The Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL), has joined notable world business promoters in mapping out strategies to actualize how Africa could effectively reap a whopping $1 trillion from a projected $12 trillion new market value in an emerging global economic system.
The projected $12 trillion economic developing plan evolved from last month’s meeting of the world business leaders in London, United Kingdom (UK), under the aegis of Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC), to impact on the global economic system within the next decade.
At the London meeting, the group had raised the optimism that sustainable business models could open economic opportunities of such high value while at the same time creating over 380 million jobs every year by 2030.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission which was launched in Davos in January 2016, has the Managing Director of LADOL Dr. Amy Jadesimi as a member from Nigeria alongside other 36 global business entrepreneurs drawn from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organizations across the world.
In its second meeting of the year which held at the weekend in Nairobi Kenya, the body essentially deliberated on ways of getting the African continent to optimally benefit from the huge projection with the conclusion that the continent could rake in $1 trillion dollars from the projected US$12 trillion largese, if well harnessed.
The Commission has a twin objective of mapping the economic advantages that could be available to business if the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals are achieved, as well as highlighting how businesses can contribute to delivering such goals.
In its wide range deliberations at the Kenya confab, the Commission under the Chairmanship of former Deputy Secretary –General of the United Nations (UN), Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, noted that African business leaders, entrepreneurs and economies can benefit and even help to develop significant economic opportunities if they pursue sustainable business models.
The opportunities and how to achieve them took centre stage at the two-day events hosted by Safaricom and Intellecap in Nairobi, to launch the African Better Business, Better World report from the BSDC.
According to the Commission’s Chair, Lord Malloch Brown, “the world is seeing increasingly that African companies are models for what can be achieved with ingenuity and innovation as they solve difficult social challenges. They are not wedded to old solutions and so here in Kenya, we see digital innovators delivering banking energy and health solutions. The speed of innovation and adoption is astonishing.
“The Better Business, Better World report launch in Nairobi puts the African private sector squarely in the drivers’ seat on the road to achieving sustainable development and we welcome more African business leaders to join the Business Commission” he said.
A key message in the report from the deliberation hosted between February 23-24 by Safaricom –a leading mobile telecom operator in Kenya, and Intellecap is that “digital solutions and entrepreneurs will be critical to unlocking many of the opportunities”.
It further stated that, “research from the report has identified 32 ‘development’ unicorns that are developing global goals related with market caps of more than US$1 billion. In Africa, entrepreneurs are bringing in new solution to development problems remarkable ways, and the opportunities are compelling”.
Stressing further, the report noted that a single one of the market hot spot-affordable housing, could create over 13 million jobs within a short period, stressing that “risk pooling is the single largest monetary opportunity in Africa valued at US$150 billion”.
His year, the Commission hopes to focus on working with companies to strengthen corporate alignments with the Global Goals which includes mentoring the next generation of sustainable development leaders; creating sectoral roadmaps and league tables that rank corporate performance against the Global Goals; and supporting measures to unlock blended finance for sustainable infrastructure investments.
Commenting on the goals of the Commission, Dr. Jadesimi, a member of the global body urged members to demonstrate commitment to the ideals of the report, beyond making it a mere paper work. “We need to show these ideas work not just in a report but on the business frontline,” she added.
The group noted that real development, particularly in the continent has been at slow pace; even as it pointed out that “over the past 30 years, the world has seen huge social improvements and
“Yet despite these successes, our current model of development is deeply flawed. Signs of its failure and imperfections in today’s markets are everywhere. There are vast numbers of people who do not have access to basic services such as healthcare, clean water, clean energy and sanitation. Social inequality and youth unemployment is worsening in countries across the world, and many education systems are still failing to deliver access to high quality education.
“The uncertainty created by these burdens makes it hard for businesses to invest with confidence. The Better Business, Better World report offers a positive alternative: setting Business strategy and transforming markets in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” the report further noted.
Highlighting on some of its business models that are aimed at improving standard of living in Africa, the group listed two Case Studies in Food & Agriculture sectors in Nigeria where “Cold Hubs provides farmers in Nigeria with chilled storage rooms at food markets and farms to extend the shelf-life of perishable foods from 2 to 21 days.
“Farmers can buy crates in a modular, solar-powered walk-in cold room through a flexible pay-as-you-go subscription for US$0.50 a day per crate. By reducing post-harvest loss by 80 percent, therefore selling a larger portion of crops, small farmers can raise their income by 25 percent” it said.
Similarly, it noted that “Hello Tractor has developed low-cost smart tractors in Nigeria with various attachments for irrigation, ploughing, fertilizer distribution, and other tasks. Smallholder farmers can request, schedule, and prepay for tractor services from nearby smart tractor owners via SMS”.
The smart tractors, it pointed out, “have a GPS antenna to track usage and gather data on location, market trends, and uptake”, adding that “farmers participating in the beta period saw yields increase by 200 percent”.
By Alex Akao