People to watch: Nigeria
Obi Emelonye – Banking on Nollywood
The film producer and director, who once upon a time was nearly a lawyer, now creates blockbuster Nollywood films that shed stereotypes around quality and make good money in the process. He is best known for Last Flight to Abuja and his hit TV series about bankers, The Calabash.
Segun Adebutu – Refined business
The great push to diversify Nigeria’s energy sector continues – and the country’s second large-scale commercial refinery is planned to open in 2021, according to Segun Adebutu, chief executive of Petrolex Oil and Gas. His plans are buttressed by an already existing infrastructure of storage tanks, which sit next to the construction site for the refinery in Ogun State. Though not as big as Dangote’s planned 650,000-barrel-per-day refinery, to open in the next two years, its 250,000-per-day capacity will make Nigeria a hub for refined petroleum exports in West Africa.
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji – Serial start-ups
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is the poster boy for Nigeria’s upstart start-up scene. Though many claim the title serial entrepreneur, few wear it well. Not so for Aboyeji, who has already created four companies, one of which, Andela, received a $24m investment from the foundation of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Andela is helping to create the next generation coders. Aboyeji’s newest venture, Flutterwave, helps people and companies complete payments across various platforms, including, of course, mobile phones. “The digital economy is the new global economy,” Aboyeji tells investors.
These interviews first appeared in the March 2018 print edition of The Africa Report magazine