Spotlight on an African Diaspora Professional! Komi Klu is a risk investment professional
Why did you choose to specifically focus in this area of the industry? I decided to focus on risk management and investment advisory in Africa because of the needs we have assessed. The fact is that Africa could be much more developed if its leaders took Governance and Risk Management seriously. In the current state of affairs, Africa suffers from Reputational Risk and Poor Management Syndromes.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? To help solve problems and bring solution to people in need, I have always been passionate about identifying problems in the community and bringing answers.
Does your upbringing have any impacts on your entrepreneurial lifestyle? Yes, when I was young my grandmother (who had never been to school) had a tropical fruit and produce distribution business. From my young age I have always been surrounded by people who were running their own businesses. So, I studied business law for that exact reason, so I can become an entrepreneur, hence an informed and a skilled one. If my illiterate grandmother did and was successful at it, I told myself I could do it too!
What pain points and or issues are you resolving through your business initiatives? Africa has a lot of business opportunities to offer, however, due to the risk profile of the continent (which is, for the most part, inaccurate) foreign investors are not encouraged to do business in Africa as much as they should. The only way to solve this problem was to perform Real Risk Assessment of doing business in Africa with actionable solutions.
What value are you adding to the lives of those you serve through the business (e.g. clients, customers, community, staff, etc)? Through our various initiatives and call to action, we help business leaders efficiently manage the risks of doing business in Africa, and promote various ventures of doing business on the African continent. We also help investors identify long term, sustainable, and reliable business opportunities in Africa.
What’s your unique value proposition, how is your business unique? I have the unique ability to provide actionable insights to clients doing business in Africa with a global perspective. I can do this because of the extensive experience I possess from working around the word, namely in the US, Asia and Africa.
Do you have a team helping you manage and grow the business? Our team in currently made up of more than fifty seasoned consultants, and we maintain a presence in thirty (38) African countries.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur? The human factor is the biggest challenge I have faced thus far! It is very difficult to find good dedicated workers who are willing and committed to ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING AND DO THINGS RIGHT.
What advice would you give to someone who is new at being an entrepreneur and why? Entrepreneurship is challenging but rewarding. If you are in it only for the money, you’re in it for the wrong reason. To be a successful entrepreneur in a place like Africa, you need to solve problems with innovative solutions. It is that simple.
What are your plans for future business growth? What about expansion or sustainability plans? Right now, we are focusing in streamlining our processes and leveraging our technology in order to continue to grow efficiently. Currently we are also working on a better wireless integration. With Africa’s SIM connection in the works to reach 84% of the population of 1.4bn by 2025, we are preparing for the digitization of our business and service delivery. We believe this will be the key to making a fairly large impact in Africa.
What’s your spotlight in the African Diaspora? I am currently one of the young business leaders in the African Diaspora. As the chairman of the board for a new African Diaspora driven PRIVATE EQUITY FUND called WAFI CAPITAL, I am at the forefront of encouraging the diaspora’s investment in Africa. WAFI CAPITAL will help the diaspora invest directly in innovative SMEs and startups in Africa. Currently the diaspora’s remittances to Africa According to the World Bank Group Remittances to Sub Saharan Africa grew 10% to 46 billion in 2018 and even higher in 2019.
Where are the tangible Return on Investment of these funds remitted by the diaspora to their home countries? Rather than the diaspora being disillusioned about the future of Africa, WAFI CAPITAL will offer them the opportunity to be part of the solution to youth unemployment and poverty alleviation in the continent.
Any last personal thoughts for our readers? First of all, Africa is the richest continent in the world, yet she has the highest proportion of people living in poverty. This is not acceptable and it has to change. How can we change that? Only we Africans can, especially the one in the Diaspora can make this change happen. Furthermore, this is what I believe: “the development of Africa by Africans for Africans” which I call the “THE LION ECONOMIC DOCTRINE.” The lion is a leader not a follower. Africa should become a leader in her own development matters. It is a mistake to think that Africa could be developed with foreign aid only and help from other countries. True development can only come from Africans getting serious about economic growth.
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