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Fidelity Bank Partners ImpactHER To Empower 1,052 Female Entrepreneurs With Sales Skills



Fidelity Partners ImpactHER to Empower 1,052 Female Entrepreneurs with Sales Skills

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution in Nigeria, has collaborated with ImpactHER to support 1,052 female entrepreneurs across the 36 states of Nigeria in addressing the challenges they face in their small and medium-sized businesses. 

Through diverse training on digital skills and direct business support, beneficiaries from two cohorts have been able to improve visibility for their businesses and consequently, increase sales.

The training, which commenced in January 2022, has had two cohorts that lasted for four weeks each, covering a myriad of topics such as Digital marketing, building your brand and selling online, etc. The participants were also assisted in putting their businesses on Google Maps, thus allowing customers and the global market to easily find and transact business with them.

Commenting on the partnership, Osita Ede, Divisional Head, Product Development at Fidelity Bank Plc said, “It has become imperative that female entrepreneurs in Africa are empowered to overcome the lack of digital literacy which impedes them from fully reaping the benefits of the digital transformation underway across  Africa, and the world. We believe providing them this access will help them to thrive in their different businesses.”

According to Efe Ukala, Founder of ImpactHER, “Statistically, women and girls are 25 per cent less likely to leverage digital technology for basic purposes, 4 times less likely to know how to program computers, and 13 times less likely to file for technology patents. This, therefore, highlights the importance of equipping African women with digital skills that could be leveraged to scale their businesses. Let’s not  forget that data shows that Africa can add 180 billion Dollars to its  GDP by 2025 if we close the e-commerce digital gap.”

This intervention is critical as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for  2019/2020 highlighted that millions of women worldwide have started businesses over the last five years alone: the highest percentage of these women live in Africa, with approximately 26% of female adults engaged in entrepreneurial activity yet the World Bank confirms through data collected in ten African countries that on average,  male-owned companies have six times more capital than female-owned enterprises, resulting in monthly profits of female-owned enterprises that are, on average, 38% lower than male-owned  businesses.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

The bank boasts of a robust bouquet of products designed to help female-led small businesses run successfully including digital loans and HerFidelity -a proposition comprising exciting features such as capacity development initiatives, access to finance, recognition and networking events, health and wellness programmes, etc, all designed to speak to the yearnings of women.

Clementina Uzogor, the Programs Director at ImpactHER, highlighted the importance of helping women with skills like this to take their businesses to the next level. “At ImpactHER, it is our mission to ensure that we equip these women with tools for their businesses to thrive”,  she explained.

She also appreciated Fidelity Bank for working with them to ensure the  programme was successful and impactful. “It is important to let you  know that this is not the end of this training. We will be deepening our partnership with Fidelity to train and support 5,000 more women-led small and medium-sized businesses in the country before the year runs  out”, she divulged.

An excited participant from the second cohort, Ms. Akinyemi  Oluronke, a fashion designer from Lagos underscored the benefits of joining the training for her business, “I’ve been able to build an online presence, people now know my business exists and I get a lot of calls from people who found my business online. I am very grateful for this  platform and the overall increase in sales I now enjoy.” 

According to Carine Nneka Achokwu, another participant from the  January 2022 cohort and CEO of Carine Bakery, a company that  produces pastries and cakes in Lagos, Nigeria, “I have been able to  increase sales by 40% after using the tools that was provided to me such as “Google My Business” and people have been calling to order  from me and I’ve also been able to reach more customers. I am  thankful that I can get people to patronize my business just by tapping  my phone based on the knowledge I acquired at this training.” 

ImpactHER is an impact-driven nonprofit organization that empowers  African female entrepreneurs by bridging the gender business financing gap so as to assist them in realizing their full economic potential. ImpactHER has since its inception trained, and directly supported with investor-readiness and business scalability skills & tools over 44, 275 women across 53 countries in Africa.

This partnership also provides follow-up training and support for the participants and is one of the ways ImpactHER and Fidelity Bank help these women scale up their offerings.


NICArb Set To Hold 2022 Hybrid Annual Conference



NICArb Set To Hold 2022 Hybrid Annual Conference

Themed: “The Future of Arbitration and ADR in Africa: Developments & Sustainability”

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICArb) is set to present her 2022 Hybrid Annual Conference Themed: “The Future of Arbitration and ADR in Africa: Developments & Sustainability”.

The future of Arbitration and ADR in Africa looks to promote a practice that is robust, affordable, timely, easily accessible, and reliable. These advantages mean it will continue to gain widespread use as an efficient and effective tool for dispute settlement.

Arbitration in Africa will catch up with the unequaled opportunities and advantages that come with the Digital Technologies of the 21st Century, while not being susceptible to manipulation and exploitation.

While this vital objective would not be attained without a price to pay, considering the traditional dispute resolution mechanisms engaged by many African nations now; the questions that readily come to one’s mind are: How do we position Africa and indeed Nigeria for this promising future? What are the developmental issues that Arbitration and ADR practice need to begin to focus on or contend with in readiness for what can be described as an imminent positive revolution? How best can the emerging trends in Arbitration and ADR generally be sustained?

NICArb Set To Hold 2022 Hybrid Annual Conference

These and many more questions are what this year’s conference will seek to address.

To partake in our Early Bird Discount and to secure your seat, kindly see the E – flyer for more details.

Date: 24th-25th November.

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Venue: Eko Hotel and Suite, Victoria Island Lagos/Zoom

For bookings and reservation, you can contact Peace- 09087187408 and Femi 080-30437323 or send an email to

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Africa FinTech Network Appoints Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh As Its Chief Executive Officer



Africa FinTech Network Appoints Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh As Its Chief Executive Officer

Olushola Okunlade Writes

In a bid to strengthen corporate governance and delivery of the next phase of its strategic plan, the Board of African Fintech Network (AFN), has announced the appointment of former Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh, as its Chief Executive Officer, effective 1st August 2022.

Dr. Segun Aina, President, and Chairman of the Board, Africa Fintech Network stated this in a statement released to BusinessEcho Magazine on Monday, August 15th, 2022.

Dr. Conteh is a financial sector and development finance executive with over twenty-five years of experience spanning the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. He is a strong advocate for financial technology (fintech) and other disruptive technologies as platforms for leapfrogging financial inclusion in Africa.

During his tenure as Governor, he is credited for pioneering one of Africa’s first regulatory sandboxes as part of an overarching financial inclusion strategy in Sierra Leone.

Africa FinTech Network Appoints Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh As Its Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Patrick Saidu Conteh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Africa FinTech Network.

Dr. Conteh was before this appointment, a member of the Advisory Council AFN, and until recently, was the Regional Lead for Sub Sahara Africa at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge University, UK. He currently serves as a tutor in the Cambridge Fintech and Regulatory Innovation training program.

The AFN has operated for close to four years as the platform that unites and connect African FinTech leaders, organizations, and other important stakeholders through their country associations to create an ecosystem that stimulates information exchange, ideation, support, and promotion of innovative technologies within the financial services sector across Africa and beyond. The network also serves as a platform for advocacy and coordinated regulatory and governmental interactions to minimize cross-border constraints and facilitate the ease of fintech exchanges in the continent. Currently, national fintech associations of thirty-three African countries are on AFN membership, which is planned to grow to fifty countries by end of 2023.

The appointment of Dr. Conteh as CEO could not have come at a better time as Africa is systematically witnessing the profound benefits and contributions of fintech to the overall development of the continent’s financial services sector.

Alongside these positive developments are numerous challenges confronting the fintech ecosystem. The Board is therefore pleased to have Dr. Conteh leading the management team to support the board in addressing these challenges to fulfill our vision of catalysing Africa’s digital economic development.

In response to this appointment, Dr. Patrick Conteh is quoted as indicating that “I accept this role on the strong conviction that Africa is the fintech market of tomorrow. Factually, that future is already unveiling itself and AFN is the right organization for exerting the level of positive influence needed for the fintech ecosystem to continue to thrive for the benefits of the continent and beyond”

I am indeed pleased to welcome Patrick on board and look forward to AFN benefitting from his excellent combination of academic and professional qualifications, competencies, and versatility spanning central bank governance, financial sector regulation and supervision, fintech regulation, fintech ecosystem development, financial markets development, financial and digital literacy, financial inclusion, research, etc all of which makes him a good fit to navigate AFN to the next level of continental and global impacts.

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FirstBank Commemorates 2022 International Youth Day, Dedicates Week To Celebrate Youth



FirstBank - Reaping The Benefits Of Solid Legacy

Olushola Okunlade Writes

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated on12 August 2022, and themed “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.” 

The International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August, bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society. The Day also amplifies the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind. 

Leading up to the day, the Bank dedicated the week of 8 – 12 August with a lineup of activities to reiterate its commitment to Youth Empowerment.

As a Bank renowned for its role in developing the economy through sustainable employment and entrepreneurship endeavours, the 2022 edition of the Youth Week will promote economic empowerment and employment, digital technology, and education as its focus during the celebration.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) FirstBank Limited.

The Youth Week comprises various activities, including a Fashion illustration workshop, Design skill training, Gen Z/Millennial Webinar, and many more exciting activities. These activities would give participants opportunities to win various exciting gift items.

Under the First@arts program, the Bank will empower the youths through Artistry Workshop Sessions & Arts Classes. Interested in the art of fashion design and illustrations, visit the Bank’s social media handles – Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr – for information on how you can be among 10 lucky winners to have the opportunity to learn the business of fashion at Claire Idera fashion studio. 

Likewise, the Creative design workshop will enable youths’ design skill training; design thinking principles, and their application in the context of layout, typefaces, and colour. Interested youths can also participate on the FirstBank social media handles, where 25 lucky winners will be selected to learn the Art of Design at Geneza School of Designs.

Commemorating the Youth Week, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank said: ‘’We remain committed to celebrating the younger demography whose voices, actions, vigor, and tireless participation in the political, economic, and social activities have continued to birth major contributions towards the sustainable development of Africa and the world at large. The planned activities will promote better collaboration and solidarity across generations to foster successful and equitable relationships, and partnerships thereby ensuring “no one is left behind” and empowering everyone to leverage their full potential toward achieving the much-desired Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Youth demography has a striking significance for us at FirstBank with the Millennials and Gen Zs constituting almost 60% of our workforce. This shows that youths are an integral part of our organisation and every country where we operate”, he concluded.

For more information and participation in the Youth Week, kindly visit the bank’s verified social media platforms; Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr

Know More About FirstBank: First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for 128 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 180,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has an international presence through its subsidiaries, FBNBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10 million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10 million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on the FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management, and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, with an internationally competitive world-class brand, and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners, and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”.

Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership, and people, to position You First in every respect.

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