Welcome to 2019!

Welcome to 2019!

The year of the young African business leader.

I will like to specially thank you for being an integral part of our 2018, a busy year for Under 40 CEOs and it felt good knowing you were there, not just cheering us on but actually getting involved.

In 2018 we were able to make more connections across the continent to unlock more value amongst young African business leaders. In Nigeria, we taped the celebrity episodes of the Under 40 CEOs TV show. We also taped episodes of the television show in South Africa and Rwanda. The new season is set to start airing from March 2019 across terrestrial platforms in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda and the United Kingdom while Africa Magic will continue broadcasting to over 27 African countries.

Under 40 CEOs also launched its membership platform in 2018 and a number of people asked why. For over 3 years, we have run a structure that is not sustainable as we were self-funding (thus far with close to zero sponsorships) the television show featuring stories of young African leaders has seen us travel from West to South and East Africa searching out and telling the stories of these ones as a source of information, inspiration and motivation to the next generation of business leaders. The cost of travel, production and placement on television is a cost we have borne over the years and this cannot be sustained. We have also held events bringing Under 40 CEOs together in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa and these have also been solely funded by the organization. As we continue to grow, we have unlocked additional value to include access to global investment and funding through our network for Under 40 CEOs. These require meetings across the world which in 2018 took me to France, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Rwanda. The Pan-African membership platform creates access to collaborations, partnerships and resources beyond your immediate borders. The associated cost of running the organization has made member participation alongside plans to monetize content necessary.

On the 6th of December, the 3rd edition of the Under 40 CEOs Forum held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria with the theme – Wealth Creation, Management and Inclusion: Innovative Strategies to Induce Economic Prosperity.

In 2018, we also became authors, launching a book featuring the stories of the first 52 CEOs on our television show. The 220-page book is titled – Under 40 CEOs. How We Made It In Africa. Volume 1. The book shares insights from the stories of these CEOs from varying industries. From Technology to Real Estate, Media to Engineering, Finance to Public Sector, Entertainment to Social Enterprise and more.

Under 40 CEOs Forum had in attendance established CEOs like Dr Ola Brown, the CEO of Flying Doctors, Dr Oby Ezekwsili, former Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division, Victor Ndukauba, Deputy Managing Director at Afrinvest West Africa and Akin Oyebode, pioneer Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

We held our first ever networking event in 2018 at the Maslow Hotels in Sandton City, Johannesburg, South Africa and were thrilled to host our platinum members to canapés, drinks, great music and good vibes as they further unlock value for themselves and their businesses through the network.

In 2018, we also opened two additional offices on the continent, each with it’s own Country Director and local team. Our Lagos, Nigeria office will be responsible for West Africa; Our Johannesburg, South Africa office will be the hub for Southern Africa whilst our Kigali, Rwanda offices will be responsible for East Africa.

2018 was indeed a great year and we are counting on your support in the New Year as we continue to create value together in a Africa and around the world.

As we kick off 2019, we would like to highlight some of our plans for the year:

We will be holding launch events for our book – Under 40 CEOs. How We Made It In Africa. Volume 1 in Accra, Ghana and Johannesburg, South Africa in the first quarter. The books will be available for purchase globally via physical and online bookstores. With the support of our partners we intend to distribute 100,000 copies of the book to business students in 92 Universities in Nigeria alone. If you would love to partner us in Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa to achieve this please do contact Wumi at [email protected].

The Under 40 CEOs Forum and Network events will be holding in Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya this year with the Diaspora editions holding in the United Kingdom and the United States. Keep refreshing your calendar at https://under40ceos.com/event-calendar/ to know when we come to a city near you.

Under 40 CEOs has engaged investors in the Middle East and Asia who will invest in member businesses through the network. Hence we have planned an investors meet-up in Saudi Arabia and China in 2019 and shortlisted platinum members only will be attending.

We will be shooting new episodes of Under 40 CEOs across East Africa, West Africa and South Africa in the third quarter only. Dates will be communicated early in in the second quarter. Please note that this will be the only production window open for the year.

March, 2019 will see us launch the Under 40 CEOs television platform on www.under40ceos.com/tv where you can immediately view 52 episodes of the television show. New episodes will be introduced every Monday morning from May 2019. The platform will be free to members who have paid their fees up to date but will be based on a monthly subscription of $5 only for everyone else.
Would you like to be a member of the Under 40 CEOs network? Please visit www.under40ceos.com/become-a-member/ to get started.

I want to thank you once again for being there and wish you the very best of all that 2019 has to offer.

Familusi A. Babajide
Executive Director, Africa.