CNBC Africa global market analyst Kelvin Emmanuel tells AB2020 why…
Meet 24-year-old Londoner Bamidele Seun Owoola, founder of Welcome2Africa and the Agrique Africa Investment Summit, which is set to launch in Accra this November.
Tell us a bit about yourself and background.
I’m a British born Nigerian, a highly energetic, enlightened and innovative entrepreneur with cross-cultural understanding of Africa and the West.
I have further educational and work insights in investigative journalism, technical foundations of corporate finance; investment and securities, trade and investment, financial services; event management, business development, PR, marketing and film production.
What’s your business in Africa?
I have deep interest and passion towards Africa’s potential as the economic, business, investment and trade hotspot of the next decade. I’m founder and managing director of Welcome2Africa, which aims to be a leading provider of sector focused initiatives to encourage and facilitate private sector investment and business partnership into Africa – with a current focus on agriculture.
As a young Briton, what inspired you to launch Welcome2Africa?
Before I was born, my parents chose to emigrate from Nigeria in search of better opportunities in England, so I didn’t feel any particular ties to, or appreciate Africa during my formative years. In fact, due to what I saw in the media I had a very myopic and almost negative perception of Africa.
However, this changed when I took the opportunity to visit Ghana, aged 20. I quickly fell in love with Africa, and began to see so many opportunities there. It was during this first trip that I decided to create Welcome2Africa.
Initially, the design of the company was to reveal the positive cultural, political, social and economic transformations and developments in Africa that are often overlooked in the media. And to that extent, I produced a few documentaries whilst I was in Ghana.
As things progressed, I found there was also a need to to attract attention to opportunities to be found in Africa, and to mobilize forces to respond to those opportunities.
You’ll be launching the Agrique Africa Investment Summit in November – what’s it all about?
The Agrique Africa Investment Summit has the core goal of match-making agribusinesses in need of expansion finance from across Africa with financial institutions around the would with an interest in African agriculture.
It’s also a platform for the presentation of products or services that would increase Africa’s agricultural productivity.
Although the event is taking place in Ghana, it isn’t a Ghanaian event, but a Pan African event, with agribusinesses participating from all over Africa. Furthermore, the Summit will run annually across different African countries and will be the leading event for investments into Africa’s agricultural sector. Besides, why not Ghana?
Who should attend Agrique Africa?
Agribusinesses in need of finance; financial institutions with an interest in African agriculture; companies with agri-related products or services that would encourage an increase in productivity for Africa’s agricultural Sector; and those with an interest in the opportunities that Africa’s agricultural sector has to offer.
Based on what you’ve learnt so far, what advice would you give to others running a UK/Africa business?
Well, I would advise those in the UK or outside Africa to actually spend time there, and make contacts relevant to their visions for Africa, research and strategies.
Visit Welcome2Africa website
Register for the The Agrique Africa Investment Summit