Posts Tagged ‘Africa Oxford Business’
Baafour is an Investment Manager at Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) responsible for the Ghana office and portfolio. I&P is a family of impact funds fully dedicated to SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last 15 years, I&P has invested in more than 60 SMEs located in 15 African countries across a range of sectors including microfinance, agribusiness, health, and services. In this capacity he serves as board director at a number of companies including VRS Africa, a fast-growing leasing service company with operations across 3 African countries, PEG Ghana, the leading pay-as-you-go financing company in West Africa, and Eden Tree Limited, a pioneering produce distribution agribusiness in Ghana.
He is also a member of the World Vision Ghana Advisory Council and is the Oxford Business Alumni (OBA) Ambassador for Ghana.
Baafour, a Chevening Scholar and Said Business School Bursary Fund Scholarship Award-winner, began his career at UBS Investment Bank in New York as an analyst in the Global Consumer Products & Retail group focused on M&A transactions, debt and equity financings. Before he came to Oxford, he studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy from Williams College, USA and also worked for a while as a volunteer consultant and project manager at TechnoServe Ghana, responsible for overseeing a national program focused on enterprise development for SMEs.
For Baafour, Oxford represented a compelling merger of journey and destination and this was a major factor in why he chose to attend. At the time, he was not completely certain about his career path and needed a challenging environment that would offer the intellectual and collegiate platform necessary to equip him for whatever complex decisions and issues he would face in whatever line of work he would find himself in later on. He was attracted to the enduring Oxford values of critical thinking, generosity among peers, and focus on impact.
Stefan Dercon, Sa’eed Husaini and Simukai Chigudu
Yasmin Kumi, Founder and Managing Director of Africa Foresight Group addresses the meeting
Robin Roberts in conversation with Frewyeni Kidane and other attendees
The 2017 Oxford Business Forum Africa commenced with a Gala Dinner on Friday the 9th of March in the historic Balliol College dining hall. Attendees were treated to great speeches by brilliant figures in the African business landscape such as James Mwangi [Executive Director of Dalberg] and Themba Baloyi [Founder and Executive Director of Discovery Insure].
Those who think they’re too big to do little things are often too little to do big things
This quote from James Mwangi, resonated with me as well as a good number of the people I interacted with after dinner. Mwangi is a refreshing, engaging speaker. His advice to Africans in the diaspora looking to go back home and “change” things was simple but not something that is often heard in spaces like this. Among other things, he said not to go back thinking you know it all, and have all the answers… not to go back without an attempt to understand the context or environment, or to assume everything is exactly the same as you last left it.
The main conference was held at the Nelson Mandela Lecture theatre at the Said Business School, and was very well-attended with a diverse crowd of participants and speakers from within Oxford and the UK as well as the USA, Europe and African countries.
The first keynote speaker was Sudanese-born Dr Mo Ibrahim, telecommunications magnate turned founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which focuses on strengthening governance and leadership in Africa. He spoke passionately about the thinking behind the establishment of the prize named after him, doing business in Africa and his organisation’s confident insistence on awarding excellent leaders according to their strict criteria. On the latter subject, notably, he declared that “The Mo Ibrahim Prize is an award for excellence – it is not a pension.” The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has raised eyebrows some years for declaring that no former African president was deemed worthy of the grand prize, and Dr Ibrahim’s quip was in reference to this.
Some of the other speakers were Dr Carlos Lopes [former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and currently visiting fellow at the Oxford Martin School], Ambassador Amina Mohammed [Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya] and Phuti Mahanyele [Executive Chairperson of Sigma Capital].
Yasmin founded Africa Foresight Group (AFG) in 2015 to follow her passion of fostering local economic value creation in Africa. She is a Ghanaian-German senior business consultant with extensive working experience in the consumer goods and financial services sector, the research of family business groups and agriculture in African markets. She is a Harambean (’16) and has also been appointed Executive Director of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance, the leading network for young talented entrepreneurs from Africa. AFG counters myths about doing business in Africa: that there is a talent scarcity in Africa, that reliable market data is difficult to find, and that there are no good African business models. Through its advisory practice, research desk, and think tank AFG provides access to high-quality talent, exchanges with successful business models, and connections to local industry champions. Prior to founding AFG, she worked as a senior consultant for McKinsey & Company for 5 years advising clients in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa in the consumer goods and banking industry. She also led the monitoring division of an agricultural development project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Accra that promoted the integration of the cashew nut value chain in West Africa.