Belaribi, Minister of Housing, Urbanism and the City of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Architect Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, presided over the deliberations as the Chair of the General Assembly Bureau. The vote of thanks was provided by the first Vice-President of the General Assembly Bureau, represented by Mr. Edward Kyazze from the Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure, Urbanization & Housing Department.

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In his opening address, H.E. Arc. Dangiwa emphasized the significance of the 2023 EGM and its role in shaping Shelter Afrique’s future. He commended the company’s leadership, recognizing the remarkable work of the Board and Management Team in navigating the organization toward growth, profitability, and a more substantial impact on housing development across the continent.

The Board Chair, Dr Chii Akporji, expressed her gratitude, stating, “Our heartfelt appreciation extends to Algeria, the host country of this pivotal EGM that ratified these transformative changes, as well as to our 44 Member Countries, the African Development Bank, Africa-Re, our esteemed Board of Directors, and the dedicated staff of ShafDB. Their invaluable contributions have culminated in this historic milestone.”

In addition, the delegations had the privilege of touring exemplary affordable housing initiatives, accompanied by Director General Mr.Ahmed Belayat, a board member of ShafDB, who also heads the National Housing Bank. The renaming of Shelter Afrique to Shelter Afrique Development Bank (ShafDB) reiterates a renewed sense of purpose, solidifying the financier’s status as a transformative and sustainable development bank solely dedicated to advancing urban housing and related infrastructure development across Africa.

“The impact of this transformation will be evident through concrete metrics such as increased housing unit financing and construction, improved access to decent, sustainable and affordable housing and positions SHAFDB progressive path towards the execution of our strategic plan (”The New Dawn”)” says the Managing Director, Thierno-Habib Hann.

Press Release

Emil Ekiyor Named In “Indiana 250” Most Influential List

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Emil Ekiyor, Founder at InnoPower (Image: Supplied).

IBJ Media has named Emil Ekiyor, one of Africans in the Diaspora leading accomplished community leader and entrepreneur, in the 2024 Indiana 250, the annual list of the 250 most influential leaders in Indiana. The Indiana 250 Most Influential List, now in its third year, recognises the state’s most influential and impactful business and community leaders, representing public and private companies, law firms, universities, not-for-profit, government and community organizations. Mr Ekiyor, is recognised for his accomplishment as a community leader and entrepreneur dedicated to empowering African and African American communities. The list is available at Indiana250.com.  

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Born in Nigeria, Emil embarked on an educational journey to the United States at age 15. He excelled academically and athletically in high school, earning a full scholarship to the University of Central Florida. As a college football team captain, Emil demonstrated stellar leadership and strategic skills. He went on to have a six-year professional football career with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Upon retiring from the NFL, Emil transitioned into entrepreneurship and community leadership roles.

Emil currently serves as CEO of InnoPower Indy Inc., driving innovative community empowerment programs. He has also served as President of the Indianapolis Black Expo Indy chapter and Indy Youth Sports, while serving on nonprofit boards like Friends of Education, Teach for America Indy and the Boys Scouts of America.

With a commitment to advancing black talent and closing wealth gaps, Emil brings collaboration, innovation and courage to his community leadership. He continues to create sustainable change as a beacon of hope for African and African American communities.

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Press Release

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy to Showcase I-PHILANTHROPY Platform at 2024 IMBW @ RALLY

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Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) Chairperson, Thelma Ekiyor Solanke (Image: Supplied).

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) is set to introduce its groundbreaking I-PHILANTHROPY platform at a high-profile roundtable discussion during the 2024 innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, taking place on August 27-28 in Indianapolis. This landmark event, hosted by NPO Chairperson Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke, will explore innovative solutions for creating access to capital in disenfranchised communities.

I-PHILANTHROPY is a cutting-edge digital solution that leverages technology to support Nigerian small business owners and create unprecedented access to capital for micro-enterprises. The platform’s success in Nigeria offers a promising model for addressing similar challenges faced by underserved communities in the United States.

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“I-PHILANTHROPY represents a paradigm shift in financial inclusion and support for micro-enterprises,” said Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke. “We’re excited to share our experiences at innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY and explore how this model can be adapted to empower disenfranchised communities in the USA.”

The roundtable will discuss:

– I-PHILANTHROPY’s impact on capital access for Nigerian micro-businesses.

– Potential applications of the model in US minority communities.

– Strategies for engaging diaspora and global participants in local economic development.

– Opportunities for international collaboration in supporting grassroots entrepreneurship.

This showcase is a highlight of innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, a premier event that combines innoPower’s focus on empowering minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovative solutions to global challenges. The conference brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

“The I-PHILANTHROPY platform aligns perfectly with our mission to foster growth and success among minority-owned businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder at innoPower. “This roundtable offers a unique opportunity to learn from international best practices and explore new strategies for addressing capital access challenges in our communities.”

Erica Schweyer, Executioner at RALLY, added, “By bringing together diverse voices from technology, business, and philanthropy, we aim to catalyze transformative ideas that can have real-world impact on disenfranchised communities both in the US and globally.”

 

Sign up for the Roundtable and receive a 88% discount https://innopower.formstack.com/forms/imbwdiscount

 

About Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO):

NPO is at the forefront of leveraging technology for social good in Nigeria. Their I-PHILANTHROPY platform is revolutionizing how global participants can support Nigerian micro-enterprises and contribute to local economic development.

About innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY:

This collaborative event combines innoPower’s focus on fostering growth and success among minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovation and transformative ideas. It brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

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Press Release

Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank to fund underserved MSMEs in Nigeria

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Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank Nigeria Plc to reach underserved MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) at scale. By providing long-term capital and capacity building to unbanked and under-banked companies in Nigeria, the investment is expected to support sustainable private sector development and inclusive growth.

Nigeria, with a population of 230 million, has an unemployment rate at a staggering 33%. Additionally, over half of the rapidly growing population is below the age of 30, which further exacerbates the need for job creation and workforce development. As Nigeria also copes with a multitude of crises, including insecurity, food shortages and inflation, the resilience and power of MSMEs is critical to driving sustainable development and reducing poverty.

Swedfund’s investment aids in advancing sustainable private sector development, encouraging inclusive growth, and expanding access to finance. Access Bank, known for its strong market presence and with a committed MSME strategy, serves as an effective partner to reach MSMEs in need of financing in Nigeria, says Kitanha Toure, Regional Director of West Africa at Swedfund.

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Access Bank is systemically important and well-positioned to reach a significant number of MSMEs in Nigeria. Swedfund’s investment will contribute to direct and indirect job creation and other tax-generating activities as well as improved access to finance for rural and underserved groups, female- and youth-owned companies.

Access Bank is eligible to meet the 2X Criteria, a global baseline standard for gender finance, and recognised as the best SME bank for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The loan is part of a syndicate led by the Dutch development finance institution, FMO, with a total value of USD 295 million. The syndicate consists of other Nordic and European development finance institutions such as BII, BIO, Finnfund and Norfund.

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