No. 56: Reflections from Yale’s 2014 Sankofa54 Conference

While doing research for another article, I ran across my talking points from a presentation I gave at Yale’s Sankofa54 conference. They were interesting to take a look at a year later. I figured it could not hurt to post them here.

Reflections on role models for Anna Olivia
Last night was incredible for me. Seeing all of these dynamic women at the head table, hearing from Madame Leymah Gbowee and Vivian Onano. I have a 17-month old daughter and think about her path through this world quite often.  I’m excited about her getting to follow your examples as she grows into her own person. Keep up the good work because I’m going to be name dropping Kiki Ochieng, Ruth …. Let’s go! Get it done. Take Africa’s development to the next level.
Anansi and the Birds
  • He wanted to fly, so he did everything he could to get wings
  • Once he got wings, he practiced and practiced until he got it right
  • One day when the birds went up to a mountain to feast, Anansi surprised them and joined along
  • He saw the food and started eating so quickly that the birds got mad
  • When he went to sleep, they took his feathers
  • When he woke up, he did his routine run to take off, only to discover that his wings weren’t there when he took off
  • Fortunately, he remembered that he could spin material and shot some web to catch a tree from which he could lower himself to the ground
  • For me, As Africa makes its push to take development to greater levels, we need to make sure that we do what we do best, rather than try to use wings that aren’t ours. The principle of Sankofa is key here. Remember our roots.
Regional organizations and panafricanism
  • AfDB and NEPAD work on regionalization
  • the sixth region conversation
  • World Economic Forum bringing together higher level members of the Diaspora – Mayor Reed and President Jonathan
  • Ecobank, Dangote Cement investing across the continent
Regional orgs and investor attraction
  • AfDB and Turkana
  • AfDB and contract negotiation training
Internal markets and latent potential
  • Incorporating the informal economy – Nigeria’s economy rebasing finalized this Sunday, but Nigerians more than likely will continue to feel poor. Revenue to GDP ratio more than likely will decrease.
Capital flow w/o oil
  • Rise of consumer
  • More countries entering the capital bond markets
  • PE encouraging more companies to go cross border
Remittances and repatriation
  • I don’t want to get left behind!
  • Homestrings
Regional organizations and panafricanism
  • A continent where nationals don’t need a visa to travel to 80% of the other countries in Africa
  • Regionalization perhaps not the level of having a single currency, but systems talk to each other. As people move from one country to another, they are able to do business, engage people smoothly and efficiently.
Regional orgs and investor attraction
  • An environment where it is quite easy to get financial data on an African company
Internal markets and latent potential
  • Increased inclusion of informal sector into economy
Capital flow w/o oil
  • An environment where there are 50+ stock exchanges where your every day person can learn about an agriculture company in Côte d’Ivoire that produces the cocoa beans Nestle uses for its products and invest in them
Remittances and repatriation
  • A world where there are direct flights to multiple countries from Atlanta, DC, New York
  • Systematic use of remittances on a macro scale

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