Oramah’s Developmental Commercial Banking Idea needs Elumelu’s Africapitalism.

Professor Benedict Oramah’s recent articulation of Development Commercial Banking is very compelling. According to him, Development Commercial Banking is “… a careful blend of investment banking and commercial banking aimed at delivering three outcomes, namely positive socioeconomic impact to society, as well as solid financial returns and goodwill to the bank”.

Professor Oramah is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank – an important African financial institution. His statement on Development Commercial Banking is weighty, strategic, and timely, and I will tell you why!

Over the years, I have spent some time intellectualising the role of business, particularly banking, in Africa. Initially, it started with an interest in Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2006, together with colleagues, I published one of the first academic papers on CSR in Nigeria, exploring if the practice was driven by indigenous values or an expression of Western mimicry. Although we concluded that the then CSR in Nigeria, which was largely philanthropic, was informed by indigenous values, it also showed some Western influences.

A light bulb moment for me was when Tony Elumelu coined Africapitalism and saw it as a possible way to articulate the private sector’s positive role in Africa’s development. When I came across the idea in 2013, it captivated me.

Above is an excerpt from an article originally published on the Guardian, authored by Kenneth Amaechi, Professor of Sustainable Finance at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. It argues that Oramah’s idea needs a strong and coherent economic and business philosophy, which Africapitalism provides.

Click here to read more.

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