As hotel guests, travelers, wellness seekers, tourists and fun seekers, among others continue to express divergent views following the location of Ilaji Hotels & Resort – one of the world class hotels and resorts housed by Akanran in Ona-Ara Local Government Area of Oyo state, its Chief Executive Officer, Chief. Dotun Sanusi has given reasons as to why he settled for his hometown.
Sanusi, a business magnate and philanthropist revealed that his decision to build the ‘tourist court’ in Akanran was borne out of his burning passion for humanity, adding that he wanted to give back to the society where he was born and raised.
According to the billionaire mogul, “the Church contributed to raise me. I have moved around and lived in many places, sweat it out and I decided that after moving around, I want to give back to the society.
“I needed a place that has history of backwardness. You give back to where you don’t expect anything in return.
“Ona Ara Local Goverment Area has a deep history of depravity and socio-economic backwardness. Among the 33 local government areas in the state, it has the poorest infrastructural development and the lowest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“We all know the history of the Agbekoya. They were domiciled here. The local government area has a history of neglect. It is fighting against injustice which arose from unlawful taxation suffered by Cocoa farmers and which was accountable for the sufferings of the people. So, on that basis, the Agbekoya history and everything comes to play.
“I find out that here have history I was looking for .This drew me to the conclusion that I have to be here, that is the reason why Ilaji Hotels and Resort is here”, the Chief Executive Officer explained.
He continued, “Although , I am a Christian with Muslim background, I am a realist. I know that God will judge us by our passion for humanity. I want to ensure that the people around me are happy and that is what gives me joy”
Chief Sanusi, who featured on a Media Breakfast Chat organized by the Southwest Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) at the end of its two-day capacity-building workshop, held at the expansive Ilaji Hotels and Resort last Saturday; also made it clear that he has no intention of joining politics.
“I am not interested in politics. Rather, my legacy will speak for me. It is not about the huge money you accumulated and put somewhere. The essence of living is about the joy and smile you put on people’s face,” he stressed.
(C) Idowu Ayodele
Mega Icon Magazine
Event Diary: JCI trains 200 entrepreneurs, awards grants in Ibadan
It was another historic day in the city of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, yesterday as the Junior Chamber International, Ibadan (JCI) successfully organized the second edition of the Sina Adegunle Business Summit.
Mega Icon Magazine learnt that the Summit, which is poised to develop entrepreneurs is an annual event designed to honour Dr Sina Adegunle, Chairman of Princeton Group and a JCI Senator who was President of the Local Organization in 1997/98. The summit coincides with the birthday of the honouree.
The event had about 200 young entrepreneurs in attendance.
In his welcome address, the President of JCI Ibadan, Adeola Adelabu, noted that Adegunle is being honoured with the summit in recognition of his doggedness in business and his willingness to help others grow.
The Panel Session was moderated by JCI Senator Feyisayomi Oyeleke, the first female President of JCI Ibadan.
The Panelists, who discussed issues bordering on THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS included Adejoke Lasisi, Winner MSME Award of the year and multiple grant winner; Mr Jubril Aliyu, and award winning clothier; Mr Babatunde Ojobaro, Founder and Creative Director of Theatre Hub Africa; Mr Ayodeji Alayande, a fashion entrepreneur and Mrs Temi Alade-Mustapha , the convener of Money Mathematicians Network.
They shared lessons from their experiences, as well as tips and nuggets on how to navigate the world of business Ibadan, and Nigeria in general
The event also featured a Business Pitch competition by six people shortlisted from a pool of business plans earlier submitted by businesses based in Ibadan. At the end of the competition, Miss Fiyinfolu Olajolo emerged winner of the grand prize, while other finalists got cash compensations
Friends and guests of the Honouree used the occasion to fete Dr Adegunle. They appreciated him for his service to the Organization and humanity, just as they pledged their support for future editions of the Summit.
The honouree, in his remarks, thanked everyone for their presence and support. He reiterated his commitment to mentor young minds to business success.
He was presented with a portrait and a birthday cake while a saxophonist played some birthday tunes for the celebrant.
$1.5m Prize Pool: Top 10 Finalists of “Africa’s Business Heroes” Grand Finale Announced
The 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize, a flagship philanthropic program created by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), has selected the top 10 finalists, who will pitch at the competition’s grand finale in November, for a chance to win a share of a US$1.5 million prize pool.
The ten outstanding entrepreneurs – half of whom are female – have been selected from over 22,000 applications across all 54 African nations, following several rounds of rigorous evaluation. With an average age of 34 years, the top ten represent eight African countries: Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, and their businesses span key industries such as agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and financial services.
“I continue to be amazed by the passion, resilience, and vision of Africa’s entrepreneurs, and I look forward to meeting these ten extraordinary businesswomen and businessmen at the finale. I am excited to learn more about how they are driving positive change and progress across the continent,” said Jack Ma, Founder of the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Group.
The passion, excellence, and diversity of the finalists reflects the DNA of the competition. The ABH program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and allocate US$100 million, over a ten-year period, in grant funding, training, mentoring and learning initiatives, access to key networks, and to develop a vibrant entrepreneur community to support Africa’s future business leaders. This is a testament to the Jack Ma Foundation’s long-term commitment to support Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“The 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes competition has been incredible. The quality of the entrepreneurs and their ideas has been exceptional and this is a testament to the talent that exists across the continent. I am extremely excited to follow the rest of the competition and see who will come on top as the 2020 African Business Hero!” said Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, ABH semi-finale judge and Founder of soleRebels, Garden of Coffee and Tefftastic.
“It’s been fascinating to be part of this unique initiative. From the start, I was struck by the diversity of people and projects involved, with the finalists providing almost even split of talented men and women from all over Africa. This competition has shone a light on our continent, and helped to showcase African solutions to African problems. As someone who knows how challenging it is to boot-strap their own business, I was heartened to see that many of the entrants are entirely self-funded, and have shown great determination, ingenuity and spirit to get this far. All the finalists are truly deserving of the opportunity they have been given. Jack Ma represents the very best in global entrepreneurship, so I am delighted to have been involved in such a fantastic project.” commented Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, ABH semi-finale judge and Founder and Chairman of APO Group.
On November 13th and 14th, Africa’s Business Heroes will host its Grand Finale, and winners of the 2020 ABH prize will be announced on November 14th, 2020.
During the online Grand Finale pitch, the top ten Heroes will present their business ventures, as well as their vision and leadership profile, to the finale judging panel that includes: Jack Ma, Founder of the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group.
The next few weeks will be crucial for the finalists to finesse their pitches and leverage the in-depth training, learnings and insights that they have gathered along their ABH journey, culminating in the finale. All of this will be part of ABH brand-new business entertainment televised show, due to air in five episodes from November 21st to December 19th across Africa. The show will give the audience exclusive access to the real-world stories of the entrepreneurs of this edition, following them as they go head to head in the finale, and unveiling the key insights and advice shared by the finale judges, alongside the best moments and experience of the competition. By showcasing the huge talent of the contestants, ABH hopes to talk to the entrepreneurial spirit of startups and small businesses in Africa and around the world, inspiring them to pursue their aspiration and turn their ideas and solutions into concrete business ventures.
Meet the Top 10 finalists:
Abdulai A Dasana, CEO & COO, Amaati Company Limited (Ghana)
“We nourish the world” – Amaati is a social enterprise whose mission is to build sustainable communities through the use of an extinct and neglected crop called Fonio. The company is led by Abdulai A. Dasana, an agricultural technologist with a decade of experience in finance, banking and SMEs, and with a vision to revolutionize the agriculture sector to benefit the most vulnerable.
Aboubakar Karim, CEO & Founder, INVESTIV (Côte d’Ivoire)
“Technology and passion for agriculture” – INVESTIV is an Ivorian company whose mission is to help build the future of African agriculture by leveraging innovative technologies to support smallholder farmers throughout Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa. The company is led by Aboubakar Karim, a 25 years old agro-economist.
Axel Emmanuel Gbaou, CEO & Founder, Le Chocolatier Ivorien (Côte d’Ivoire)
“Cocoa revolution in progress” – Le Chocolatier Ivorien manufactures and offers Africa-made, handcrafted and quality chocolate, promoting sustainable cultivation techniques and a fairer distribution of income in the cocoa chain through a direct partnership with female growers. The founder Axel, who started his career as a banker and established the company in his mother’s kitchen, holds a degree in International Public Law, and a Master’s in Taxation.
Chebet Lesan, Founder & CEO, Bright Green R. Energy (Kenya)
“Revolutionizing Africa’s kitchens” – BrightGreen Energy produces life-saving fuel bricks that reduce the cost of cooking for underserved communities across Africa and save forests. The company is led by Chebet Lesan who has a background in Leadership from The University of Cambridge, Product Design from The University of Nairobi, Supply Chain Management from Rutgers School of Business and a Business-Design Fellowship from Massachusetts Institute of Technology D-lab.
Cyrille Nkontchou, Founder & Chairman, Enko Education (Cameroon)
“Your launchpad to the best universities” – Enko Education operates the largest single network of private schools in Africa that teaches the International Baccalaureate curriculum to democratize access to quality international education for African youth. The company was founded by Cyrille Nkontchou, an economist by training with extensive experience as a fund manager, a banker and a consultant.
Ethel Mupambwa, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Moneymart (Zimbabwe)
“Creating wealth; changing lives”- Moneymart is a Zimbawean based microfinance institution that offers tailor-made business loans to MSMEs and individuals who live off the power grid to access quality solar-lighting-kits. The company is co-led by Ethel Mupambwa, who has nine years of experience in finance and is a Level 2 Chartered Financial Analyst Candidate.
Dr. Emma Naluyima Mugerwa, Founder, MST Junior School (Uganda)
“Little seeds, big dreams” – MST Junior School is a Primary School with a unique approach and learning model. It aims to equip the pupils with unique skills to solve agriculture issues such as food insecurity, waste mismanagement and malnutrition. The school was established by Dr. Emma Naluyima, a vet, farmer and educator with a desire to train young people and change their lives through Modern and Purposeful Farming.
Joan Rukundo Nalubega, CEO & Founder, Uganics (Uganda)
“Buy a soap – save lives” – Uganics is a social business that manufactures life-saving organic anti-malaria soap to address malaria, which kills millions of people every year, and sells around the world at a high profit margin to subsidize sales to poor populations at the same price as regular soap. The company is led by Joan Rukundo Nalubega, a Malaria survivor and a social entrepreneur with a vision to fight Malaria.
Mame Diarra Bousso Gueye, CEO & Founder, Diarrablu (Senegal)
“Artisans & algorithms for a conscious lifestyle” – Diarrablu is a Senegalese fashion tech company merging African artisan traditions with technology to empower African artisans and build an ethical and sustainable fashion future centered around ancestral African craftsmanship. The company is led by Diarra Gueye who has experience in finance, mathematics, and design and recently completed her Master’s at Stanford University with a focus on creative mathematics.
Oluwasoga Oni, CEO & Co-Founder, Mdaas Global (Nigeria)
“Unlocking diagnostics for Africa’s next billion” – MDaaS Global builds and operates modern, tech-enabled diagnostic centers in clinically-underserved communities starting in Nigeria to provide a world-class patient experience at highly-affordable prices. The company is led by Oluwasoga Oni, an MIT-trained system engineer.
Naira strengthens against dollar
Barely 24 hours, the Naira was forced to a downward trajectory by dollar scarcity, it bounced back, closing at N477 to a dollar at the parallel market in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N608 and N550, respectively.
The Naira, however, weakened marginally at the investor’s window, losing one point to close at N386 to a dollar.
The volume of trade at the window shrunk by 1.83 million dollars when compared to Tuesday, to close at 18.44 million dollars
The Nigerian currency exchanged at N381 to a dollar at the official CBN window.
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