FSDEA Leads Development in Angola through ‘Future Leaders’ Initiative
Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) has announced the launch of its Scholarship Programme, ‘Future Leaders of Angola’, aimed at building up the economic empowerment and capacity of a new workforce in the country.
The initiative will offer talented young Angolan graduates the opportunity to take part in an intensive and exclusive management course with focus on international business management and banking and finance.
The programme, offered in partnership with the School of Management and Law of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), was announced during a welcome ceremony for the Angolan students.
José Filomeno Dos Santos, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the FSDEA, said: “This scholarship programme will contribute to the prosperity of Angola, because it has the strategic goal of establishing the management skills required for the efficient management of the country’s resources.
“The graduates will access global expertise and gain a deep understanding of successful industries worldwide, becoming future leaders of knowledge in Angola. We believe that in the future all participants of this programme will firmly contribute to build the national economic development and prosperity.”
André Haelg, Dean of the ZHAW School of Management and Law, added: “This course will provide Angolan students with an excellent business education.
“As a leading Swiss university with a strong focus on practice-oriented learning we are always keen to promote the evolution of financial management practices around the world.
“We are therefore delighted to be able to play a role in the development of a strong financial services sector in Angola.”
Complementing the scholarship programme, the FSDEA also announced the completion of a study for the launch of a new “Hotel School for the African continent with the objective to offer international industry level hospitality knowhow to budding workers in the sector.
The concluded study provided insights on the current and future trends for the specialisation of African frameworks of this industry in Angola and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The hospitality industry in Africa today is witnessing an increased level of interest from international hotel operators,” Dos Santos explained.
“Several hotel groups have announced ambitious expansion plans in the region, but no one has committed to building the human and capital resources required to materialise these developments.
“The FSDEA’s study also indicated that the long-term rewards for the hospitality industry in Africa may only be attained by prioritising the building of the supporting infrastructure and capacity of local frameworks.’’
The Fund is further developing an exclusive program to promote more initiatives in the fields of vocational training and the access to healthcare services, energy and water, wherever the public distribution networks are not available.
Dos Santos concluded: “A thriving services sector is vital for the economic growth of the region.
“We are certain that these initiatives will in the long term play a key role in allocating the necessary skills for employability and independent participation of our young generation in these sectors as suppliers or consumers.”
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.