The growing rate of internet users in Africa has mandate its proper implementation towards the betterment of African people, while countries like Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, etc. are taking advantage of internet opportunities, Nigeria with over 70 million (internetwordstats.com) internet users is yet to fully utilize its population and growing market to its advantage.
There are two main reasons why Nigeria is a key factor in actualizing African entrepreneurial dream: one, Nigeria is the second fastest growing key emerging market in the world (Euromonitor.com) and on track for 7 percent growth rate in 2015 after a successful second quarter report.
Real GDP Growth in Top 5 Fastest Growing Key Emerging Economies in 2014
Two, in a research conducted by British Council, Nigeria tertiary age (18-22 years old) population will lead the world through 2024 and grow from 16.1 million in 2013 to 22.5 million by 2024 which is equivalent to an average growth rate of 3.1 percent, far ahead of projected annual growth rate for Indonesia (1.3 percent), a country forecasted to be the next fastest growing country. Equally, overall tertiary enrolment is projected to double from 2.3 million students in 2013 to 4.8 million by 2024.
However, Nigeria unemployment rate is expected to increase proportionally from 7.5 percent to 24.33 percent by 2020 (http://ieconomics.com). This implies that there would be more unemployed graduates by 2020 if nothing is done now.
According to a research quoted by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, for every 10 people who gain access to internet 1 is raised out of poverty. Another research shows that on the average small and medium enterprises (SMEs) employ between 2 to 100 employees. This is an important figure necessary to fill the void in the labour market and subsequently reduce unemployment, increase export revenue and empower the youths.
Sadly Nigerian internet sphere is limited by negative public perception due to series of scams emanating from the region, which has hindered foreign investors from helping the youth with viable startup to access funds. Institutions like Paypal, Amazon, etc offer limited services to Nigerians as a measure to curb possible fraud. So is some financial institutions in U.S and other countries won’t allow Nigerians to trade (forex) or transact on their platforms.
From all indications the internet has created more opportunities now than there was in the past, but the inability of the youth to access pool of resources have forced many to conform to the seemingly blogging business like Linda Ikeji and the likes. Now, the issue is blogging is currently reduced to entertainment or propaganda as a means to generate traffic, statistically it is less likely that the nation can create more jobs and reduce unemployment like Google Inc., Amazon, Bloomberg, etc. that way.
As the most populous black nation that accounted for 23.6 percent of African internet users. Not only that entrepreneurs can create jobs by thinking creatively but also because participation of more talented individuals can help solve vital societal issues and subdue negative perception, and as more start-ups strive to attain global standard using the power of technology, global accessibility becomes better, hence, global attention on the region would increase positively.
In June, Facebook Inc., announced the appointment of Nunu Ntshingila to manage over 120 million Facebook users in Africa, over 6.6 million of this population are Nigerians. This move further affirmed Africa as the next global target for future businesses and failure to emerge with the next phase of African/global entrepreneurs by creating sustainable businesses, would leave vacuum for more foreign businesses to fill at the expense of the people’s interest.
PwC to Add 100,000 Jobs in $12 Billion Strategic Revamp
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing $12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.
The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
“We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality,” PwC Chairman Bob Moritz said. “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market.”
Auditors are grappling with managing quality amid a shift in ways of working introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has revised standards for auditors, coming into effect in 2022, to boost technology use, help manage new risks, and improve quality management.
PwC is also seeking ways to address growing calls for transparency in the profession from stakeholders after several accounting scandals among the Big Four auditing firms knocked public trust. In South Africa, for example, KPMG has put in place a variety of reforms after it came under fire in 2017 for work done for a politically connected family accused of plundering the government’s coffers.
The South African unit of PwC will add at least 2,500 new employees over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer in the region Dion Shango told reporters in a conference call. Across Africa, where it has a presence in 34 countries, the firm plans to bulk up its operations with a $400 million investment. The company is also interviewing for non-executive directors to strengthen audit oversight.
PwC has also set aside $3 billion of its total global investment to help double the scale of its Asia-Pacific operations, it said. The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance trends across its operations.
African Development Bank Group Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development
The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, effective 1st July 2021.
Dr. Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.
Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 U.S. government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty. She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene.
A career member of the senior foreign service at USAID, Dunford previously served as Director of USAID’s Mission in Nepal, leading the U.S. government’s health, education, agriculture and environment programs as well as its contribution to Nepal’s massive earthquake recovery and reconstruction effort. She also worked in Afghanistan as Agriculture and Alternative Livelihoods Program Director, USAID/Afghanistan, where she directed agriculture, resilience and emergency food assistance programs.
Dunford has also served in Ethiopia as Director, Office of Assets and Livelihoods, USAID/Ethiopia, where she led government officials, scholars, donors and NGOs, to craft the program, now a model used worldwide to map how emergency and development operations can collaborate to build communities’ resilience to recurrent crises.Dunford also held a number of roles in Washington, including Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in the Bureau for Food Security and Senior Development Advisor to the Secretary of State’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dr. Dunford also worked as Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Operating Officer and as Regional Development Advisor, East Africa, USAID/Washington.
Commenting on her appointment, Dunford said: “I am excited to join the African Development Bank Group and be part of the senior management team. I am passionate about the Bank’s development agenda that has attracted global attention as bold and innovative for accelerating Africa’s development. I am honored to be part of the team to further achieve social and economic transformation on the continent”.
President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said, “I am delighted to appoint Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development. Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries. With over 20 years experience working and delivering programs globally with a focus in Africa, she brings hands-on leadership and drive that will further accelerate our work to deliver greater development impacts”.
Europe Raises 20 Unicorns This Year Including Crypto Companies
This year alone, 23 companies in Europe and Israel have become unicorns (startup companies valued at over $1 billion), beating last year’s total of eight, according to a report by financial data and software firm Pitchbook.
European startups have managed to attract a staggering €32.5 billion (around $39.3 billion) since the beginning of 2021. This year’s capital inflow could easily surpass the €37.6 billion raised in the whole of 2020.
Of the total, 20 companies are based in Europe, including several crypto startups. The U.K. accounts for most of these unicorns, with London-headquartered Blockchain.com currently valued at $5.2 billion after securing $420 million in two funding rounds earlier this year.
Germany is next with digital wealth manager Scalable Capital, valued last week at $1.4 billion after raising over $180 million in a round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent. French crypto security startup Ledger became the latest to join the bunch with $380 million in new funding last week.
The Old Continent is now home to almost 12% of the world’s unicorns with over 50 active companies, the published data revealed. The capital attracted by these entities has continuously grown over the past five years and the 2021 total is expected to reach a record high.
The term unicorn, used to describe startups valued at over $1 billion, was coined by venture capitalist and angel investor Aileen Lee in 2013. It alludes to the rarity of such successful ventures.
European decacorns, or companies worth over $10 billion, have also performed quite well this year. Swedish fintech startup Klarna, for example, was valued at $31 billion in March, becoming the continent’s most valuable VC-backed firm. Klarna was leading the board already in September 2020, at $15 billion, but was replaced by Checkout.com in January of this year, when the online payments company gained a $15 billion valuation, Pitchbook detailed.
According to the authors of the report, the growing participation of U.S. investors has been a major factor in the investment increase in Europe. Almost half of the unicorns’ top 10 backers, such as Accel and Insight Partners, are based across the pond. Pitchbook also emphasized:
U.S. firms have been actively targeting Europe’s tech startups, which tend to have lower valuations than their U.S. counterparts, offering more opportunities for higher growth rates.
The financial data firm believes that the effects of robust investment into unicorns based in Europe could create even larger valuations in the future. “We expect transatlantic capital flows to continue to increase and strengthen valuations in Europe, as cash-rich U.S. investors seek new companies showing the strong potential that could be introduced to the U.S. market,” said Nalin Patel, a private capital analyst at Pitchbook.
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