By Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kenya’s Peter Mutuku Mathuki has been appointed to head the East African Community (EAC), the regional bloc that brings East African countries under one umbrella.
Mr Mathuki replaces Burundi’s Liberat Mfumukeko, whose five-year term ended in early 2021. The post is usually rotational for five years.
As Secretary-General of the regional bloc, his key tasks include regional development, increasing inter-regional trade and to address investment possibilities for both potential internal and external investors.
According to his profile, Mr Mathuki has worked as Executive Director at the East African Business Council and consequently emerged as the top candidate for the position.
Over the years, he has been dealing with the corporate business sector and believed to have sufficient experience and contacts useful to address incessant wrangles in the East African Community.
Mr Mathuki previously served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, chairing the Committee on Legal Affairs and Good Governance as well as Accounts, Trade and Investment.
He has held political positions in Kenya and in international bodies including the International Labour Standards at the former International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU-Africa), now ITUC-Africa, which he served as director. He was also a consultant for European Union programmes in Kenya.
The appointee comes on board as the African continent implements the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement, where he has been involved in the creation of the nascent African Business Council. Trading under this AfCFTA began on January 1, 2021, and opens up more opportunities for both local African and foreign investors from around the world.
He was taken on as a rectification strategy by Kenya, following a low-key leadership by Mfumukeko. Under his term, countries routinely skipped summits and member states wrangled over tariffs and political accusations. His secretariat faced financial constraints as member states delayed remitting their membership dues and donors reduced funding following allegations of corruption.
The latest report from the East African Community Secretariat for this year shows, for example, that South Sudan is the most indebted member of the EAC. It owes $24.6 million in funding towards the main budget even though it should pay up to $32.4 million including this year’s dues. It should also pay $2.8 million to the Inter-University Council of East Africa and another US$345,000 to the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
The main budget usually funds the operations of the EAC Secretariat, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly and other bodies dealing with specified fields. The Secretary-General is the principal executive and accounting officer of the community as well as the secretary of the summit and serves for a fixed period of five years.
The East African Community (EAC) first collapsed and was revived in November 1999 to strengthen ties between the members through a common market, a common customs tariff, and a range of public services to achieve balanced economic growth within the region.
Under the current Chairman, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, many businesses and market players perceive positively the region as stable for long-term beneficial business, investment and trade. Some political, social and economic challenges still remain to be addressed, though.
With a combined population estimated at 183 million, the region is relatively large. The East African Community is an intergovernmental organization composed of six countries in the Great Lakes region in Eastern Africa. The members are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
ICPC Busts Job Racketeering Syndicate in Sting Operation
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A job racketeering syndicate has been busted in a sting operation carried out by operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
In a statement issued on Monday, the agency said it was able to apprehend the prime suspect of the team, which specialises in defrauding unsuspecting job seekers through offers of non-existing employment.
According to the disclosure, four applicants were also arrested in the sting operation, which is part of an ongoing crackdown on employment syndicates by the commission in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) and intelligence arising therefrom regarding a replacement exercise in a federal government agency.
The statement noted that efforts are in place to find other suspects related to the case, as the arrested persons are being interviewed and are giving the commission useful information.
The syndicate’s mode of operation, according to the ICPC, is hoodwinking their victims into believing that they have a strong connection with the OHCSF and can use such influence to secure employment for them.
Carol Oyedeji Becomes Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Ecobank Nigeria has announced the appointment of Ms Carol Oyedeji as its Deputy Managing Director in line with its policy of ensuring participative leadership and building a pipeline of future leaders.
The Chairman of Ecobank Nigeria, Ms Bola Adesola, expressed optimism that Ms Oyedeji’s wealth of experience would positively influence the goals and vision of the Pan African Bank.
Also, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Bolaji Lawal, described the appointment as an acknowledgement of her hard work and dedication to the Ecobank brand.
He expressed confidence that the appointment would also encourage and propel other diligent and result-oriented professionals within the organisation to continue to drive sustainable growth for the lender.
Business Post reports that the appointment of Ms Oyedeji has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the banking industry’s watchdog.
The new DMD joined Ecobank Nigeria in 2017 as Executive Director, Consumer Banking and subsequently oversaw the Commercial Banking Business.
She is a seasoned banker and corporate administrator with over 30 years of experience. Before joining Ecobank, she was the Regional Head of Client Acquisition & Relationship for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank, where she covered Retail Distribution in 14 countries across the Region.
Ms Oyedeji was also, at various times, Head of Business Banking for Standard Chartered Africa, Regional Head for Consumer Banking in West Africa, and Non-Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank Gambia.
She is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Lagos and holds an MSc in Financial Management from the University of London and an MBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos. She has attended several Leadership courses at Oxford University, INSEAD, Singapore, UCLA and Stanford University and is a member of various industry bodies.
Ecobank Nigeria is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai). Ecobank Nigeria is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small, and micro businesses, and individuals.
Asha Mweru Mbowa to Lead AMI Enterprise as Managing Director
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A leading business learning company, African Management Institute (AMI), has appointed Mrs Asha Mweru Mbowa as the Managing Director of its newly launched AMI Enterprise, a new division dedicated to boosting workplace and professional skills for growth-stage and established companies.
The Kenyan national was promoted to the new position from her role as AMI’s Director of Operations and Talent, where she oversaw a 118 per cent growth of AMI employees from 2020 to 2022.
Her promotion continues the precedent set by AMI in which women represent over 60 per cent of all senior leadership positions at AMI.
The new division of AMI leverages its long-standing position in the continent’s training sector and its Africa-focused approach, proven to drive performance among leaders, managers, and Africa’s growing workforce.
She will lead an AMI Enterprise division with a deep bench and an ever-growing footprint across the continent, including sales and learning delivery team members in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria.
AMI Enterprise will complement AMI Impact, the company’s other internal division, which works alongside development partners to deliver large-scale learning and business growth programmes to support the entrepreneurial economy.
“AMI’s team not only prepares the next generation of African leaders and workforce. our team is part of the next generation. We know that Africa’s business and professional talent are the driving factor behind the growth of the continent’s established and emerging businesses,” said Mrs Mweru Mbowa, who is based in Accra, Ghana.
“It’s time for Africa to do away with the learning methodologies of the past, not rooted in our own experiences.
“As an African learning company and a pioneer in this space, we’re excited to expand our enterprise offerings to reach even more professionals and accelerate the pace at which companies working in Africa’s business ecosystem can achieve their goals and put Africa at the centre for the global economy,” she added.
The Africa-based learning company equips businesses, managers, and Africa’s future workforce with the practical tools and training they need to succeed and drive growth.
AMI’s proven learning approach incorporates virtual and in-person workshops with on-the-job practice and support accompanied by practical online and mobile learning tools. Programmes are delivered by experienced world-class and African-based facilitators.
“AMI was founded nearly a decade ago with a vision for enabling Africa’s ambitious enterprises to thrive through practical management tools and training. We’ve grown rapidly, supporting leaders and managers at thousands of organisations, from Raddison Blu and Uber to Africa’s own rising stars, such as MKOPA and RwandAir.
“Our practical business learning is proven to accelerate Africa’s entrepreneurial economy. The recent establishment of AMI Enterprise as a core division will allow us to scale up our support for these companies as they grow to be a force in the global economy,” said Rebecca Harrison, AMI’s CEO and co-founder. “There’s no one more qualified than Asha Mweru Mbowa to lead AMI Enterprise as we respond to the rapid growth and demand across Africa for AMI’s corporate and growth-stage business training programmes.”
AMI’s Enterprise clients can select from AMI’s 4-6 month flagship leadership, management, and workforce performance programmes, shorter 1-2 month focused professional power skills programmes, and AMI’s Enterprise Academy solution, which provides virtual, on-demand, and localised blended learning for hundreds of participants.
The firm also develops bespoke learning programmes rooted in AMI methodology and leveraging its proprietary online learning platform, which includes over 3,000 downloadable tools, over 80 online courses and content in 5 languages. AMI learning programmes incorporate African-contextualized content and case studies based on African businesses and management experiences.
Mrs Mbowa joined AMI in 2020 after extensive experience working in Africa’s investment sector and with business education providers. She served as an Investment Advisor with Novastar Ventures and in key leadership roles with Kenya’s business education company, Sinapis Group.
She is active as an experienced entrepreneur and is the co-founder of Women Work Kenya, a technology-driven company focused on the advancement of African women entrepreneurs and professionals through digital communities and access to growth opportunities. She also serves as an Advisory board member of LendHer Capital and Profish Ghana Limited.
Mrs Mweru Mbowa is currently pursuing a Masters in Liberal Arts, Management from the Harvard Extension School and is a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Information Technology from Strathmore University.
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