The line announcing JAMBO (Swahili salutation) got hundreds of clicks and here I congratulate those who kindly showed interest and commented on. Below, the key questions.
1- Recently, you launched JAMBO FUND FOR AFRICA: Which is the scenario?
I designed the FUND taking inspiration from the Documents/Papers released by the international financial establishment and, among others, Basel III Committee, CGAP, UN 2030 Agenda on SDGs. With particular reference to Africa, I found it very attractive Mr. Elumelu’s Africapitalism, a Nigerian tycoon and banker, who, in 2014, in an interview spelled out his vision on what to do to promote African entrepreneurial spirit and how to approach microfinance issues; among other, he said: “It’s all about sustainability”. I elaborated on above background information and I designed JAMBO borrowing from my extensive field experience; in particular, I designed, managed and evaluated Credit Guarantee Fund/ Trust Fund/ Grant Facility/ Revolving Fund in the following Countries: Tunisia, Bosnia, Caribbean (St. Lucia), Romania, Mali, Albania, Netherlands Antilles (Curacao), Malawi, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana and Russia Federation. In other words, experience and expertise have been a necessary background to drawing it, which afterwards will be a requirement to run the business, which asks for accumulated daily exposure to evaluate the credit risks.
2 – Presenting JAMBO, you said that the Fund is an innovative approach, why?
JAMBO isn’t business as usual and indeed isn’t just financing but much more: it is a new way to approach the market. As a matter of statement, I elaborated on the message articulated by the financial establishment, at least how I detected it. This the best way to innovate: to introduce something new in a mechanism already in use.The reasoning behind the below Figure has synthesised the idea that justifies why and how to sustain the entrepreneurship, which had hundreds of clicks and tens appreciations. Bankers/Financiers did business over centuries and the importance of financing doesn’t need to be explained. However, under the particular circumstances, the Figure illustrates how to make interventions in favour of entrepreneurship in the emerging economy and in so doing make a tangible impact on the communities. In particular, I elaborated on the Goal 8 of UN 2030 Agenda: “Promote inclusive and sustainable growth”. In the wave of digitalization, the proposed approach is of utmost importance because the question isn’t to provide people with a smart mobile phone or WhatsApp but to have people eligible for its use.
3 – You said that the finance providers should work as a driving belt; could you explain it?
I do have my own idea, of course, but the issue should be discussed together with the Investors in connection with the parallel objective of the FUND: assisting microfinance sector, which is important not only for the single entity but for the sound achievement of the financial inclusion. The interest of the micro financial providers to cooperate is well beyond the availability of fresh resources, because JAMBO will provide them with advice to review and revise the style of management, to better meet the underserved customers’ needs.
4 – How to start operations?
JAMBO’s horizon is the Continent, opportunities being available in each one and every Country, but initially, the focus will be on some Countries to be agreed with the Investors: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Tanzania and Algeria (to be agreed). The operations may be advanced by a field survey although it isn’t necessary and indeed it may be overcome with my contacts in the Continents: I do have in mind to achieve field trips for round-up meetings with the purpose to come back with a significant portfolio. For the time being, the FUND’s model has to be completed and I have prepared a Project-Document of some forty pages. However, the exercise has to be finalised in agreement with the Investors, who should say a word on topics that belong to them: Institutional and Administrative Arrangements, Organization Structure, Decision Making process, Policy & Procedures. On the matter, I have elaborated some slides for discussion.
5 – Where JAMBO shall be located?
The office shall be located in Africa to campaign the FUND at inception and then to be close to the Borrowers. The FUND shall have a soft structure with a FUND Manager, a national consultant and a secretary. I have worked out a tentative timetable for establishing the Fund: a month time could be the period to complete the job, depending on the way the Investors will speed up the process.
6 – Which would be your role?
I am a Consultant and in my advisory position, I proposed a Model of intervention because I do believe it is a valid and viable intervention. It will be up to the Private Investors/Institutions/Funding Agencies to appoint a Fund Manager and the other Executives Positions in the Board. Having conceived and designed the Model and being a field man I will be available to act as a Partner and be involved in running the business, of course.
7 – Why the Investors should subscribe?
The Project-Document starts with the narrative of Africa’s economic development and from this exercise, I drew operational conclusions; justifications and assumptions have been listed in ad hoc paragraph. The investment shall have economic return and a social impact on the communities as well; also, the investors shall appreciate the return on the image, being the development’s actors for providing opportunities and reduce jobless. It is worthwhile to note that the market has been estimated at $ 1.5 billion and JAMBO has been designed to take these opportunities.