What does Trump’s Muslim ban mean for Africa?
Trump has only been on office for a week, yet he has already imposed tough new restrictions on citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries. The crackdown includes a 120-day ban on most refugees and a suspension on visas. Three African nations are on the list: Sudan, Libya and Somalia.
What does the controversial ban mean for these countries?
Firstly, visits to see family will become increasingly difficult for Somalians, Libyans and the Sudanese. America has huge Somali and Libyan communities - as of 2015, there were more than 15,000 Somali immigrants residing in the US.
Prospects are also grim for African’s fleeing conflicts. For instance, Sudan is led by a dictatorial regime. Leader Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Human Court. Years of political instability in Libya has allowed Isis militants to gain a foothold in the country. Somalia descended into civil war after dictator Siad Barre was dismissed in 1991.
There are also economic repercussions to Trump’s ban. Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has said that Trump’s move was a negative signal following development’s to improve relations between the US and Sudan, including easing economic sanctions on the African country. Before the ban, the US had agreed to unfreeze Sudan’s assets and remove financial sanctions as a response to the country’s cooperation in fighting Isis. These steps have now been delayed by the Trump administration. Sudan is currently holding a diplomatic protest.
So far, Libya and Somalis have not released an official statement in response to the ban.
Several rights and refugee-support groups have announced that they will challenge the new presidential order in court.
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.