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Why African Diasporas Must take Leadership of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Business to Achieve Meaningful Impact

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SSCG Consulting hosted One Africa Network Diversity and Inclusion in Business Forum on Friday 29 November 2019 in Birmingham, UK, held under the theme of “Breaking down barriers to boost resilience and success “. The event was attended by notable speakers, diverse professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs and academia across the Midlands.

Panel speakers included Eugene Nizeyimana, CEO, SSCG Consulting, Chair, One Africa Network; Fajli Bibi MA, Chair of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Inclusive Leadership Group; Prof Kiran Trehan, Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development, Director of the Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy & Diversity (WE LEAD), University of Birmingham; Jacynth Ivey, Non-executive directors (NED), Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation, Associate NED, Health Education England, NED, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Founder of Inspiring Hope and Jacynth Ivey; Dr. Rochelle A. Haynes, Senior HRM Consultant, Performance Works International, Senior Lecturer, UWE Bristol; and Mayokun – Mac Alonge, Founder and CEO, The Equal Group – A data-driven, equality, diversity and inclusion tech company, who shared their career experiences working in diverse organisations and leadership levels.

The discussions and topical issues addressed include: Demystifying Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), creating inclusive businesses that harnesses inclusive leadership at the front, closing ethnic minority pay gap disparities, bridging the opportunity gaps in recruitment and career growth, harnessing diverse workplace culture that foster and leverage best thinking and ability, challenging stereotypes, un/conscious and implicit bias to shape everyday right decisions, intercultural communication, using Big Data and analytics to make a difference, deliver impactful actions and reporting; and achieving superior performance and profitability through diversity.

The speakers highlighted and emphasised the importance of why Africans in the diaspora and minorities leaders in the UK should be disruptive and take leadership charge to create a future they want to see, the adaption to create inclusive and diverse environment that deliver meaningful impact. Brings new perspectives and encourage broader decisions in every place and help businesses to customise their own approaches in creating value through improving diversity and fostering an inclusive culture.

They must take actions to help businesses and organisations transform how they select and develop people in workplaces, develop inclusive leadership capabilities that understand the new trends of a diverse World (markets, customers, ideas, and talent), empower individuals, effective in cross-cultural interactions as well as create and leverage the thinking of diverse groups.

Several delegates also signed up to the Inclusive Leadership Pledge join West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) movement to make the region’s leadership more inclusive of the diverse communities who live and work in the West Midlands.

Also Read: How this African Diaspora is keeping the tradition of African storytelling alive

The next OAN Diversity and Inclusion in Business Forum 2020 will take place on Thursday 05 November 2020 in Birmingham. Those who wish to attend and participate can find more information at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/oan-diversity-and-inclusion-in-business-forum-tickets-84721948629

SSCG Consulting

Investment

ARM Holding Company Lists 6 Mutual Funds on Cowrywise

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Today, Mutual Funds from Asset & Resource Management Holding Company (ARM) can now be accessed through Cowrywise. These new mutual funds, managed by ARM Investment Managers, swell the growing list of SEC-registered mutual funds now easily accessible on Cowrywise by retail investors nationwide. Also, this deepens our position as the platform with the highest collection of mutual funds in Nigeria.

Meet ARM: One Of Nigeria’ Top Asset Managers

Established in 1994, as an asset management firm, ARM, is  Nigeria’s largest non-bank financial services firm with the primary objective of providing a platform that meets all the investment needs of individuals. ARM Group’s retail products comprise mutual funds, estate planning services, wills, pension, stockbroking services, and real estate.

Currently, it manages 6 mutual funds and all of them are now available on Cowrywise. Get them here with any comfortable amount. This partnership with ARM dovetails into our commitment to help change the way Nigerians invest.

Speaking on the collaboration, Henrietta Bankole-Olusina; Managing Director, ARM Financial Advisers, stated; “Our goal is to empower more individuals to fulfil their dreams and encourage them to imbibe a healthy investment habit. Our range of mutual funds caters to different needs depending on their investment goal and risk profile.

How Do Nigerians “Invest”?

In 2019, when mutual fund assets hit the ₦1 trillion mark, Nigerians spent ₦730 billion on sports betting. That means, in 2019, 73% of the industry’s total value was equal to what Nigerians spent betting in just one year. Diving deeper into the report, we see that the drivers for this adoption are:

• Affordability

• Ease of access

• Ease of understanding

• The hope of expected returns

Sadly the adoption of betting has done more harm than good in general. Hence, to place people on a sustainable path of wealth there is a gaping need to make investments simple and clear about their rewards.

Starting in 2017, we launched into the market with a digital savings product. The process was (and is still) simple, people save any comfortable amount and we help invest the bulk in treasury bills and bonds to earn returns. Alongside, we curate a robust finance education system that simplifies money for the everyday person.

These efforts positioned us to initiate our core plan of helping everyday people access high-end investments through mutual funds. On May 21, 2019, we started off with four mutual funds. Today, we have nineteen high-profile mutual funds.

The Journey To 10 Million First-time Investors

Partnering with top fund managers across the country, we will bridge the gap of onboarding and educating the average Nigerian. In essence, we are easing up more time for fund managers to grow wealth while we drive up demand. Our commitment is to introduce 10 million first time investors to mutual funds in the next five years.

ARM Mutual Funds: The Details

The ARM suite of mutual funds is a diverse one. Its offerings fit the desires of various types of investors. Below are its current offerings.

ARM Money Market Fund: this is a low-risk fund that invests in instruments like treasury bills. A good fit for short term investors.

ARM Fixed Income Fund: like other fixed-income funds, this is a medium-risk fund. It’s a great option for medium to long term goals, as it can serve as a source of steady income.

• ARM Ethical Fund: helps investors put their money in firms that align with a strict ethical selection.

ARM Discovery Balanced Fund: designed for a balance between equities and fixed income. It’s a medium-risk fund.

ARM Aggressive Fund: got a long-term view? This is your fund. Though high-risk, it helps your investments grow over the long term. 

ARM Eurobond Fund: this fund gives you access to investment instruments denominated in United States’ Dollars. Also, it is excellent for protecting your investments from currency depreciation. 

ARM Funds on Cowrywise

Today, all above-listed funds, and thirteen others, are accessible on Cowrywise with any amount and in few clicks. There’s no better deal than this. We say this as the number one marketplace for mutual funds in Nigeria. 

Currently, we offer the most diverse basket of mutual funds in Nigeria. To top that up, we provide relatable advice at no extra cost and you get to invest with any comfortable amount.

To buttress this, Yarmirama Ashama, Product Manager at Cowrywise, described the recent partnership as an expansion of the opportunities that come with investing with mutual funds. In her words, “We cannot raise a new generation of investors alone. This is why partnerships with fund managers like ARM are important. Having them onboard feeds this vision, and we are excited about the results that will follow.”

Confused about what fund to pick? Check this guide.

How to Invest in ARM Funds

To start investing in a few minutes, follow these steps:

• Signup here

• Tap “Invest in Mutual Funds”

• Start investing

How to List your Fund as a Fund Manager

Over the past year, we have opened up the retail market for top fund managers. With a bespoke retail and onboarding process, we have brought a younger demographic of first-time investors into the mutual funds’ space. 

Currently, our audience age range sits between 21 and 35 years. If you want to improve the visibility of your funds to this demography, you should join us on the journey to 10 million. Please send an email to mutualfunds@cowrywise.com.

Got questions about how mutual funds work? Start with this guide

Issued by Cowrywise

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Press Release

Eksab Raises $500,000 Investment for its Daily Fantasy Sports Platform

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Eksab co-founder and CEO, Aly
Mahmoud (Source: Eksab)

Cairo, Egypt: Eksab, the leading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform in the Middle East and
Africa, announced an investment of USD $500,000 from 4DX Ventures as well as other
strategic investors within the international sports and entertainment ecosystem.

“Daily Fantasy Sports and monetized competitions are a multi-billion dollar a year industry in the US,” said Co-Founder and CEO Aly Mahmoud. “Our goal is to become the premier sports entertainment company in the MEA region by offering exciting Fantasy Sports competitions as well as highly engaging local sports content.”

With over 1 billion football fans across the Middle East and Africa, Eksab’s goal is to make every match more exciting. Users sign up to the platform at www.yallaeksab.com, join both
free and paid competitions, make predictions on live international football games, collect
points based on the accuracy of their predictions and then get rewarded with prizes or cash. “We’re bringing the FanDuel and DraftKings model to the world’s largest football market,” continued Aly Mahmoud.

With the investment from 4DX Ventures, Eksab plans to scale its product to the millions of football fans in the region with the goal of launching its first paid competitions over the next year. Peter Orth, Partner at 4DX shared – “We see the region as one of the most exciting and underserved markets for a sports entertainment platform. We’ve been really impressed with Aly’s vision for a next generation and technology driven platform that is also highly tailored to local fans and their preferences. We’re excited to be on this journey with Aly and the rest of the Eksab team.”

“Our ultimate goal is to provide an unmatched daily source of entertainment, engagement
and content for the region’s football fans” highlighted Aly Mahmoud.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a football fan in the Middle East and Africa. Over the next year, we plan to work with a select group of partners to make the experience even more immersive. We’re excited to have 4DX with us on this journey.”, added Aly
Mahmoud.

Issued by Eksab

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Investment

30 Reasons To Invest In Egypt

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Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations, is today becoming one of the hottest investment destinations. Seven years ago, the Egyptian government adopted a long-term strategy to boost the performance and economic attractiveness of the country. Starting with monetary reforms with the assistance of the IMF, Egypt has implemented one of the most successful programs of economic turnaround. The Egyptian experience was praised by all international institutions and is presented as the example for developing countries to follow.

In parallel with monetary reforms, the authorities have been conducting many infrastructure megaprojects (transportation, energy, digital transformation, legislative) to prepare Egypt for a long period of sustainable growth.

The fruits of these reforms and huge investments are already having an impact on the Egyptian economy. Based on IMF predictions, Egypt will be one of only 18 countries to enjoy economic growth in 2020 (revised upwards to + 3.5% in September after a June forecast of 2%). Long-term growth should be close to 8%.

Growth is accelerating, and business opportunities are emerging like nowhere else in the world. Egypt is clearly open for business. Having worked during 20 years in 15 countries located in 3 continents, I can confirm that the magnitude of change achieved by Egypt, greatly surpasses anything I have seen before.

Below, you will find 30 strong reasons why you should consider Egypt as your next investment destination.

Investors will find many market opportunities in Egypt, as well as untapped growth potential

1) Vast market, thanks to a large (100 million) and young (average age 25) population, which is expected to reach 160 million by 2050.

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2) One of the most diversified emerging economies, making Egypt resilient to crisis and economic cycles.

3) No. 1 investment destination in Africa and the Middle East.

4) The eighth-highest contributor to global growth in 2019 (PPP-based), according to Bloomberg, thanks to multiple growth engines.

Infrastructure is ready to support business growth

5) Ranked 28th worldwide for road quality, thanks to the huge investments undertaken by the government (Egypt was ranked 115th as recently as five years ago).

6) Cheap, abundant, and diversified energy sources (gas, solar, hydro, wind, and nuclear).

• Excess capacity of 15 gigawatts -after a deficit in 2013- exported t oneighbouring countries.

• Regional center for gas transformation and export to Europe, thanks to large reserves and established processing facilities.

• One of the largest solar parks in the world, Benban, covering 37.2 km2 and visible from space, producing 4 TWh of electricity per year.

7) Determination to boost green energy production and use.

• Renewable energy target at 60% by 2035

First country in the MENA region to issue green bonds5X oversubscribed

• National program to replace gasoline by LNG and to rely in the near future on locally produced electric vehicles.

8) Tripling of Internet speed in just 12 months and still accelerating.

9) 887 new laws passed, and 294 international treaties ratified in the last five years to attract foreign investors and increase the efficiency of government services.

• new investment law.

• digitization of customs.

• digitization of tax collection.

• many more initiatives expected particularly in the new administrative capital.

10) Already signed trade treaties giving free access to 2.6 billion people including 47 European countries, and 19 Eastern and southern African countries (Comesa).

The geographical location of Egypt has always been an unmatched advantage throughout human history.

11) Proximity to many European markets, gateway to Africa, regional hub for the Middle East (confirmed by Amazon’s recent decision to set-up in Egypt its regional manufacturing hub ).

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12) What can we say about the Suez Canal, through which 10% of the world’s traffic moves?

13) Spared from most natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, volcanos, cyclones, and tsunamis.

The 100 million population offers an immense pool of talent

 Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

14) 569,000 fresh graduates in 2018, including 30,000 engineers and 8,000 doctors (compared with 6,000 annual medical graduates in Germany).

15) 125 general universities by 2030 teaching disciplines most in demand, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, health-tech, IoT, an increase from the current 72 universities.

16) Ranked 56th out of 172 countries in Government AI Readiness Index, jumping 63 places in a single year.

17) Wide use of European languages, particularly English, making Egypt a hub for international call centers (e.g. Vodafone).

18) Cheap labor, thanks to the low cost of living: average monthly salaries are $150 for workers and $400 for engineers.

19) Strong healthcare system, thanks to 1848 hospitals in 2018 (1400 in France) powered by a brand-new healthcare law based on best practices from the UK, US, and French systems.

Egypt offers a rich and mature business environment

20) 38 commercial banks, 39 insurance companies, many investment banks, numerous law firms, specialized local and international management consulting companies, multiple chambers of commerce for specific sectors or bilateral cooperation with foreign countries, several governmental bodies providing reliable data about the Egyptian market (CAPMAS, ECES), rich choice of office space, free zones benefitting from exemptions from customs taxes, sales tax, and many other fees.

The new administrative capital of Egypt

21) A sound banking system considered the most efficient worldwide (cost-to-income ratio less than 30%).

22) Egypt hosts 138 foreign embassies, higher than the 121 embassies in the UAE and the 112 embassies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

23) Price purchasing parity (PPP) of 4.33 according to the world bank , making Egypt four times cheaper than the US (and even cheaper compared to many European countries).

24) Ranked the eighth-safest country in the world, according to a Gallup Global Law and Order report, ahead of all European countries except Norway and Switzerland.

Egypt is beating all macroeconomic targets

25) Strong long-term growth prospects averaging between 6% and 8%; one of only 18 countries (and the only country in the MENA region) expected to have positive economic growth in 2020 (+ 3.5%), according to the IMF; same positive outlook for the European bank for reconstruction and development, making Egypt the only economy across all of the EBRD regions likely to escape recession in 2020.

26) Seventh-largest economy by PPP in 2030, according to Standard chartered predictions.

 Photo by Lukas from Pexels

27) Stable currency: one of the few emerging currencies to appreciate against the dollar in 2020 (+ 2.1% YTD on October 31st).

28) Political stability proven by the smooth democratic process to elect the representatives of both parliament chambers in 2020.

29) Shrinking trade deficit, increasing remittances (+ 7.8% year on year after seven months of 2020), rebound of Egypt’s reserve of foreign currencies to reach USD 38 billion, covering eight months of imports.

30) Second-highest real interest rate in the world, despite recent rate cuts, making Egypt the new darling of emerging markets, foreign investors’ holdings of government T-bills reached $21 billion in mid-October, up from $10.4 billion by the end of May 2020, only country in the Middle East and Africa to maintain its credit rating with a stable outlook at the big three rating agencies, despite Covid-19 challenges.

On top of all these rational reasons, Egypt offers a magnificent climate, splendid sandy beaches, rich coral seas, mind-blowing historical monuments, and a most vibrant social life. All these additional aspects offer a superb quality of life for foreign expats.

Last but not least, Egyptians are genuinely one of the warmest and most friendly people on earth, bonding easily and appreciating long-lasting relationships.

So, what are you waiting for? Come to Egypt and we will help you explore investment opportunities!

Author: Nadim Samna, Managing Partner at Stratexis

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