Explainer: Nigeria and the ‘One China’ principle
On Wednesday, the Nigerian federal government announced that it would no longer recognise Taiwan as a country, but instead pledge support for ‘One China’.
What is One China and what has it got to do with Nigeria?
One China, also known as the ‘One China principle’, is the Beijing’s belief that Taiwan is an inalienable part of a single China. One China faces opposition from supporters of the Taiwan independence movement, who want to establish the Republic of Taiwan as an entity separate from China. China has threatened to use force if Taiwan formally declares independence.
This week, the Nigerian government stated that they recognise only one China in the world – one that encompasses Taiwan.
A joint statement signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and China, Geoffrey Onyeama and Wang Yi respectively, read: "The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reiterates not to have any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan, and supports all efforts made by the Chinese Government to realise national reunification".
Onyeanma added that Nigeria had withdrawn diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Taiwanese office in Abuja will be shut down and moved to Lagos, “to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff”.
By taking these measures, China has reaffirmed its commitment to actively developing the China-Nigeria strategic partnership. In the same week, Yi disclosed plans by the Chinese government to invest up to $40 billion in Nigeria.
"China has already invested or financed a total number of $22 billion projects here in Nigeria, another $23 billion projects are on-going. In addition, we are also following up another over $40 billion of investments, which are in the pipeline," Yi said.
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.