Africa In Focus

Africa In Focus: "The mainstream thinking now is that Africa is different and we could get it right if we want. The choice is fully ours, and it is now time for us to define what we want."

African Development Bank (AFDB) President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Top African Business Leaders To Discuss Corporate Trends And Development At Geneva Forum


More than 400 CEOs from across the African continent, including 100 bankers and financiers,as well as 200 prominent African and international figures are slated to meet at the second Africa CEO Forum, in Geneva, Switzerland to brainstorm on corporate growth strategies for African businesses.

The Africa CEO Forum, the first international conference for leaders of top African companies,  promotes the success of the African private sector while providing a platform for public-private dialogue and high-level strategic solutions to support the development of company and its African markets.

The first African CEO forum, which took place in 2012, had more than 600 high-ranking African and international participants from the private and financial sectors, including 330 business executives from 33 African countries.

The second edition of the forum, organised by the Groupe Jeune Afrique, in partnership with the African Development Bank and Rainbow Unlimited will take place between 17 and 19 March 2014.

Specialists in banking, capital investment and financial markets and representatives of international financial institutions will be attending the forum to keep abreast of the trends and developments specific to Africa’s private sector.

Competitiveness, growth, investment, as well as strategy, leadership and image are some of the major themes to be discussed at the Africa CEO Forum 2014 programme, offering delegates the opportunity to share their assessments and solutions.

Other issues to be tackled at the forum include seeking answers to “What should be the preferred financial strategy? “What must entrepreneurs do to access innovative forms of financing?” and “How can business (es) gain the confidence of international investors?”

Participants will also have the opportunity to shape their strategy in line with Africa’s dynamic growth, which will in turn enhance their company’s competitiveness while developing their business in an unparalleled African and international context.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Education: Ghana To Benefit From Global Finance School Program

 Profile picture for Global Finance School

Ghana is to become a beneficiary of a financial training initiative offered by the Global Finance School, a pioneer in financial and managerial e-learning, based in the USA.

The organization has announced that it is now ready to offer the people of Ghana a new, free way to invest in their future by giving them free access to its online financial library which has the bestselling e-books incorporating 30 years of publishing experience.

These free e-books cover an extensive variety on the subject including titles for beginners such as: Accounting, Stock market, Finance, Economics, and Statistics among others. Any reader may attempt to take the online exams after reading the books.

Some top 500 Ghanaian students will be awarded $500 worth online MBA prep by Global Finance School, and a better chance of a successful Academic future.

As Solomon Simanovsky, founder of GFS, explains “10s of thousands of students from more than 65 countries are already learning through GFS. All topics are taught in simple and easy to understand terms, accompanied by illustrations, animations, and quizzes.” The advanced software of GFS helps students keep track of their progress and grades.

Any question students have about the content, can be addressed online using support tickets or by a private tutor in online chat, for a minimum price. In addition, there is a new forum where students can communicate and help one another, guided by the GFS experts.

Mr. Simanovsky adds “We established Global Finance School with one principal goal: to provide straightforward, inexpensive financial education to anyone, anywhere, whenever.” Additional information and free access to Global Finance School's online library is available at

All interested students and participants are to follow these simple easy steps:

Step 1: Read the free e-books online at

Step 2: Take the online exams

Step 3: Win a $500 worth MBA Prep Courses Pack

About Global Finance School

Global Finance School (GFS), founded in 2008, is an international company that provides online courses on finance, investment, and management. The mission of GFS is to provide straightforward, inexpensive financial education to anyone, anywhere, whenever.

Global Finance School (GFS) is an international company providing interactive courses on finance, management and investment addressed to everybody, even people who have no relative background.

It serves as an enormous source of knowledge deriving from 30 years of experience in publishing educational literature in finance which are now available online.

Motivated readers can attempt an online exam and win a $500 worth MBA prep courses pack.

Nigeria Banks Focus More on SMEs Development In 2014


As the world continue to focus and invest on the viability of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), financial institutions in Nigeria are also contributing their quota to ensuring that the SME sector of the economy remains a catalyst for national real economic development.

Financial institutions in Nigeria are supporting government initiatives in ensuring a conducive and better environment for Small business owners in the country. Some of this support comes through loan, sponsorship, mentorship and banking business solutions that will help their businesses grow.

In this year alone, banks like Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Sterling bank and Access Bank unveiled SME-productive initiatives – signaling a major investment in ensuring the growth of SME in the country.

For instance, Sterling Bank Plc recently revealed plans to invest in new business initiatives through a project called “Meet the Executive” in order to nuture them to become viable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In doing this, the bank has organized a team of seasoned consultants to carefully scrutinize proposals received from members of the public.

The ‘Meet the Executive’ project is a project designed to support new and aspiring entrepreneurs; in line with the bank’s purpose of enriching lives and also positioning as a prime supporter of small and medium sized businesses in the country.

The project has already attracted over 1,000 business plans from Small Business Owners (SBOs) aspiring to become big entrepreneurs out of which 50 best entries were selected based on originality of the plans, their viability and provision of detailed information such as the required capital, cash flow and revenue projections.

Owners of the 50 proposed business plans selected will be engaged in a training programme in Enterprise Development programming Centre organised by the bank to further enrich their knowledge in the management of small businesses and writing of business plans. Upon completion of the training, participants would be required to fine-tune their business plans, present them to the bank and then the best 20 plans would be selected for formal presentation by their owners to the executive management of the bank.

While noting that national economic development prospects in any country was hinged on the entrepreneurial energy of vibrant SMEs as most big business concerns once grew from small scale, Sterling Bank’s  Group Head, Strategy & Communications, Shina Atilola, said: “Many economies- developed and developing ones have come to realize the value of small businesses. They are seen to be characterized by dynamism, witty innovations and efficiency as their small size allows faster decision-making process.

“Small businesses are believed to be the engine room for the development of any economy because they form the bulk of business activities in a growing economy like Nigeria,” he added.

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) has also vowed to pay more attention to SMEs this year (2014).  The bank is doing this by setting up a website that will help SMEs owners sell their goods all over the country and abroad.

GTB General Manager, Communication and External Relations Lola Adedina, said the bank is trying to explore areas that will add value to the SMEs.

“We have 160 million Nigerians, of whom over 50 million are using the internet today and so GTB created a platform that enables our customers who have businesses to open their shop on our platform so that they can trade with anybody anywhere in the world.”

According to her, past and present governments have channelled a lot of effort towards SMEs but nothing has really happened as majority of the SMEs that have benefitted from government loans still come back to bank to ask them for loans.

A latest report released by the Nigeria's Bank of Industry (BOI) confirmed this stating that a total of N870.44b was disbursed across the various sectors of the country’s economy within the last two years. While the agro-business benefitted N53.3b, other sectors including the entertainment industry,  gulped N337.60, Aviation (181bn), Textile (50.39bn), Rice(N2.8bn), NAC fund(N9.74bn) Cement(N0.719bn) and Restructuring and Refi nancing Fund (N229.18bn).

Another bank paving way of recent in facilitating the growth of SMEs is the Access Bank Nigeria PLC who over the weekend launched a number of capacity development initiatives for contractors through innovative partnering that will help enhance their operational efficiency.

According to the bank’s Executive Director, Business Banking Division, Mrs. Titi Osuntoki, the move was designed to assist the bank validate the appropriateness of solutions recommended for the business owners with a view to enhancing the bank’s services.

Aside this, the bank has also offer support in strategic business support initiatives like capacity development to networking hub through a specialized SME desk saddled with the responsibility of providing on field business support and financial advice.

Some of the business solutions introduced include MPower Salary Account, Working Capital Finance, Payroll Management, loans and advances and financial support through asset acquisition among others.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Satya Nadella Becomes Microsoft New CEO

 Satya nadella
Microsoft Corp. has announced the appointment of Satya Nadell, a 22 year old Microsoft veteran as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors .

Nadella, who was appointed the company’s CEO by its Board of Directors previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. 

Bill Gates, who was the former CEO of Microsoft before the appointment of Nadella; steps up to new role as Technology Advisor while John Thompson assumes role as Chairman of Board of Directors.

Gates will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. 

Speaking on Nadella’s appointment, Bill Gates – Microsoft’s Founder and Member of the Board of Directors said “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella.”  

“Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth,” he added. 

Since joining the company in 1992, Nadella has spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across the company’s portfolio of products and services, most notably the company’s move to the cloud and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox, Office and other services. During his tenure overseeing Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, the division outperformed the market and took share from competitors.  

“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to lead the company,” Nadella said.

He added that “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.” 

“Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft,” said Steve Ballmer, who announced on Aug. 23, 2013 that he would retire once a successor was named.

“I’ve had the distinct privilege of working with the most talented employees and senior leadership team in the industry, and I know their passion and hunger for greatness will only grow stronger under Satya’s leadership.” 

“Satya is clearly the best person to lead Microsoft, and he has the unanimous support of our Board,” Thompson said. “The Board took the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expected and deserved.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.