Sterling Bank, others to promote 500 businesses

Sterling Bank Plc says it plans to partner 500 indigenous African enterprises to make 50 of them globally competitive in the next five years.

In a statement, the Group Head, Strategy and Innovation, Sterling Bank, Mr Shina Atilola, who disclosed this while addressing participants at the African Ventures Programme hosted by the bank in Lagos recently, explained that the programme was an annual pan-African leadership event bringing together exceptional emerging leaders from government, businesses and non-profit organisations across Africa.

Atilola added that the programme would enable the transfer of knowledge, know-how and inspiration across generations and attracted some of the most inspiring leaders in the world today as participants.

“It creates a new generation of African leaders who have the cultural intelligence to work fluidly and flexibly across the continent, who have the analytical and creative skills to use diversity to spark innovation, and have extraordinarily broad African networks,” he said.

While stating that Africa would need quality leadership in every sector of the economy and not only in government, he said, “We need leaders that can see wider and deeper than others can see. We need leaders that are willing to take the risk. We need leaders that are willing to leave their comfort zones.

“Leadership is about service, not an entitlement. Leadership is about what you are willing to give and not what you are expecting to receive. Leadership is about denying yourself just because you want to achieve a greater purpose. It is not about solving your problems, but it is about solving other people’s problems.”

The group head noted that a leader must combine their concern for the greater good with an excellent in-depth understanding of how to run a business or how to create and deploy new technology.

He reiterated that Africa needed leaders who could think broadly and excel in teamwork and communication, adding, “It is not about you (leader) but about us.”

He emphasised that Africa needed leaders that were innovators and entrepreneurs in spirit and who must keep on trying until they get what they wanted.

“A leader must conquer himself before he can aspire to conquer the world,” he stated.

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