AFRICA: Rethinking growth, localizing opportunity.


At the turn of the century, the African Continent gained a renewed global attention with an unprecedented youth bulge and the perceived rise of its middle class. These two elements were captured in various narratives as the bastion of hope for an otherwise ‘dark continent’. In the decade before this time, six of the ten fastest growing global economies were African dwarfing East Asian giants including Japan. Although a boom in commodities spurred these developments, yet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted a sustained growth of similar rates across the continent and China. An endorsement greeted with great enthusiasm, failure to improve weak fiscal policies and continued faulty economic decisions.

Africa Rising: A flawed narrative

The narrative emphasized a synchronized growth of major economies across the continent, but failed to consider the driving forces that escalated the economies of Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Angola for a considerable period until July 2016. Nigeria slid into full-blown recession; South Africa and Angola had stagnated, leaving Kenya as the only regional economy, which remained unscathed with a GDP growth of 6%. The intricacies of this development manifest the flaws in the Africa Rising narrative. There was never necessarily a synchronized growth of regional economies on the continent; rather a spurt fueled by factors that were as diverse as the continent itself. First, the growth witnessed in Nigeria and Angola was largely due to demand for natural resources, especially crude. The collapse of prices in the global oil market inevitably resulted in a sharp decline in growth in the succeeding period. Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda, have experienced economic growth, and it is no surprise that they are not commodity-based economies.

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Growth and Localization of Opportunity

For Africa to rethink its growth trajectory and envisage more realistic future outcomes, GDP-fuelled growth must be replaced with sustainable economies. Instead, the continent needs to adopt a dashboard of indicators that deliver a more inclusive and proactive analysis of true economic performance that calculate consequences of all economic activities such as natural capital assets (especially with the massive investments in Agriculture), but are not being reflected in the current market prices. A sustainable economy focuses on the current and future well being of its citizens as well as the environment. In addition, it assures its citizens equality, freedom and healthy standards of living. Also, a keen consideration to adjust national accounting systems with current and future well- being indicators that report on wealth distribution, human health, education level, quality of governance, job security and the level of political participation.

Despite higher incomes from economic growth, the well being of millions of Africans is still below the globally acceptable, basic standard of living and the environment remains threatened by unchecked human activities. These imply that economic growth alone is inadequate for a justifiable development trajectory of any continent because the economic, social and environmental aspects of human existence are interconnected. Therefore, considering only growth in GDP as a measure for Africa’s emergence as a global force to reckon with is largely misplaced. Consequently, massive growth as encouraged by GDP would be responsible for many future challenges if a short-term increase in revenue is at the expense of long-term well being of the society and environment.

Dr Martin Davies

Dr Martyn Davies

Dr Martyn Davies is the Managing Director of Emerging Markets & Africa at Deloitte Africa. He also leads the Africa firm’s China and Japan Services Group. Over his career, he has been an advisor to a large array of multinational firms on their market entry & engagement strategies in Africa. He has also conducted a large amount of advisory work on behalf of the public sector. He has previously been ranked the # 1 analyst in South Africa in the “Other African Economies & Markets” category as awarded by the Financial Mail in its Annual Analysts of the Year awards. He is a Senior Fellow at the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth – a group comprising leading international economists which works on subjects relating to macro-economy and inclusive growth. He is also a member of MasterCard’s MENA & Africa Knowledge Fora providing strategic advice to the management of MasterCard in the Middle East & African regions. Martyn was selected in 2010 as a Young Global Leader, an honour bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognise the most distinguished young leaders nominated below the age of 40 from around the world and has served in various advisory capacities at the WEF. Martyn completed his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand at the age of 25, has studied at Yonsei University (Seoul) and has completed executive programs at Harvard Business School, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Yale University and Said Business School at Oxford University.

He has previously been on the faculty at Stellenbosch University and the University of Pretoria, as well as at the business schools of both universities. He is a Visiting Professor at IE Business School, Madrid, Spain.

Dr Doyin Salami - The Nerve Africa Conference

Dr Doyin Salami

Dr. Doyin Salami is a full time member of the faculty at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University where he is an Associate Professor. In addition to teaching, he works as a Principal Consultant in Edward Kingston Associates. His consulting activities have included assignments for the Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Salami is a past member of the Federal Government's Economic Management Team. He serves as a Member of the Advisory Board of CBO Investment Management. Dr. Salami is an accomplished economist and has a doctorate degree from Queen Mary College, University of London.

George Nassar P&G

George Nassar

Mr Nassar is a Vice President / Managing Director at Procter & Gamble and is responsible for leading the company’s operations in Nigeria, a position he assumed on July, 2013. In this role, he is responsible for developing and achieving the Company’s overall vision, strategy, financial objectives and investment priorities.

Mr. Nasser brings with him, a wealth of senior management and leadership experience, having served for over 27 years in the FMCG industry. He also has in-depth experience in marketing, sales and business development.

Prior to this current role, George Nassar was the P&G General Manager for Ukraine. Other leadership roles he has held within the company since he joined in 1989 include Country Manager for North Africa & Levant, Country Manager Saudi & Yemen, to mention a few. He has worked in other countries including Dubai, Moscow, Egypt and Switzerland.

Adriana Marais

Adriana Marais

Dave Uduanu

Dave Uduanu

Dave is the Managing Director of Sigma Pensions. He was previously the Managing Director of Pensions Alliance Limited, a Pension Fund Manager in Lagos. He is the Chairman of African Pensions Fund Network. He also served as the Chairman of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), the umbrella body of all Pension Fund Operators in Nigeria responsible for Pension assets of over $25billion. He also worked with Ernst and Young in Lagos; was a Partner in a Lagos based Consulting firm and subsequently became an Executive Director at African Alliance Insurance Company Limited.

Dave holds an honors degree in Civil Engineering from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He also holds a Certificate in Institutional Private Equity Investing jointly awarded by the EVCA and the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. He is a Chartered Accountant and a CFA Charter holder.

Nere Teriba

Nere Teriba

Nere Teriba is the Managing Director of Kian Smith Trade Co. Kian Smith Trade Co is involved in Mining, Consulting, Mineral Concession Management & Minerals Trading in Nigeria. Its mining portfolio is mostly on Gold Exploration, Exploitation and Processing with several Mineral Licenses in Osun, Kano, Niger and a Copper Exploration License in Plateau. It consults for the Ministry Mines and Steel Development, Kaduna & Kwara States Solid Minerals Development Projects. The company is also involved in artisanal mining solutions and services.
As an Entrepreneur, Mediator & Strategist, she has worked for sustainable community solutions in several countries. She holds a BSE and MSE from Carnegie-Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Jonas Schwarz Lausten

Jonas Schwarz Lausten

With extensive experience, Jonas Schwarz Lausten is one of Nigeria's leading hotel entrepreneurs. He is co-owner of Nordic Hotels in Nigeria. The hotels are multiple award winners for their service and hospitality. Jonas Schwarz Lausten has created the #nordicfeeling whereby the hotels are more than just fancy Scandinavian styled boutique hotels. He creates experiences for his guests that include design, art, music, wine, talks etc. for his guests, plus a (almost) dream-guaranteed bed.

Together with an amazing team, Jonas is disrupting the hotel industry in Nigeria.

Michael Chudi Ejekam

Michael Chu'di Ejekam

Michael is an outstanding finance executive with a vast experience in rolling out supermarket chains in Nigeria. A Honour’s graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, he bagged a BSc. in Economics with concentration on Finance. Michael plated a leafing role in West Africa’s “retail revolution”, as a widely quoted thought leader on retail having led Actis’ government retail strategy and relationships for many years. In this role, he served as Director/Head of Real Estate for West Africa for 7 years leading a $7.5bn private equity firm and the most active retail developer in Sub Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). Consequently, over $700+m was originated in retail projects such as the $100m Ikeja City Mall Lagos, $130m Jabi Lake Mall Abuja and Accra Mall.

Michael started out garnering experience as a Wall Street investment banker at Merrill lynch in New York participating in $3bn of acquisition/LBO financings, IPO, leverage loans. He also has prior experience with a US real estate investment and development firm with interests in $2bn of real estate assets where he originated a $450m sellout condo/hotel in New York and led a bid for the $750m mall asset.

Other projects include: The Heritage Place and One Airport Square, pioneering green certified office buildings on the continent. Michael also originated three (3) upcoming Nigeria malls ranging from $150-185m which won the team an ‘Actis Partner Award’ – the highest award for deal excellence.

Michael has a proven track record of full cycle retail investment and development: site origination, equity investment, planning approvals, development management, tenant leasing, asset management and exit of the largest retail malls in Nigeria, Ghana, and broader West Africa.

He bagged the Howard E. Mitchell Award Recipient for outstanding achievement and serves on the Board of Gruppo Investment (Ikeja City Mall owner) and Afrinvest Securities.


Sam Hart

Sam Hart is a Lawyer with specialisation in Environmental Law.

He is also a trained Marketer and Communicator.

He has had extensive experience in the public sector at Federal and State levels working in the past 14 years as aide to 3 successive Governors of Abia State serving at different times as Speechwriter, Chief Press Secretary and Director of Protocol.

He also served for 3 years as the Group Editor of a Magazine with headquarters in London with focus on outstanding African leaders; A position that afforded him the opportunity to interview several African Presidents and leaders in business, development work and the academia.

He is currently the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Abia State on Public Communications/Speechwriter. In his current role, he picked up the desire of his Principal to promote advocacy for locally made goods and drove the conversation for #MadeInAba. The project has led to N2B in direct orders coming into Aba, Abia State and the embrace of the conversation by the Federal Government of Nigeria which has through policies and visits, recognised Aba at the highest level as a critical component in the strengthening of Nigeria's economy.

Sam is a regular speaker at local and international development conferences and consults for government, private and donor organizations in diverse fields.

Fola Fagbule AFC

Fola Fagbule

Fola Fagbule is an investment professional focused on infrastructure in Africa.

He currently serves as Head of Financial Advisory with overall responsibility for mergers, acquisitions, capital raising and other technical advisory assignments at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), focusing on large infrastructure projects and investments across the continent. AFC is a c.US$4.0bn infrastructure financier working across nearly 30 countries in Africa. Fola has worked at AFC in various roles for nearly a decade, and is currently focused mainly on leading the delivery of advice to key clients including governments, private funds, large corporates, private developers, state-owned entities and central banks. Prior to AFC, Fola worked as an investment banker at Afrinvest, a London and Lagos based securities firm. At Afrinvest he focused originally on mergers, acquisitions and capital raising; then subsequently led the investment research department.

Fola received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Lagos Business School, and prior to that a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Lagos.

Onyeka Akumah, FarmCrowdy

Onyeka Akumah

Onyeka Akumah is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Farmcrowdy - a start-up he founded in September 2016 and is currently referred to as Nigeria’s First Digital Agriculture platform. Impacting on the lives of over 1,500 small-scale farmers already over the last 10 months, Farmcrowdy has created and is leading a new category of online platforms that is focused on increasing food production, impacting on 50,000 small scale farmers in Nigeria in the next 5 years and engaging 2 million Nigerian youths to participate in Agriculture.

Prior to Farmcrowdy, Onyeka was Chief Commercial Officer of Travelbeta.com – one of Nigeria’s leading online travel agencies with over 300,000 hotels and flights to over 900 destinations worldwide. He was also the founder of a leading digital management business called ANOZIM Group with three subsidiaries focused on Internet Marketing, Online Publishing and Digital Media Sales clients including GTBank, Cheki.com.ng, TOTAL and The Guardian Newspaper.

Onyeka Akumah has been referred to as one of the most creative internet and online marketing entrepreneurs focused on building household names out of internet businesses in Nigeria. Prior to his role at Travelbeta.com, he has been involved in Konga.com as former Vice President of Marketing, Jumia.com as former Director of Marketing, Wakanow.com as the Online Marketing Manager, E-Marketing Coordinator for Deloitte in West, East and Central Africa and Webmaster for British Council in Nigeria.

In addition to being the CEO of Farmcrowdy, he currently seats on the Board of leading tech start-ups in New York and Lagos.

Onyeka graduated top of his class with a First Class/Distinction from the Sikkim Manipal University, India where he obtained his first degree in Applied Information Technology. He has been nominated for several awards including Digital Marketing Personality of the Year 2015 award from the Nigerian Technology Awards and received many awards for his efforts in his area while running an MBA program with specialism in Marketing at the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland.

Labi Williams,Head, Leveraged Finance at Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria

Labi Williams

Victor Ndakuaba, Deputy Managing, Afrinvest West Africa

Victor Ndakuaba

Victor Ndakuaba supports the Group’s strategy and business development in his current capacity as the deputy managing director of Afrinvest West Africa, and provides senior oversight on the Group’s Information Technology (IT), as well as the Finance, Risk and Control functions.

In addition, he continues to play a leading role in origination and execution of investment banking transactions, drawing on his experience in Corporate Project Finance Advisory, as well as Capital Raising.

He began his career with the Corporate Finance Business Unit at the Lagos office of PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2005, where he advised a variety of clients across several sectors, including: financial services, telecoms, FMCG (food & beverage), hospitality and real estate. He was also directly involved in early stage transaction support services including financial & accounting due diligence, as well as carrying out financial feasibility studies and business plan preparation.

He subsequently moved to Afrinvest where he joined the Financial Advisory practice in the Investment Banking Division in 2008. He served as the head of Afrinvest Investment Research between 2009 and 2011, and led the asset management division as the pioneer Managing Director, following its spin off as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Victor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the University of Lagos and holds an MBA (Executive) from IE Business school, Madrid, Spain (2016).


Fees: 65,000.00.

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Venue Details

Conference Venue

November 3, 2017
Intercontinental Hotel, Plot 52, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
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