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UBA CHAIRMAN TONY ELUMELU TO TOUR EAST AFRICA ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INFRASTRUCTURE 

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Entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu will lead a 5-day working visit to East Africa, where he will meet with national leaders of Kenya and Uganda.

 

In his capacity as Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Elumelu will travel to Uganda (April 10) and Kenya (April 12) to meet with the Executive Presidents of both nations, Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri K. Museveni to discuss issues around the growth and development of the their economies, enabling entrepreneurship, infrastructure financing, regional economic growth and how the private sector in Africa can work in shared purpose alongside African governments to create prosperity for all Africans.

 

On the side lines of these engagements, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) will gather members of the full local ecosystem – from investors to academia to established and emerging entrepreneurs alike – for an entrepreneurship ecosystem event. During the event, TEF alumni and members of the vibrant Kenyan and Ugandan entrepreneurship communities will receive insights from guest speakers who will provide practical, practicable information to help the audience develop their businesses and their business management skills. Guest speakers include leaders from TEF partner Microsoft and other ecosystem players including Google.

 

During the visit, Elumelu will also meet with key stakeholders and policy makers in the countries to discuss infrastructural funding opportunities, as well as interact with leading private and public sectors players. He will host a Founder’s Forum with students of Makerere University, Kampala and University of Nairobi, two leading African institutions. At this Forum he will give young Africans insight into his own life, share tips and values for success while encouraging entrepreneurship and development.

 

A proponent of the economic philosophy of Africapitalism, Elumelu has toured various countries in Africa and beyond, encouraging entrepreneurship and advising governments on why it is essential for private sector partnership to grow their economies.

 

Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the UBA Chairman has supported over 3,000 entrepreneurs and counting, helping to build their dreams and businesses to a point where they will in turn employ other Africans to help build the continent.

 

In March, the Foundation announced the 2018 cohort of its 10-year, $100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, which saw the selection of over 1,000 African entrepreneurs with the most innovative, high-potential business ideas and an additional 250 entrepreneurs thanks to partnerships with the International Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP).

 

Elumelu is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings Ltd, a family owned investment company committed to improving lives and transforming Africa. With portfolio spanning the power, oil and gas, financial services, hospitality, real estate and healthcare sectors, operating in twenty-three countries worldwide. He sits on numerous public and social sector boards, including the global advisory board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL), USAID’s Private Capital Group Partners Forum (PCG), and is Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute’s Global Food Security Working Group. He serves on the international advisory board of the Washington DC based think tank the Wilson Center and is a member of the Global Advisory Council of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Centre for Public Leadership. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen.

 

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Sterling Bank Opens Vault To N5bn SMEDAN Fund With Databanc

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Sterling Bank Opens Vault To N5bn SMEDAN Fund With Databanc

 

Lagos, Nigeria, June 20, 2024 – One of Nigeria’s leading full-fledged commercial bank, Sterling Bank, and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), have launched a groundbreaking platform called Databanc.

The platform will serve as a single source of truth for data on businesses in Nigeria to guide personalized interventions and support from decision makers who serve the MSME ecosystem.

The platform will provide insights which will be utilized by SMEDAN to deliver its mandate on policy formulation, delivery of intervention programmes and other initiatives, including financing, that will support the growth of small businesses in Nigeria.

 

Photo caption:
L-R: Head, SME Products, Sterling Bank, Ms. Bolanle Tyson; DH Retail SME, Sterling Bank, Edward Ogunmekan; Director General and Chief Executive Officer, SMEDAN, Charles Odii; Chief Product Officer, Sterling Bank, Mustapha Otaru and Lagos State Office, SMEDAN, Dr. Bunmi Kole-Dawodu, at the Sterling and SMEDAN Unveiling Databanc in Lagos recently.

 

 

This platform will also provide unique identification for small businesses and their promoters as well as their business areas/sectors.

This platform and the Sterling/SMEDAN N5 billion single digit loan programme are some of the avenues through which Sterling Bank is working with SMEDAN to jointly grow the Nigerian economy by supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses.

Speaking at the launch of the platform, Executive Director of Commercial and Institutional Banking at Sterling Bank, Tunde Adeola, announced the platform and fund was a materialization of Sterling Bank’s commitment towards growing the real sector of the nation’s economy.

Adeola said “We are delighted to bolster the backbone of our economy with SMEDAN. This initial fund of N5 billion marks just the beginning of what has been and will continue to be a mainstay of our approach to funding businesses to grow at scale, and become the preferred financial partner for businesses, no matter their scale.”

The Executive Director said that over 20,000 SMEs have enrolled on the Databanc platform, with over 80 beneficiaries of the single-digit loan program and further disbursements ongoing. He encouraged all MSMEs in the country to enrol on the platform.

SMEDAN’s Director-General, Mr. Charles Odii, represented by the Director of Agribusiness Development and Access to Finance, Levi Anyikwa, highlighted the programme’s alignment with SMEDAN’s mission to democratize credit access for nano and micro-enterprises. Anyikwa affirmed that “access to finance remains a significant hurdle for SMEs, and we are committed to removing that barrier.”

Anyikwa emphasized the November 2022 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SMEDAN and Sterling Bank as a pivotal step towards digitalizing and streamlining loan processes.

Bolanle Tyson, Head of SME Digital Products at Sterling Bank, emphasized Sterling Bank’s strategic focus on critical sectors encapsulated in the HEART of Sterling forward strategy: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.

Tyson outlined the innovative support package, including access to capital at single-digit interest rates, alongside essential resources such as capacity building, marketing support, and infrastructure development. “We are leveraging data to empower SMEs like never before,” she added.

“Our commitment to SMEs is steadfast,” Tyson asserted. “We recognize their pivotal role in driving Nigeria’s GDP and employment. This partnership with SMEDAN underscores our shared dedication to their success.”

The launch of the Databanc platform chronicles another major milestone in the
ongoing strategic partnership between Sterling Bank and SMEDAN, dating back to June 2023 when both entities signed a partnership to create Nigeria’s largest SME database, which was followed closely in November 2023 with the signing of the memorandum for the N5 billion loan portfolio.

Interested applicants can easily apply for the loan by first registering on the SME Databanc Platform to generate their unique promoter and business IDs at sterling.ng/databanc, and apply for the loan by downloading the Banca by Sterling mobile app from Google Play or the iOS App Store.

//Ends.

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Africa needs to be competitive, says Chike-Obi, Fidelity Bank’s Chairman

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Africa needs to be competitive, says Chike-Obi, Fidelity Bank’s Chairman

 

Africa needs to be competitive and efficient in its area of strength, according to Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Chairman of Fidelity Bank, who spoke with CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor on the sidelines of the AFREXIMBANK Annual meetings in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Chike-Obi emphasized the importance of focused and sharp leadership in harnessing the continent’s strengths to achieve prosperity. He highlighted the need for Africa to identify areas of competitive advantage in producing goods and services efficiently to unlock its full potential.

He pointed out that success stories in areas like sports demonstrate Africa’s potential when leveraging advantages. However, he stressed the crucial role of collaboration and seamless interaction among African nations and regions for sustainable development.

The chairman urged for enhanced integration to facilitate the movement of goods and services across the continent, emphasizing the necessity to work collectively towards common goals.

Chike-Obi also addressed the importance of prioritizing Africa’s strengths, such as power supply, through cohesive policies and agreements to drive economic growth. He emphasized the need for coordinated banking policies to promote financial integration within Africa and with external partners, emphasizing the significance of streamlined banking services and transactions.

The Chairman highlighted the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a significant opportunity for economic advancement but called for more practical implementation to ensure its effectiveness. He underscored the importance of execution in translating policies into tangible outcomes for the African people.

Reflecting on the annual meetings and the discussions on trade and investment, Chike-Obi reiterated the critical importance of collaboration for Africa’s progress, emphasizing that unity and concerted efforts are essential for realizing the continent’s potential.

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Fidelity Bank Chairman, Chike-Obi Advocates for Continental Unity and Economic Integration

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Fidelity Bank to boost Schools’ Profitability with Value-adding Products
Fidelity Bank Chairman, Chike-Obi Advocates for Continental Unity and Economic Integration
In a conversation with Kenneth Igbomor of CNBC Africa, Mustafa Chike-Obi, Chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc, emphasized the need for Africa to unite and collaborate for economic prosperity.
“Africa must work together, leveraging our collective strengths to compete globally,” Chike-Obi asserted.
He highlighted the significance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in driving sustainable development, stating, “True economic growth will only come from integration and shared efforts.”

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