Leaders within Nigeria and beyond featured in the third #FinBiz2030 Building Resilience online series of 2021. Over 1,600 finance and business professionals from around the world joined the live webinar which sought to address the local and global perspectives on the shared challenges we all face to build a better future.
This event was co-hosted by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Chartered Accountants Worldwide and One Young World.
Opening introductions by Kate Robertson, co-founder of One Young World
Kate welcomed the One Young World Ambassadors hosting and speaking at the event by reaffirming, “we exist only to identify, connect and promote young leaders all over the world, knowing that you will make a better world.”
Coming from Africa myself, I think of young people all over Africa with this incredibly young demographic. I always think in terms of resources. Africa has the greatest resource in the world and that is in her incredible people.
Kate echoed the call “Africa is rising… this century will be your century”. Acknowledging Africa’s global struggles against corruption, Kate highlighted the critical role of the financial industry across Africa. “For me the work that Chartered Accountants and the financial industry does right across the continent is holding the future of the continent and the world in their hands”.
Keynote speaker Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe, funder of the African Institution of Technology
Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a globally successful inventor, engineer, author, entrepreneur and Harvard Business Review contributor, spoke passionately about ‘Resilience, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship’. “Pythagorsas said ‘the world is nothing but numbers”.
The elements of market systems
Professor Ekekwe outlined the elements required to build capabilities and overcome challenges in our society as Knowledge, Entrepreneurial Capitalism, Capital, Land and Labour.
“When you have the capacity to create new knowledge you build a high level of reliance”. Professor Ekekwe highlighted knowledge as the key to the resilience of nations. “Universities such as Harvard, MIT, John Hopkins, Princeton allow a nation to renew itself from one generation to the other”.
He also outlined the critical need for entrepreneurs or pioneers to translate ideas into products and services “because in the end, the only thing that can overcome the problems in society are products and services. If you do not have people with the capacity to transform ideas and knowledge into products and services, societies cannot even function.
Innovation is what companies, communities and nations need to utilise their resources.
Professor Ekwkwe concluded with hope, outlining how throughout history societies have grown and developed by bringing commercialisation to invention, creating innovation.
It is not enough to have an idea. You must be able to convert your idea into a product or service. “These are the conversations we bring to our young people. The greatness of a nation is always correlated with a capacity to solve problems in their society. It turns our products, services and the ability to create innovation and market systems, comericalise ideas so that customers can find things to buy to overcome friction. This is going to become extremely critical to take this country and continent to the next level.”
I want to challenge you…unless you build a nation of innovation we will not reach our promised land.