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Thought Leaders in Ghana

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Q&A with Julian Kingsley Opuni, Deputy MD, Fidelity Bank


You are known for  excellence in creating  international partnerships, joint ventures and synergies within the international business community, how has this process evolved over the years?

Our vision is to create a world-class bank in Africa. In 10 years, we have become the largest Ghanaian, private sector bank in Ghana. This journey has not been achieved on our own. We are built on partnerships. When we needed technology as our operations expanded, we partnered with IBM, a global leader in technology, to stabilize our technology platform. We also bought Pro Credit in 2014 in our quest to expand our branch network and to strengthen our SME business.

Our core mission is how we impact the people and communities around us, and so we have partnered with several developmental organisations such as USAID, Financial Sector Deepening Africa, GIZ, Solidaridad and SNV to impact many lives in remote rural locations with financial services. As we advance into the digital era, we will continue to lead that charge through partnerships with various fintech and telcos. Products such our Yello Save,which is a partnership with MTN, will help us provide financial services quicker and faster to more people.

Looking back on the first decade or so with your firm, what have been the most significant developments in your bank?

Fidelity Bank’s strength in an arguably challenged banking environment is grounded firmly in the quality of our balance sheet and the adequacy of our capital. We were ranked 2nd among the top 10 banks (by balance sheet size) in terms of capital adequacy ratio in 2018. 

Over 75% of our balance sheet was in liquid and near liquid investments. We understand the trade-off between liquidity, risk and return,and our tactical strategy has been to make the necessary re-balancing adjustments to remain profitable and strong.

Fidelity Bank has embraced the digital landscape, offering a myriad of products and services for both Corporate and Personal Banking customers. Our most popular digital solutions for individual customers, is the Fidelity Mobile App which was built with the customer’s most important needs in mind. It is super easy to use, fast and very secure. You can generate eStatements, perform FX sale, make card limit requests, QR code to merchants,make internal transfer or transfer money to any mobile money wallet. 


 Julian Kingsley Opuni, Deputy MD, Fidelity Bank. Picture: Supplied

In our quest to make the society and the world at large a more sustainable place to live, we were awarded the Best CSR Bank for the second time at the 2015 Ghana Banking Awards. In 2016, we also won the best CSR Bank in the Sixth Ghana CSR Excellence Awards (GHACEA).

Ghana has one of the poorest sanitation records in Africa. To provide supply side solutions to sanitation, Fidelity Bank partnered with the Embassy for the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) and SNV Netherlands Development Organization to improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). With the support of USAID, the SMART Agri finance project was actively implemented with our field partners, SNV. 

This was primarily to raise the awareness of a savings culture through the use of digitized payment systems among small holder farmers(especially women). We provided over 2,600 farmers financial education, about 65% of them were women.

How do you impart knowledge to the younger generation?

We believe that the best way in which we can support the younger generation is through financial empowerment. 

We do that by developing innovative financial products that allow younger people to access easily finance.  

Our Smart Account and Agency banking proposition has enabled many young people to receive their first bank accounts. These accounts go with financial education materials that allow them to understand how to use their accounts. 

Cocoa is the mainstay of our economy, yet the average age of a cocoa farmer is over 55 yrs. We are working with Solidaridad with support from the MasterCard Foundation to deliver financial education to many young people to encourage them to take up cocoa farming.

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Nigeria’s Manufacturing Power Couple On The Future Of Manufacturing In Nigeria

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Chief Razak Okoya: Chairman Eleganza Group And Rao Property Investment Company

Chief Razak Okoya is an industrialist who has managed to transform a small trading company into one of the largest conglomerates and indigenous manufacturers of household products in Nigeria.

As founder of Eleganza Group and leading property investment company RAO Property, he employs about 5000 people across Nigeria. In his interview with Forbes Africa, he discusses the trends that will influence the competitive Nigerian Manufacturing sector in the next decade.

Chief Folashade Noimat Okoya: Managing Director, Eleganza Industrial City

Chief Mrs. Folashade Okoya has been at the helm of affairs of the Eleganza Group and RAO Property Investment for the past decade using her strong entrepreneurial drive to further strengthen the goodwill of both organizations and its corporate positioning in Nigeria.

Under her watch, Eleganza Group has risen to new heights strengthening its position as a leading indigenous brand in Nigeria as well as one of the benchmark manufacturing companies in the country.

She talks about the stigma of women in manufacturing and the need for greater automation in the manufacturing process in Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s Biggest Corporations: A Pan-Nigerian View To The World

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At the beginning of the Japanese Economic Miracle, were the likes of
Akio Morita – Co-founder of Sony. In setting a Mission for Sony, Morita had
resolved to set for Sony Corporations the Mission to make Japan known for quality at a time the country was known for cheap-copycat product. It is indeed in this vision, that True Nigerian Experience was founded with a mission to showcase the Best of Nigeria.

According to the International Monetary Fund in 2018, Nigeria is regarded as the biggest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product of about $400 Billion Dollars – Leading the entire 54 African Economies both in Population of over 180 Million people and GDP.

The Nigerian Economy is ranked the 30th largest Economy in the World. To mention a few, Nigeria’s Nominal GDP is bigger than the Republic of Ireland (US $373 Billion), Israel (US $370 Billion), Hong Kong (US $363 Billion), Singapore (US $361 Billion), Malaysia (US $354 Billion), Denmark (US $351 Billion), Colombia (US $333 Billion), Philippines (US $331 Billion), Chile (US $298 Billion), Finland (US $275 Billion), Czech Republic (US $242 Billion), Romania (US $ 240 Billion), Portugal (US $239 Billion, Peru (US $225 Billion), Greece (US $219 Billion), New Zealand (US $203 Billion) and over a hundred other countries’ economies in the World.

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Franchise’s newest target: the flexible workspace revolution

In the midst of what many are calling the flexible workspace revolution, franchisees are looking towards the serviced office market for lucrative new opportunities.

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In the midst of what many are calling the flexible workspace revolution, franchisees are looking towards the serviced office market for lucrative new opportunities. Projections show that three in ten buildings on every high street could offer a new franchise opportunity, with flexible working, or coworking as it’s often called, emerging as a booming industry.

A booming industry
With businesses and individuals increasingly using flexible working spaces, the co-working industry is estimated to be growing by 24% each year. A recent study of 18,000 business leaders in 96 countries by IWG, the parent company of leading workspace providers including Regus and Spaces, revealed that the majority of business leaders (89%) believe flexible working is helping their businesses to grow and stay competitive. In addition, 80% felt that adopting co-working, and enabling their employees to work anywhere, has helped them recruit and retain top talent.

Likewise, with a huge 50% of workers predicted to be working remotely for most of their working week, by 2022, forecasts suggest that the global mobile workforce will reach 1.87 billion people. This presents a unique opportunity for those in the franchise industry to jump on what is a rapidly growing trend.


Partnering with IWG gives business owners the ability to participate in this growth story and take advantage of the huge demand for flexible, contemporary workspaces – one of the most exciting growth markets in the country.

Mo Nanabhay, Franchising Director – Africa


As more people look to work flexibly, the demand for places for them to do so is growing; and as the corporate real estate market continues to grow, global real estate giant JLL estimates that up to 30% of corporate real estate could be flexible workspace by 2030.

The growing franchise opportunity
This makes the serviced office market one of the most exciting growth markets in the world. Simply put, it is the next franchise frontier. And the industry founder, IWG, with its thirty years of experience in the, serviced office market and brands to match every requirement and style like Regus and Spaces, is now offering people a chance to get involved.
In September 2018, the company announced they would be leading the UK’s first serviced office franchise partnership with franchising experts, ACCA Office Ltd. Since then, four more businesses have partnered with IWG, including Kash Office Limited, AMA Workspaces, SME Properties Limited, and Q-Boid Limited. These franchise partnerships will see sites opened across the country over the next couple of years. In Asia, the company has agreed to sell its Japanese business to Tokyo-based TKP Corporation for the whole of Japan.


IWG is present in almost 3,300 locations, 120 countries and 1,100 town and cities across the world – and it’s this experience that makes IWG the ideal franchise partner for those wanting to take advantage of the booming demand for serviced offices worldwide.

“Our years of experience in the industry and our well-established global network has taught us that building a quality flexible workspace offering requires trust and support. We work closely with our franchisees to ensure that they have a framework to find the right location and design, backed by the strength of our operational and marketing support and the best customer service that IWG is known for.”

Mo Nanabhay, Franchising Director – Africa

To find out how you can take advantage of the workspace revolution, contact IWG’s franchise team via [email protected] or visit franchise.iwgplc.com.

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