Career

Aliko Dangote Named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014

Aliko Dangote - Bloomberg Billionaires  Index - January 2014 - BellaNaija

Nigerian billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, has been named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014.

The announcement was made at the unveiling ceremony, which took place in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi, CNBC Africa reports.

Speaking on the award, a panel of judges at the event said:

“Aliko Dangote is a lion of Africa in terms of business. He is second to none when it comes to investing in Africa, not just Nigeria. He is also a capitalist with a big heart. He puts his money where his mouth is and his foundation is a step forward for a man who wants to make a difference on the continent.”







20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014



The annual Forbes list of the The 20 Young Power Women In Africa 2014 has been released and it features Nigerian amazons like Ada Osakwe and Toyosi Akerele among others.

Written by Mfonobong Nsehe for Forbes

Every year since 2011  have enlisted readers’ help to identify 20 young, extraordinary and inspiring African women, aged 45 and under, who are making the most dramatic impact in individual African countries in the world of politics, business, technology, policy, diplomacy and media for the annual tally of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa. Now in its 4th year, the list celebrates 20 influential female leaders, ground breakers & ceiling crashers who are transforming the continent from their communities.
Read about the Nigerians on the list after the cut...



Ada Osakwe (pictured right), Nigerian, Advisor to the Honorable Minister Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria
Nigeria’s agricultural sector has attracted more than $4 billion in private sector investment commitments over the last year, and Ada Osakwe is an integral reason why. Osakwe, 34, currently serves as the Senior Investment Adviser to Nigerian Minister of Agriculture Akinwunmi Adesina – arguably the best-performing member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s kitchen cabinet. She works directly with the minister, advising him on his policies regarding private sector investments into the food and agriculture sector.  Osakwe also interacts with current and prospective agribusiness investors and champions innovative approaches to channel sustainable private sector engagements in the sector. Previously, she served as Vice President of Kuramo Capital, a New York-based investment management firm. She also worked in various capacities at the African Development Bank.

Amy Jadesimi, Nigerian, Managing Director, LADOL
The 39-year-old Nigerian businesswoman is the Managing Director of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), Nigeria’s only indigenous-owned deep offshore logistics base. Jadesimi earned a BA in physiological sciences at Oxford University, and then went on to work for the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs in London. She subsequently attended Stanford Business School, where she earned her MBA, and returned to Nigeria to set up a financial consultancy outfit before joining LADOL (a company founded by her father) as Managing Director. Since it was founded in 2001, LADOL has turned a former industrial wasteland into a $500 million industrial village and specialized port facility, providing an environment in which high value operations, such as oil and gas drilling and production support, ship building and repairs, specialized manufacturing and engineering can take place 24/7 in a secure Free Zone. The second phase of the LADOL development is currently ongoing and it includes Nigeria’s single largest local content development – a $300 million investment in West Africa’s largest vessel fabrication and integration yards. LADOL Free Zone was created to make Nigeria the hub for West African maritime and oil and gas activities through long-term investment in world class facilities and services. Jadesimi is spearheading this vision.

Rimini Makama, Nigeria, Director, Africa Practice
Rimini Makama, 34, is the Communications Director at Africa Practice, Africa’s foremost strategy and communications consultancy. Over the last half a decade, Makama has successfully introduced some of the largest international institutions on the continent and beyond into the Nigerian market, simultaneously helping to strategically positioning them as key players in their industry and encouraging foreign investment in the country. Some of her clients include BlackBerry, Union Bank, Renaissance Capital, Bloomberg, Western Union, World Economic Forum Africa, The Africa Union and Paypal. Rimini has a background in law and after obtaining a BL from the Nigerian Law School and an LLM in International Law and World Order. Prior to a career in communications, she joined the Office of Legal Affairs at the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in Lyon, France where she worked as a lawyer primarily reviewing notices and individual requests safeguarding international security and safety across borders. She also drafted cooperation agreements between the 190 member countries.

Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, Nigerian, Social entrepreneur
Ogunsiji, 31, is the Founder of RISE NETWORKS, a Nigeria-based private and public sector funded Youth Interest social enterprise with a primary focus on wholesome youth and education development. The organization focuses on creating intellectual development and capacity building programs for young Nigerians between 16 and 30 and receives generous support from several state governments and blue-chip companies. Ogunsiji is an alumnus of the United States Government’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

Adiat Disu, Nigerian, Founder, African Fashion Week
Adiat Disu, 27, is an international publicist and founder of Adirée, a New York-based communications and brand strategy company. In 2009, Adirée launched the annual Africa Fashion Week in New York, one of the most popular international African-focused fashion events, in an effort to place structure around Africa’s fashion industry and promote international economic partnerships while promoting brands from Africa on a global scale. It has been a resounding success. Disu and Adirée are also working on hosting other international African Fashion Weeks in other fashion capitals of the world including Paris, Milan, London and Tokyo.



Source: Forbes.com


Craftsmen turn bicycles into stylish furniture

For many, bicycles are meant solely as a mode of transportation, a quick and convenient way of getting from A to B. In Kenya's capital city of Nairobi, however, a group of craftsmen take the functionality of bicycles a step further -- by transforming them into eye-catching modern furniture.

From its spacious 5th-floor apartment overlooking Nairobi, Ojey's Designs is a business fashioning elaborate chairs and tables out of old bike parts -- from rims and tires to spokes and pedals, the different parts are all welded together to form the base of the contemporary furnitire.

"We do the bar stools, the bar tables," says Martin Ojwang, the startup's founder. "We do chairs, the cafe chairs and cafe tables -- those ones can go to the hotels."

                       
                                         Martin Ojwang, founder of Ojey's Designs

Ojey's Designs Limited is a Kenyan startup specializing in making contemporary furniture from old bicycle parts.

Based on the outskirts of Nairobi, Ojey's Designs is crafting eye-catching chairs, tables and stools.

"Getting a shop outside, it's pretty expensive for someone who's starting," says Ojwang. "So for me here, my landlord is a good person I only pay for rent so I pretty much save on that."

"When we started Ojey's Designs I was alone and then I employed some two people for assisting," says Ojwang. "Right now, we actually have four employees and we have four casual workers who come when the production is high."

Having worked as an accountant for three years, the young entrepreneur decided to change career paths in 2012 after crafting his first creation: a beautiful coffee table made from a bicycle rim.
Ojwang then quit his job and set up shop in the large balcony of his apartment where he's now making furniture on order.

"When we started Ojey's Designs I was alone and then I employed some two people for assisting," says Ojwang. "Right now, we actually have four employees and we have four casual workers who come when the production is high."

Yet, despite access to bicycle parts, starting a business has not been without its difficulties.

Another challenge for the young entrepreneur is promoting his creations. "We do market online, and marketing online is a bit of a challenge because of trust that lays around online marketing in Kenya."

Ojwang is, however, optimistic about the future. "In the next five years we want to be known countrywide," he says. "<!-- -->
</br>We want to supply countrywide; we want to start branches with major cities -- basically we are looking to be visible countrywide."<!-- -->
</br>



Source: CNN

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay



Apple Inc CEO, Tim Cook, 53, revealed today October 30th that he is gay. Tim, who became CEO when he succeeded Steve Jobs on August 24th 2011, has never discussed his sexual preference in public before today but said that many of his colleagues knew he was gay.

Tim, who is worth an estimated $500million, came out as gay in an editorial for Bloomberg Business Week, stating: "Let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me"

                  

Tim Cook writes for Business Week

Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.
For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.
While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California. And we spoke up in Arizona when that state’s legislature passed a discriminatory bill targeting the gay community. We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

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