So much has been said about the wealth of the African continent which has not been harnessed due to lack of human capital and corruption. This is a reality that has got a number of us thinking ourselves into knots. In life, there are always two extremes. It is either you are here or there, it’s either you know something or you don’t; you are either up or down, good or bad; and most of all, you will either be remembered or forgotten. The coin will never have a third side. Sometimes, it can be confusing where we really stand but when the sun sets, it all becomes clear. Over the years, quietly, consciously and cautiously, the African continent has been playing a crucial role in maintaining the world order and posterity has no choice but to remember.
The rise of Africa in the global scheme of things is clear for all to see hence giving more hope to the future of the continent. The appointment of Cameroonian Vera Songwe as the International Financial Corporation’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa further silences the doubters and underscores the pedigree of the inherent human capital asset required to make the vision a reality. We are also proud to have Mimi Alemayehou of Ethiopia who is the Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and South Africa’s Patience Mthunzi who is a Senior Scientist for the Biophotonics Research Group who are highlighting the location of Africa on the world map.
Please permit me to borrow the lingua of my keggite friends, “the gods are wise”. This is because I am proud to be African and such want to use this medium to join my alumni (the Harvard Business School) and several other well-meaning people that are hopeful of the prospects of the African project (promotion and sustenance of common wealth) in celebrating an achiever, an iconic expert in asset management and optimization. One whose career gives credence to the saying that: “truth is like the sun, you can shut it out at a time but it is not going away”.
The truth is seen in the search for a capable hand to lead in the management of assets in hundreds of billions of dollars and no other was more qualified than Arunma Oteh. The truth is that over the years, she has contributed immensely to the development and transformation of the capital market in Africa. The truth is that she recently proved to the world that she is a fighter in the administration of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission where she introduced a lot of reforms. The truth is that on the 28th of September, 2015, she assumes office as the Vice President / Treasurer of the World Bank.
These friends of ours didn’t get to where they are because they know somebody or bribed somebody. They are there on no other ground but merit. Please remember that Africa is littered with technicians, and other professionals at several levels that are doing the right thing despite the challenges that they are ridden with. The recent appointment of Emmanuel Kachikwu as the new GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation puts to bed the debate regarding the battle between hard work and mediocrity. The journey of his career from the Nigerian/American Merchant Bank to Texaco Nigeria Limited to Exxon-Mobil and eventually The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation shows that we can only reach the peak of whatever we do when we promote and live by the virtues of hard work, honesty and service to society.
These accomplishments remind us of the need to keep on pushing and developing ourselves through constant training and retraining. It is imperative for us to know that the future holds so much promise and be ready because the period of waiting is the period of preparation. We have been behind for too long, so we can no longer walk with the torch; we must run with it. It is time to move beyond the rage of our cage (don’t just want it, go for it). We must remember that this is not victory for anyone but hard work, determination and commitment. The war is not over; we must keep on fighting and follow the blueprint adopted by this special Africans and clone them by the way we do the things we do.
Picture credit: http://cindis-hope.org/