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‘How to leverage private capital in African economy’

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Bolaji Akinboro

Cellulant, a leading digital payments provider, has described economic opportunities and capital investments as critical to the success of sub-Saharan Africa economy.

This statement was attributed to the Co-founders and Co-Chief Executive Officers’ of Cellulant, Bolaji Akinboro, and Ken Njoroge, at the just-concluded, Global Endeavor Gala in New York City, where they represented the founder of TPG Growth, Bill McGlashen.

Endeavor is an organisation headquartered in New York City that is pioneering the concept of high-impact entrepreneurship in growth markets around the world.

Speaking during a chat in the presence of strategic global board members of Endeavors, Akinboro noted that agriculture business is mostly viewed as a charity venture, whereas it is a huge business opportunity.
Against this backdrop, Cellulant said it was able to do a complete overhaul of the Agric ecosystem in Nigeria through transparent operational models.

“We spent years building a digital ecosystem that comprises all the stakeholders in Agriculture; and currently, our technology powers food from the farm to the fork,” he recalled.

It is informative that the current President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina’s ideation of making agriculture a business is consistent with Cellulant’s investment drive in Nigeria.

Akinboro argued that agriculture business can, and should be funded by private capital. “For us in Cellulant, public capital laid the foundation on which private capital now drives its business growth. Tens of millions of farmers across the continent use our blockchain-enabled technology to connect to markets. We help them sell their goods widely, more easily, and at a fair price — increasing their income by an average of over $1,000.”

He continued: “Our goal is to build a $1billion business in 2023. We intend to do this by making the agricultural segment a digitally driven payment sector that provides digital payments and access to the market for farmers in Africa, not only are we solving social problems by making food accessible, but we are also helping the indigent farmer get more money.

We also know that the average household income of farmers in rural areas who are using our technology is growing from $2 to $5 a day. In the process, we also create wealth while doing good.”

Also commenting, Njoroge underscored the immense business opportunities Endeavor would make with its entrant into the African (Nigerian and Kenyan) market.

“It needs large pipelines on start-ups so that they can go through the different stages of business growth. The network staying through to its core values have the potential to change the business ecosystem in Africa.”


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