Mezie Avu! Elevating Higher Education Even Higher

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The following post is from my e-book, The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa.


Investment: Education in Jomeka Commercial Academy, AVU, Owerri – Elevating Higher Education


Chief Dan Obiyo was an early investor in Jomeka Commercial Academy.  Chief Obiyo is also the CEO of AVSECO NIGERIA LIMITED. AVSECO’s mission is to eliminate all security challenges through an aggressive training development of hands and minds in the aviation workplace. Recent civil aviation experiences pose the rhetorical question of which way forward for emerging economies.  Government efforts cry out to be complemented through supportive private expertise… now provided by AVSECO.


Avu town is located about four miles west of Owerri municipality in Imo state, Nigeria. Avu Community Secondary school, the town’s only secondary education facility was not easily affordable to most parents. The subsistence farming community was poor, requiring a more affordable alternative for the teeming applicants in Avu and environs. Professor J.O.C. Obiyo took on this challenge head-on upon his retirement after a successful career in Abuja. Jomeka Commercial Academy was established to provide primary school rejects as well as secondary school dropouts with placements in a vocational school to realize their dreams: Students whose guardians could not cope with the exorbitant fees at the public school, students who do not have the aptitude for formal education, and indigent students became the target demographic for Prof Obiyo’s vision.

For everyone everywhere, literacy is…a basic human right. 
– Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

Mean Years of Schooling


Away from downtown Avu but within easy reach of the cluster of houses bordering the village to the north, Prof. Obiyo secured an ideal location for the academy. Registration formalities with the Ministry of Education, construction of temporary structures at site of classrooms, and basic facilities to kick start the project were primarily …keep reading…

Digitizing Public Relations in Kenya

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The following post is from my e-book, The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a selfie with a baby elephant while touring the Sheldrick Center Elephant Orphanage at the Nairobi National Park, Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. REUTERS/Andrew Harnik/Pool

Investment: Digital Public Relations in Kenya

Peter Nalika leads the Digital PR department at Tellem Public Relations East Africa, a digital public relations company established to help organizations communicate better on online platforms.” He was previously a Technical writer at CIO East Africa, where he reported on ICT innovations, policy development, and product reviews. During his time at CIO East Africa, he interviewed several global technology leaders including Oracle’s Mark Hurd, IBM’s Dr. Mark Dean, Microsoft’s Jean-Philippe Courtois among others.


In the 18th century, spice trading was the main economic activity around East Africa. This was before the Agrarian revolution swept through the world in the 19th century, followed by the industrial revolution in the 20th Century.

The 21st century is experiencing what is now being referred to as …keep reading…

Eyano! Protecting Food Security while Promoting Food Production

<<< Previous Chapter: The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa (Introduction) 
The following post is from my e-book, The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa.

A woman works in a community agriculture project outside Kamina, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sponsored by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the project increases food security in poor communities, especially for women and children.

Investment: Protecting Food Security while Promoting Food Production

Interview with David M. Bamlango
David M. Bamlango is a Partner at DLA Piper LLP (US) based in Chicago.  He is a member of the firm’s Corporate and Finance group.  He focuses his practice on leveraged finance, debt capital markets, and structured finance transactions.

In his leveraged finance practice, Mr. Bamlango represents agents, lenders, and borrowers in domestic and cross-border secured and unsecured lending transactions, debt restructuring, and workouts.  Mr. Bamlango’s leveraged finance practice includes extensive representation of banks, finance companies, REITs, and private equity funds in M&A financing transactions, including senior secured debt financing and mezzanine debt financing, and in subscription credit (capital call) financing.  His debt capital markets and structured finance practices involve the representation of issuers, sponsors, underwriters and asset managers in project bonds, securitization and other private placement transactions.  Mr. Bamlango’s cross-border practice concentrates on emerging markets, and he has covered transactions in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Previously, Mr. Bamlango worked as an associate in DLA Piper’s and Mayer Brown’s Finance Groups in Chicago and as an equity analyst for an investment management firm also in Chicago.  He is fluent in English, French, Swahili, and Lingala.


Food Security


In many parts of Africa, there is not enough food for the local communities but there is plenty of arable land.  Given this availability of land, foreign investment in African agriculture has tended to focus on large-scale production of cocoa, tea, palm oil, and other products generally directed at western consumption.  This kind of investment while beneficial in bringing in capital and advancing exports, does not fully address critical issues related to food security.  For example, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), there is a notable demand for beans and rice in the local communities but not enough local supply to meet the demand.


Mr. Bamlango: My plan is to support the production and distribution of food directly for local consumption.  My company has put this plan into action in the eastern region of DR Congo across three initiatives: …keep reading…

Abeg Tell the Positive Stories of Nigeria Oh! – The 234 Project

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The following post is from my e-book, The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa.

Co-Founders The 234 Project
Akin Akinboro (left) and Mobolaji Sokunbi (right) are the Co-Founders of The 234 Project

Mobolaji is a results-driven Marketing Executive and Entrepreneur.  In his capacity as a marketing manager, he’s established a track record of successfully recruiting and training top sales teams, managing a $150M+ sales campaign P&L, and driving innovative strategies across multiple business units.  He has a remarkable gift for identifying and evaluating intricate challenges in an organization and successfully communicating solutions and recommendations to senior leadership.  His experience spans across notable companies including Dell, Procter & Gamble, and The Southwestern Company.  In his capacity as an entrepreneur, Mobolaji consistently makes things happen from a business development standpoint including as the co-founder of The 234 Project.  He is passionate about sharing the untold stories of Nigeria’s greatness and publicizing the achievements of Nigerians around the world.
Akin exhibits a masterful set of skills in his work as an Enterprise Systems Engineer and Entrepreneur.  Pertinent to his work as a systems engineer, Akin enjoys bridging the gap between IT experts and non-experts alike.  Throughout the course of his career, he has established a solid foundation in product & solution development; and he is very experienced in leading efforts related to solution design, infrastructure architecture & implementation, test & testing frameworks, and project management.  This experience has allowed him to excel in a variety of engineering roles with major technology companies such as Oracle and Dell.  In his entrepreneurial endeavors, Akin is involved in a number of successful ventures including co-founding The 234 Project.  He believes that the future for Nigeria is bright and thus essential to the world.  Akin is passionate about impacting lives positively and encouraging others to find sustainable solutions to everyday challenges.

Investment: Online Platform to Tell the Positive Stories of Nigeria | The 234 Project

There are many fascinating things about investing in Africa, especially investing in projects that empower young minds.  To that end, Mobolaji and Akin sought to develop a deeper understanding of the growing interest in startups and self-employment among young Africans, particularly young Nigerians.  This perceived interest seemed to be buoyed by a number of factors like high levels of youth unemployment, lack of opportunities at more established companies in Nigeria, and the foreign investment shift from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) to MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey) countries with Nigerian startups at the beneficiary forefront of this shift.

Upon closer examination, Mobolaji and Akin discovered that young Nigerians were not only motivated by economic factors, they were also motivated by the opportunity to live out their own definition of success; and so, working with a startup or being self-employed in Nigeria offered them the best chance to stay close to home and stay even closer to self-actualization.


Historically, many young Nigerians yearned to leave Nigeria for greener pastures in North America or Europe (see Forbes article on Brain Drain).  They tended to identify with a skewed version of professional success in life i.e. the “non-African” version.  Nowadays, with the widespread use of the internet and mobile phones, more young people in Nigeria opt for a career path which allows them to think global but act local.

In his interview, Mobolaji expressed that …keep reading…

Banking of the People, By the People, and For the People in Nigeria


<<< Previous Chapter: The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa (Introduction) 
The following post is from my e-book, The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa.

Amara Udokporo, MHA and Kenny Udokporo, MCE, MCO
Amara and Kenny are investors in Net Gold Business Consulting.


Investment: Banking of the People, By the People, and For the People in Nigeria
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) spends approximately 34 billion Naira (N34bn) a year to print new paper money due to currency mutilation.  To address this critical issue of “cash waste” in Nigeria, CBN introduced the “cashless” initiative as part of an overall policy framework in 2011.  The framework identified a number of cashless methods (including checks, ATM cards, online banking, and POS terminal); but the most promising …keep reading…

The Most Interesting Thing About Investing in Africa

Ozii Obiyo and Chuki Obiyo


What is the most interesting thing that you have done, seen, or heard about investing in Africa? Think about it. Better yet, this e-book gives unique insight into how others have thought about it. From executives at some of the largest companies in the world to young professionals just starting out in their new careers, the topic of investing in Africa makes for a good debate and an even better conversation.

In the course of human history, Africa has evolved from the cradle of civilization to the last frontier of the global economy. Ah…Ah…Africa, the protagonist of the first and next chapter in the story of human success? To read about Africa is to …keep reading…

Client Project: Using LinkedIn to Help Growth Companies Grow Faster

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the ways companies hire, market, and sell.

  • The vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph.
  • LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Professionals sign up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.

To bring the LinkedIn vision to life for my corporate clients, I partner with them to activate targeted LinkedIn solutions that help them to:

  • Focus on the right prospective customers.
  • Stay informed with action-packed insights.
  • Build trusted and value-based relationships.



Client Project: Lead African Strategic Solutions


Hethrone offers a variety of services to meet the needs of our clients.  Hethrone has the expertise to provide tailored consultations, operational support and strategic insight to address your needs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Website

  • Industry: Management Consulting

  • Type: Privately Held

  • Company Size: 2-10 employees

  • Founded: 2015

26 Things We Learned about Africa in 2015


26 Things We Learned about Africa in 2015

There was a lot of the familiar and a few of the new in Africa in 2015: 

1. Some 89.3% of Gabonese have access to electricity. This is the highest in mainland sub-Saharan Africa, second to only Mauritius and Seychelles. The oil-rich Central African country is already the most urbanized on the continent, according to the UN, with 87% of its 1.7 million people living in urban areas.  

2. Ethiopia’s growth continues to set the trail ablaze —between 2004 and 2014 it grew an average 10.9%, only China has ever managed to exceed 6% annually. But this growth, which the World Bank terms “statistically exceptional”, was delivered in rather unorthodox ways or better yet the “Ethiopian Way”.

3. Zimbabwe has recently been seen as an economic basket case, but it is seemingly possible for donors to carry a country past its level despite the best efforts of its politicians. A new UN quality of life showed that the country most improved standards for its citizens between 2010-2014 in Africa.

4. Staying with Zimbabwe, its soon-to-be 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe, is showing signs of frailty, and is presiding over an equally donor-dependent economy as his ruling Zanu-PF is riven by a power struggle. We discovered how he will end, from none other than his wife Grace, a potential successor. She revealed that despite his failing strength, he still has no equal, and when he can’t walk, they will carry him to rallies to address “in a wheelbarrow”, no less. The powerful Zimbabwe Veteran’s Association is of the same view, except they prefer more comfortable transportation for the veteran leader. They said they would carry him to campaign in a wheelchair.

5. The politics aside, South Africa’s economy is still very much in charge. President Jacob Zuma’s baffling and ill-judged juggling of finance ministers was only righted when Big Business painted a stark picture of the looming apocalypse. “You are on your own”, was the clear message by key party backers who faced their own interests being wiped out. Even for Zuma, who has mastered patronage politics, it was all too much. It was one of the most dramatic cases in Africa where big business interests made a president blink. Zuma’s dented image is seen to have taken one of its biggest beatings in the fumbling.

6. Prayers can be called on to complement economic policy. In October, Zambia president Edgar Lungu ordered a national day of prayer to help an economy that at the time had the world’s worst performing currency, saying that the counsel of the wise (economic experts) had failed. It is now the world’s second worst performing currency of 2015, after Kazakhstan’s tenge. Perhaps when the Bible implores the faithful to give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s, it has a point, after all.

7. Even famously boisterous Nigeria can toe the line. The clean-up effort by president Muhammadu Buhari after the opposition defeated the ruling party for the first time led to the phrase “The fear of Buhari”, which on first impression suggests it is all very real, as things from oil refineries to agencies start to work again, as South Africa’s MTN found its operation in Nigeria was slapped with a $5.2 billion fine – the largest ever in Africa – for failing to disconnect 5 million unregistered users. The question is whether this fear will be sustainable.

8. China has military ambitions in Africa, despite vigorous protestations and friendly summits with the continent. Beijing, which this year for the first time sent in its first peacekeepers to Africa, is now finalizing a naval base deal with strategic Djibouti, with Namibia seemingly next. 

9. The African Union is looking to add some bite, as it has threatened Burundi with the forcible deployment of troops, citing extreme circumstances of the conflict in the country. If it manages to deploy it will have silenced critics who see it as toothless and nothing more than a strongmen’s talking club.

10. We are on the way to a generation free …keep reading…

2nd Verse: Poetry in Shopping

IMG_0827 (2)

So that’s the view from the top
A stage of life favored by drop tops and flip flops,
Another flavored by lollipops and potlucks.
Ingredients intrigued, recipes retrieved
And mixed with all the brightest sprinkles of success and sunshine.

Moxeay® Different style Cross/Halter Straps Backless Sexy Jumpsuit Romper (S)

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Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large

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The Secret Language of Relationships: Your Complete Personology Guide to Any Relationship with Anyone (Paperback)
by Gary Goldschneider, Joost Elffers

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