May 19, 2020

UK-Rwanda relations post UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020

Rwanda
UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020
Joanna Lomas
Maureen Maingi
3 min
UK-Rwanda relations post UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020

Business Chief looks at some of the major outcomes following the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020

The UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 marks an important year for UK-Rwanda relations, a sentiment strongly felt by British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Joanna Lomas. 

“Africa is a continent alive with opportunity; its economic potential is substantial and its success matters to the UK. We want the UK to be the partner of choice for Africa and the investor with the biggest impact in terms of quality jobs, growth and sustainability,” she said. Rwanda has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, ranked as the second easiest country to conduct trade with in the continent.

It was also announced by UK Development Secretary Alok Sharma at the Summit that an additional £6mn would be invested in the Rwandan financial sector, allowing the country to international markets and drive investment. 

“UK Aid, through the UK Department for International Development (DFID) continues to invest heavily in Rwanda’s long-term growth and transformation. As well as a significant investment supporting the Government of Rwanda’s efforts to improve learning outcomes in basic education (critical to building human capital), over half of the UK’s £54 million bilateral aid programme this year is focused on supporting economic growth, including trade facilitation, financial sector development and agriculture. UK support also enabled a significant investment by Unilever in the tea sector – a great example of the partnerships the UK-Africa Investment Summit was promoting,” continued Lomas.

Following on from the Africa Investment Summit there are two more events that will mark the country’s progress: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali in June and the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 hosted by the UK in November. These events will place Rwanda in the international spotlight.

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About the summit 

The Summit, which took place last week, took place in London and welcomed 16 African leaders, sought to present the UK as an investment partner of choice to the nation and its leaders. 

Those in attendance included: President Sisi of Egypt, President Kenyatta of Kenya, President Buhari of Nigeria, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Kagame of Rwanda, and African business leaders including CEO of Standard Bank Gert Vogel and CEO of Investec Hendrik Du Toit.

Prominent business executives from the UK were also in attendance, including: CEO of Vodafone Nick Read, CEO of BP Bernard Looney, CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen Keith Skeoch, CEO G4S Ashley Martin Almanza, CEO of Associated British Foods George Weston, and CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group David Schwimmer.

“Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa at the Department for International Trade, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, said: “The UK-Africa Investment Summit will showcase the UK’s unique offer to Africa and the breadth of exciting investment opportunities that exist across the African continent. We want the UK to have the biggest positive impact of any foreign investor, in terms of creating and sustaining quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth and sustainability.”

Watch the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 here.

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

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.

 

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