Human Capital: The Key to Africa’s Transformation.
The Lagos Business School organized the African Business Conference which held on the 8th of December, themed Human Capital: The Key to Africa’s Transformation. The event was partly sponsored by the American Business Council (ABC). The objective of the conference is to discuss ways on improving the competitiveness of Africa’s Human capital resource and proffering practical solutions to health and education deficiencies In a statement by Mrs Margaret Olele, the Director-General, American Business Council (ABC), said that citizens were greatest resources of Nigeria, adding that without them, there would be no leaders.
“I am here to let you know the greatest resource of this nation. As an ambassador, I have seen firsthand the diversity of the nation as well as its potential. The most successful people you will remember think in terms of people. Their value for people is what makes them stand out, that is why I strongly believe that the greatest resource for this nation is you,” - Ambassador Symington.The ambassador said that the time was apt to scale up partnerships between U.S Companies and credible institutions like LBS, in order to improve vocational studies and requisite talents in areas that would enhance Africa’s growth. Similarly, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, the President, American Business Council, said that U.S companies operating in Nigeria were keen on training and spent over N1.6 billion on training and development in 2017 from N340 million they spent in 2016. Angbazo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE) in Nigeria, stated that a recent talent survey carried out by the company showed a clear deficit in the area of Engineering profession. According to him, the study showed about 4,600 talents were available in the Nigerian market for profession that needed over 14,000 talents. U.S Companies are focused on three key areas to drive innovation that would enhance human capital- education, localisation and digitalisation.
“Innovation is indispensable for solving Africa’s challenges. Greater technical training is required for scalable and efficient solutions for the next generation,” - Angbazo said.He called for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused education that would unlock the growth of infrastructure in Nigeria and indeed Africa. Also, Mr Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, said that human capital defines the rate of economic growth of a country via productivity and employment levels. Onyema said countries with low investment in human capital were typically less economically competitive, adding that most economies lagging behind have high rate of unemployment, especially amongst youths. Commenting, Dr Enase Okonedo, the Dean, LBS, shared how the school was striving to ensure all participants in its programmes were developed into visionary leaders. Okonedo said that Nigerians have been known to possess real potential which was visible in the citizens.
- AVPA Event - The Power of Partnerships
Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance in partnership with the American Business Council, Ford Foundation, Si2 Fund and the European Venture Philanthropy Platform held a two-day dialogue with Corporate organizations on the 6th and 7th December. The objective is to identify the roles of corporate citizens in the society and form strategic alliances to increase investments for social impact in Nigeria and across Africa.
- Digital Economy Workshop
Microsoft Nigeria in partnership with the Lagos Business School organized a Digital Economy Workshop for Nigerian Policymakers on the 4th of December at Eko Hotel. The objective of the dialogue is to help identify and prioritize issues of societal importance as technologies continue to evolve and enable further research and development of solutions as new issues emerge. Stakeholders present, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, Dr,Enase Okonedo, Dean of the Lagos Business School, Honorable Chukwuma Ujam, among others.
- NACC breakfast meeting
The Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) recently held its Breakfast Meeting on the 28th of November. Dr Lazarus Angbazo, CEO General Electric and President, American Business Council (ABC), who spoke at the November Edition of the Breakfast Meeting stated that American companies spent about N1.5 billion on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in Nigeria in 2017. Theme of the meeting was: “Beyond Business: The Social Impact of American Businesses in Nigeria.” According to him, 'the notion of social impact goes beyond philanthropy and volunteerism, saying that value chain development through SMEs is the way to lift a country economically. Asides providing direct employment in Nigeria, American Companies are actively developing SMEs to be part of the supply chain, because SMEs cannot grow without the experience, capacity and off take support of global companies. American Companies also get to spread inclusivity in the economy because local companies will hire from their local communities and they will specialise in that area; that is the way to think about long term sustainable industrialisation,” he said. Also, Brent Omdahl, the U.S Commercial Counsellor to the U.S Consulate, stated that the advice of U.S Government to potential and existing companies to Nigeria and Africa was to utilise the solution-based approach in their investment strategy. Omdahl said that investment should not be profit centered alone, but on impacting the socioeconomic landscape of the host economies through value addition, job creation, technology transfer and skills upgrade. Mr Adil Farhat, the Managing Director, Procter & Gamble, stated the company had been in Nigeria for over 25 years and working assiduously to ensure that its various brands have positive socioeconomic impact on all sectors of its operation. P&G has trained over 100 SME operators in business development, products expansion and profit enhancement strategy to boost SME development.
- Stakeholders Breakfast Meeting -Nigerian Creative Industry
The American Business Council in partnership with the BIAYA Consulting and the US Mission held a stakeholders meeting on the 6th of November at the American Guest Quarters. The objective of the convening is to present a business case for the creative industry, explore an ecosystem framework for development, and discuss opportunities for stakeholders at different points along the value chain to engage in the growth of the creative industry.
The Creative Industry is an integral part of the Commercial Investment Dialogue which is intended to deepen trade investment ties between the U.S. and Nigeria as well as designed to foster sustained engagement between governments on concrete issues of importance to the private sector.
- ABC ONBOARDS NEW MEMBERS
The Companies are American Tower Corporation, Worldwide Canine Inc., Uber Technologies, Rendeavour, Tropical General Investment, Bristol Scientific Company and Management Science for Health. The event held on the 1st of November at the Consular General's residence.
A plenary session on the creative industry at the NESG Summit. The event held on the 22nd of October at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja
- Nigerian Off-Grid Energy & Innovators Summit 2018
The U.S. African Development Foundation in partnership with Allon and Citi Bank held the Nigerian Off-Grid Energy & Innovators Summit on the 17th of October. The objective to discuss Business Development, capacity building and Strengthening US-Nigeria ties. Among other panellists include Brent Omdahl, Commercial Counsellor US Mission to Nigeria and Margaret Olele, CEO of the American Business Council
- The American Women’s Club held its Kids Carnival on the 13th of October at the American Guest Quarters. The event is partly sponsored by Kripsy Kreme.
- The American Business Council of Nigeria held a meeting on the 9th of October, 2018 with the DG of NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye at the NAFDAC Headquarters Abuja.
The objective of the meeting is to address current challenges, policies as well as partnership opportunities on improving on the Ease of Doing Business such as capacity building on IP/Counterfeit, E-Registration, Harmonization of regulatory requirements across West Africa.
- The American Business Council with its members held a dialogue with the US Ambassador Stuart W. Symington on the 20th of September to discuss the political landscape and share perspectives on the upcoming 2019 elections.
The dialogue is a first in a series of dialogues with the ABC and US companies as we get closer to the first quarter of 2019.
- Stakeholders, US Envoys Discuss Solutions Piracy In Nigeria | Channels Book Club. Watch Video HERE
The US Consular General Hosts US investors at his residence.
The US Consular General, John Bray hosts a welcome reception in honour of the U.S Trade Mission Delegation, at his residence Lagos, Nigeria. The reception held on the 15th of August, 2018.
- Networking with USA (NUSA) Appreciation Forum & International Partner Awards
The U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Mission Nigeria held its annual NUSA (Networking with the USA) Appreciation Forum and International Partner Awards Program, on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at The Civic Center, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island. The objective of the event is to honour Nigerian business people who promote U.S. products and services, and who have contributed significantly to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the U.S. Commercial Service in Nigeria. The NUSA event also featured presentation of awards (in different categories) and interactive sessions that focus on key topics, including: Bank of Industry’s Financing Tools for Nigerian SMEs (by Dr. Waheed Olagunju, Executive Director, Bank of Industry) Offshore funding for trade and investments for Nigerian SMEs. (by Robert Grant, Snr. Vice President, Project and Structured Finance, FCMB) Business Visa Presentation by US Consular section officer
- US-NIG COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT DIALOGUE
The US/Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue - a Private-Sector-to-Government Meeting, held on the 25th of September in New York City. The objective is for committees from both the Nigerian and American representatives of the five focus areas -Digital Economy, Agriculture, Investment, Infrastructure and Regulatory Reforms, identify challenges and opportunities as well as identify next steps. Among present was Deputy Assistant Sec. Skip Jones, Executive Secretary of NIPC Ms Yewande Sadiku, US Commercial Counsellor Brent Omdahl, CEO of American Business Council Ms Margaret Olele, and committee representatives.
- Sen. Bukola Saraki visits the US Chamber of Commerce
Senator Bukola Saraki visits the US Chamber of Commerce, to discuss business opportunities in Nigeria and increase private sector participation in all spheres of the Nigerian economy.
- The Regulatory Committee of the Commercial Investment Dialogue recently held its workshop on the 30th of August at the George Hotel. The objective is to discuss the regulatory challenges, identify new opportunities and provide mechanisms that will allow respective public and private sectors to work together on critical issues hindering bilateral trade and investment between the US and Nigeria. The program was well attended by domestic and multinational corporations in Nigeria across sectors.
The workshop was kindly sponsored by Kimberly Clark and Africa Capital Alliance.
- The American Business Council held its Annual General Meeting on the 19th of July, 2018 at the American Guest Quarters
- The American Business Council launched its 2018 US Economic Impact Survey on the 18th of July, 2018.
ABC partnered with Accenture, KPMG, PwC and the US Embassy, to conduct a survey and assess the overall economic impact of US companies in Nigeria.
The survey reflects the contribution of 74 US companies operating in Nigeria and their responses reinforce the role the US plays in the economic health of Nigeria in the areas of job creation, investments in training and development, tax contribution, and corporate social responsibility, among others.
The event was kindly sponsored by Dow Chemical.
- Africa Capital Alliance a member of the American Business Council held a dinner on July 6, 2018, at Eko Hotel and Suites to celebrate three of its distinguished founders – Mr Dick Kramer, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Mr Pascal Dozie. Among present were Stakeholders from the public sector, the American Business Council, Management team of KPMG, Accenture, NESG to name a few.
- The American Business Council and its partners, NESG and NACC presented a report on the 29th of June to the Minister for Industry Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu on the Ease of Doing Business. The report is an outcome of the Ease of Doing Business Workshop held on the 4th of April - an open forum with technical experts from the Manufacturing, SME, ICT, Energy, Agriculture, Real Estate, Courier and HealthCare.
- American Business Council in partnership with the US Consulate, organized a US Business Visa Program on the 29th of June at the American Guest Quarters. The objective is to update members on the US Consular Business Affairs for US Multinationals and large Nigerian Companies that qualify and also create a platform for companies to deal directly with the Consular on expedient appointments issues and other queries. Members also proffered solutions to Government stakeholders from the Nigerian Immigration Service and NIPC who were in attendance on pending issues with the Visa-on -Arrival platform.
- The United States Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. W. Stuart Symington hosts Intellectual Property Rights Stakeholders on the 23rd of May 2018, at his residence
- The US Embassy and the ABC held a roundtable discussion on IPR on the 23rd of May at the US Embassy Abuja. The objective is to have both U.S. and Nigerian stakeholders of public and private sector to discuss strategies to promote protection, strategies to facilitate the enactment of the long awaited Copyright and IPCOM bill and increasing IPR enforcement activities.
- An official launch of the just concluded ‘Tech Entrepreneurship Ecosystems research’ by OC & C consultants in partnership with Ventures Platform Foundation and sponsored by Google held on the 24th of April at Ventures Park Abuja.
The report provides an in-depth study of the key trends and challenges in Nigeria's technology entrepreneurship ecosystem, and suggests policy recommendations for addressing some of the noted issues.
- The American Business Council recently held an FMCG media parley at the American Guest Quarters, Lagos to rub minds with the media on how Nigeria can become the West African Manufacturing hub through increased collaboration between Private Sector and Government and improved regulatory environment that will further encourage investments.
The Parley session highlighted further the need to have a more laser focus on IP issues, Counterfeits and Parallel Trade which impact government tax revenues and are derailleurs to Nigeria’s growth aspiration as a West African hub.
The event was kindly sponsored by Kimberly Clark.
- The US Consul General, John F Bray hosted Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs on the 20th of April 2018, at his residence.
- The American Business Council held a Breakfast Session on the Ease of Doing Business on the 4th of April, 2018 in partnership with NESG and NACC. The key objective of the meeting is to examine the Ease of Doing Business landscape post-recession with the aim of identifying new and or emerging challenges and agreeing on modalities to address same.
Outcomes of this session with the private sector will be presented to the Minister for Investment Trade and Investment as well as the Vice President as additional input into ongoing work by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
- The US Consulate held a welcome reception for 5 new American Business Council members on the 15th of March, 2018 at the US Consul’s residence.
- The American Business Council of Nigeria held the inaugural Breakfast meeting on the 28th of February, 2018 with the DG of NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye as the guest speaker. The event coincided with her 90 days in office as the CEO of Nigeria’s Food and Drug Agency.
The Council organized the Breakfast session to create a platform for private sector engagement with the DG of NAFDAC in line with the key imperatives to drive regulatory reforms and explore ways that regulatory agencies like NAFDAC can improve the ease of doing business for member companies in FMCG and Pharma.
The American Business Council will facilitate working groups that will work alongside NAFDAC to improve the ease of doing business for the manufacturing sector as the key outcome of the event.
- ABC Breakfast Session on the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative with the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Economic Transaction Matters, Mr Fola Oyeyinka as Speaker on December 15, 2017. The Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative(PEDI) designed by the President’ s Policy Delivery Unit in the Office of the Chief of Staff to engage State Governments and private sector investors develop transformative projects and revive moribund / abandoned economic assets across the country.
- Roundtable discussion with the Deputy Assistant Secretary at U.S. Department of Commerce held at General Electric's office at the Church Gate Plaza in Abuja
- The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (MITI), in partnership with the US Department of Commerce organized the “US-Nigeria Business Dinner” at Transcorp Hilton Hotel on Monday 20 November 2017. The event was hosted by Nigeria’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah with member-companies of ABC in attendance.
- GE Vice chairman stresses the need for speed less bureaucracy and cavity building to drive localization at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit.
- Meeting with Congressional Delegation from the United States of America led by Senator Christopher Coons on Wednesday, 30 August at the American Guest Quarters , 16 Oyinkan Abayomi Drive , Ikoyi.
- Breakfast Meeting on Economic Recovery & Growth Plan and the 2017 Federal Government Budget with Hon Minister of Budget & Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma as Guest Speaker on Friday, July 28, 2017.
- The second meeting with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria took place on Thursday, 6 July, 2016, in his conference room in Abuja .The ABC position paper on The Case for a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime in Nigeria prepared by the Ad-hoc Committee set up for the purpose was also forwarded to the Governor in advance.
- A High Level Delegation from the US Chamber of Commerce consisting of Scott Eisner, President of the US-Africa Business Center & Vice President for African Affairs, US Chamber of Commerce, and Leila Ndiaye, Senior Director Policy, Africa/International Division, USC held a meeting with member-companies of ABC on 28 June 2017.
- ABC Breakfast Sessionon “Progress on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria" with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah as Guest Speaker on May 26, 2017. The event was kindly sponsored by GE Nigeria.
- ABC Panel Discussion on New Foreign Exchange Regime and Impact on Business In Nigeria on Thursday, July 14,2016. Panelists were, Aderonke Adetoro ,Citibank Nigeria Ltd, Thiery Mbimi, KPMG, Darrell McGraw, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Toyin Osungbesan , Accenture. It was chaired by Adeola Adetunji, Managing Director ,Coca-Cola Nig. Ltd.
- ABC Breakfast session on “Gas to Power Pipeline prospects” with Mrs Laila Ndiaye, Director, Policy, International Division, US Chamber of Commerce as Guest Speaker on June 7, 2016.
- ABC Breakfast Session on “Industry and Trade Agenda of the Nigerian Government" with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah as Guest Speaker on May 6, 2016. The event was kindly sponsored by Procter and Gamble Nig. Ltd.
- ABC Breakfast Session on “Prospects For the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2016/2017” with Mr Ade Bajomo , Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, NSE, as Guest Speaker on April 27, 2016. The event was kindly sponsored by PriceWaterHouseCoopers.
- ABC Roundtable with U.S.Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, and Members of the President’s Adisory Council on Doing Business in Africa(PAC-DBIA) on January 25, 2016 at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island
RECENT PROJECT REPORT
Report of Review of Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in Information Communication Technology recently issued by Ministry of Communication Technology.
ABC coordinated series of meetings of US ICT companies to review the Guidelines, the outcome of which will be presented to the Minister of Communication Technology.
ONGOING PILOT PROJECTS
The rationale here is to identify very broad issues which have fundamental impact on Nigeria's long-term development . To this end , ABC will focus on the following pilot projects :
- Infrastructure-Power , Transportation, Seaports, Roads and Railways.
- Institution Building- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) .
- Education-Technical schools.