Business & Finance
Forbes Africa

Forbes Africa June 2019

Forbes Africa is the drama critic to business in Africa. The magazine helps readers connect the dots, form patterns and see beyond the obvious, giving them a completely different perspective. In doing this, it delivers sharp, in-depth and engaging stories by looking at global and domestic issues from an African prism.

South Africa
ABN Publishing Pty Ltd (trading as Forbes Africa)
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11 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
leveraging technology to make financial inclusion count

The focus on Africa’s unbanked population in recent years has been encouraging. However, financial inclusion remains a huge challenge as 66% of the Sub-Saharan African population remain unbanked. In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria launched its National Financial Inclusion Strategy with the aim of increasing the financial inclusion rate to 80% by 2020. This strategy has delivered significant gains and at the end of 2018, the inclusion rate in Nigeria had climbed to 64%, up from 45% in 2016. The basic metric of financial inclusion - having a bank account - is just the first step on the path to financial freedom for Nigerians. The vast majority of individuals and small business owners who have been included into the financial system are still underbanked. For these communities, financial inclusion means…

4 min.
the chemist who empowered nigerian women to express their unique sense of style

By infusing plant-based chemistry with natural elements from the organically-rich African environment, a unique set of solutions for African women’s hair, skin, cosmetics and personal care was created. Chika Ikenga reflects on how the business began in 1997, the focus of the firm and what the company is doing to enable African women to wear their natural hair with pride. What inspired you to become involved with women’s personal beauty and style It began at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where I studied industrial chemistry and developed an interest in the chemistry of natural products. My fascination with the subject was influenced by my earlier discovery that chemistry is life. In 1997, I noticed that Nigerian women were plagued by hair challenges, ranging from hair breakage, dryness, slow-growth and scalp-itch. I knew instinctively…

3 min.
nostalgia to take you forward

I WAS OVERCOME with some powerful emotions when editing this issue of FORBES AFRICA. In part, it had to do with a train journey I recently undertook, from South Africa’s capital Pretoria to Cape Town. It was a two-day luxury rail trip that took the 40 guests aboard back in time, to a colonial past when the world was a less complicated place, a world without the technological tedium of today. Seated in the well-appointed vintage coaches, as the pretty South African landscape rolled by gloriously outside the windows, and with nowhere to go but the dining cars, I had the time to indulge in the one activity we as a modern race have almost forgotten: the art of face-to-face, interpersonal communication. The conversations were as fascinating as the train we were on,…

3 min.
our beautiful continent

THOSE THAT KNOW ME WILL FIND IT HARD TO believe that I am actually writing about leisure; guess it is very circumstantial but it is about two incredibly wonderful side trips I undertook recently that were extremely defining. More than anything else, along with my wife Saloni, I got to witness first hand the beauty of two amazing wonders of our continent I recommend should be on everyone’s bucket list. The first was a visit to Victoria Falls, from the Zimbabwe side. The complete experience, from the time we took the flight from Johannesburg to the stay at the majestic The Victoria Falls Hotel, was unique in every way. The falls are an experience of a lifetime. Having been to the Niagara Falls in the United States, I was expecting to…

6 min.
brief 360

CASTER SEMENYA’S APPEAL REJECTED Last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected an appeal by South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya against new athletics regulations that set an upper limit for testosterone in certain women’s events, The Wire reported. From now on, women who want to compete in international competitions at distances of between 400 meters and one mile will have to reduce their blood testosterone level to below five nanomoles per liter for at least six months before the event, and then keep it there. For Semenya, the double Olympic and triple World 800m champion, it is a crushing blow. The decision made by CAS was a majority one. In a statement released by the group admitted the rules “are discriminatory”. It said: “Such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate…

20 min.
the big bank theory

THEY ARE THE bankers of the future. They toss around words like simplicity, invisible banking, personalization, customer centricity, data analytics, digital banking, fintech, distribution, partnerships and seamless banking. This is the future they are reimagining and creating. New kid on the block TymeBank, owned by Africa’s eighth richest billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Financial Services Holdings, launched its EveryDay transactional account in February that has a savings tool called GoalSave, a MoneyTransfer solution and the TymeCoach App. Its entry into the market has turned banking on its head. The bank has no branches and its core banking system is hosted in the cloud, reducing overheads that allowed it to undercut the other players in the market. The bank’s transactional account has no monthly fees and charges among the lowest bank fees in…