African Development Bank (AfDB) sees strong result from its US$13bn investments in South Africa
Since 2012, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has invested US$13bn in South Africa.
Yesterday, the bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina acknowledged that its investments are delivering strong results, when speaking at the 39th Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Summit.
"Our countries are not poor. We are very rich. We have all the resources needed for one to be rich. We have huge population, large number of wildlife, vast plant species, marine ecosystem, minerals and hydrocarbons,” commented Tanzanian President, John Magufuli who attended the SADC summit.
AfDB heavily invests in South Africa, its key projects include: a US$5bn investment in ESKOM, to provide power to South Africa and a US$114mn investment in Mauritius for its St. Louis power plant, which provides 36% of the population with electricity.
“For every dollar of paid-in capital by the region, it received about US$19 in investments, an impressive 19:1 leverage ratio,” said AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina.
During his speech, Akinwumi Adesina highlighted the importance of “Unlocking the potential of the Inga hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” due to its potential of 44,000MW which could power the whole region. “I see a brighter future for the SADC region,” concluded Akinwumi Adesina.
Other investments by the bank include: a US$300mn funding for the expansion of Walvis Bay Port, doubling its capacity and allowing improved port access to Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. As well as a US$500mn fund for the Nacala corridor that is expected to expand regional trade by 25% and reduce transport cost by 15-25%.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.