Africa Rise And Shine PDF By Jim Ovia

Africa Rise And Shine By Jim Ovia

Download Africa Rise And Shine PDF book By Jim Ovia – Africa Rise And Shine – The road to success is rarely linear and never easy. Despite countless setbacks, Jim Ovia, founder of Zenith Bank, was able to achieve the unthinkable. Africa Rise and Shine is the story of Ovia’s business and banking success and how he was able to create one of Africa’s largest banks.

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Description Africa Rise And Shine PDF

Spanning decades of both world and Nigerian history, Africa Rise and Shine dives deep into the events that led to Ovia’s triumph. Drawing upon his educational experiences and relentless determination, Ovia was able to overcome every hurdle that stood in the way of his bank becoming the national icon that it is today. Africa Rise and Shine outlines the tough, yet necessary business decisions that were essential to Zenith’s prolonged success and is filled with valuable takeaways for every businessperson. Learn from one of the best in banking what it takes to truly be successful.

Prologue – Africa Rise And Shine PDF

it was in June 2013 when, with the day’s mail, came a copy of the latest Forbes Africa magazine— the one that happened to have my photograph on the cover. I sat down at my desk, putting the rest of the mail aside. As I stared at the magazine, my thoughts turned back to the photo shoot at which the picture was taken. In the photograph they chose for the cover, I was standing against a dark blue background wearing a dark suit and a sapphire-blue tie. I was looking directly into the lens of the camera, one hand extended as if in greeting. Above, and partly behind my head, was the magazine’s iconic name. The cover text read in large letters, “Why $825 Million Means Nothing to Me,” and below that, “Jim Ovia: The Godfather of Banking.” For anyone who has sought to make a mark in the business world, a Forbes Africa cover is a seminal moment—tangible proof that you have done something not just remarkable, but rare—and for me with my humble upbringing, something quite unexpected. Though I’m often asked for interviews, I had kept most of the details of my upbringing private until the Forbes Africa story. In that moment of seeing the magazine cover for the first time, I realized I wanted to share my story. Africa Rise And Shine PDF

My cover story gave me a great sense of pride, of course. I experienced a sense of wonder, as well. Many people have asked me over the years how a boy growing up in the small Nigerian town of Agbor had been able to start, build, and maintain a bank that is one of the largest and most profitable businesses in Africa. The issue of Forbes that featured me became the magazine’s best-selling edition in Africa. They had to reprint it four times. It was around that time that family, friends, and business acquaintances began suggesting I write a book about my experiences. This is that book. It took me some time to decide to write it. Africa Rise And Shine PDF

Certainly, the idea of publishing a memoir or autobiography held no appeal for me; I suspected that, in my case, such an account would do little more than bore its readers. I prefer a book that is less memoir, and more business-focused—a book that describes my business transactions and high-powered deals and details my experience as an entrepreneur. My business ambition is closely entwined with my vision of a future both dependent on and enhanced by various exogenous factors. Like any successful business builder, there are also personal qualities and experiences that prove influential or are carried over into my decision-making process. I want to shed light on the principles and practices that have brought such achievements to me—to provide insight not just for bankers, but for people of all roles and in all industries. Africa Rise And Shine PDF

It has been my wish for a long time that the young people of my home country of Nigeria—and throughout Africa—take advantage of the tremendous opportunities Africa has to offer. The path to success is accessible to every young African person, regardless of background, family income, or education. This has been said many times, but I repeat it sincerely now—if I can do it, you can, too.


Africa now has a fast-growing middle class: according to Standard Bank, around 60m Africans have an income of $3,000 a year, and 100m will in 2015. The rate of foreign investment has soared around tenfold in the past decade.


When most people outside of Africa visualize the continent, the associations they often make are with famine and poverty, conflicts and war. From the moment I began writing this book, I have been determined to redefine this narrative and illustrate the real Africa behind the headlines. The Africa of my birth and of my life experience is a continent of abundant human and natural resources, immense and diverse investment opportunities, and an economy that is primed for leapfrog strategies. Africa’s challenges may appear daunting to most, but to those with the right entrepreneurial vision, challenges always provide opportunities. Poor infrastructure? The entrepreneur sees that as a chance to leverage structural improvements as a core component of a burgeoning brand identity. Inadequate supply of electricity? The entrepreneur identifies such a deficiency as a blank slate on which a new electricity supply can be built. My own road to success is evidence that these are no mere platitudes. Africa Rise And Shine

The path I followed for more than twenty years in building Zenith Bank from a nascent business with $4 million in shareholders’ funds to an internationally recognized brand and institution with more than $16 billion in assets was achieved under both military and civilian regimes, despite a decaying infrastructure and periods of economic instability. For anyone who has the intuitive entrepreneurial capacity to envision obstacles as entry points to brand building, and the vision to translate “not yet” into “finally now,” the climate in Africa can provide a richly fertile bed in which to seed new business.

In May 2000, The Economist magazine published a cover story that dubbed Africa “The Hopeless Continent.” Over a decade later, that same magazine categorically reversed its position in a new cover story called “Africa Rising,” which was accompanied by an illustration of a young child racing through the grass while flying an Africa-shaped kite painted with all the colors of the rainbow. The story revealed that Africa herself had, in fact, never been hopeless, and it was this awakening perception of a continent at the zenith of her growth that I want to reflect in titling this book Africa Rise and Shine. In the course of Zenith Bank’s own journey to “rise and shine,” the business began as a single branch in Lagos on the ground floor of an improvised residential duplex that we shared with a private tenant and his wife. Africa Rise And Shine PDF

At the time, there were no high-rise office structures in the area, and we were not able to afford a stand-alone building of our own, so we created an impromptu commercial space where we could carry out the banking business. We put up our signage and logo, but truly it did not resemble an office or a bank at all. That unassuming duplex was the starting point for a business that became a London Stock Exchange-listed company with operations in the UK, China, UAE, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, with more than 400 branches and business offices in Nigeria. What lessons can the next generation of entrepreneurs learn from the meteoric rise of Zenith Bank? Among the most important of those lessons may be my experience that it is not necessary to be born rich or in influential circles to achieve success. By those standards, my own achievements would be categorized as having come about against the greatest of odds. When I was just four years old, my father—who was in his mid-fifties—suffered a massive heart attack and died several weeks later due to inadequate medical facilities. Africa Rise And Shine PDF

Left to fend for herself and her family, my newly widowed mother called upon her intuitive entrepreneurial skills to set up her own small trading business. My oldest brother, who was almost twenty years my senior and working in Lagos, sent part of his wages home each month to help pay my school expenses. For this reason, I was able to stay in school. This was the emotional inspiration that would ultimately result in my building James Hope College and offering scholarships to 50 percent of its students. My brother’s financial generosity and wisdom in knowing how crucial it was that I remain in school are the reasons I place so much importance on education, and on creating programs and scholarships that will help young Nigerians go to school and graduate. From my earliest recollections, this was the model on which I based my own behavior—and I developed my own work ethic in keeping with my mother’s and my brother’s example, responding to adversity by cultivating the capacity to react. Throughout my life, I have retained this drive to overcome any and all obstacles life might cast in my way. The difference in attitude between those two Economist cover stories—from Africa-as-hopeless-continent to Africa-asrising-nations—carries its own valuable lesson: never allow the perceptions of others to play a substantial part in your

About the author

JIM OVIA is the founder and chairman of Zenith Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Africa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern University Louisiana, an MBA from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and an OPM from Harvard Business School. Jim is a philanthropist and chairman of the Jim Ovia Foundation. To date, over 1,500 students have been provided with university scholarships. The Jim Ovia Foundation also established the James Hope College at Agbor, his place of birth. In recognition of his achievements, particularly in support of the Nigerian economy, Jim Ovia was conferred with the national award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2011.

Originally published: 24 July 2018

AuthorJim Ovia

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