By Babajide Komolafe
In apparent bid toÂ compliment their quest for global expansion, Nigeria banks have began to enter into partnership with international media organisations to project the African economy.
Following the conclusion of theÂ consolidation exercise some Nigeria banks embarked on global expansion, which commenced with subsidiaries in across the African continent. While some concentrated on establishing strong presence on the African continent, others decided to establish presence in the global financial centersÂ like London and New York.
Some of these banks however realised that the prevalence of negative news reports about the continent might undermined their global expansion plans. To address this factor, some of these banks entered into partnership with international news media for the purpose of positively projecting the image. For example Zenith Bank partnered with CNN for a program titled â€œInside Africaâ€, while Bank PHB and Intercontinental Bank also partnered with CNN for â€œAfrican Voicesâ€ and â€œAfrican Business Reportâ€. This corporate moveÂ received a major boost recently when Skye Bank, in demonstration of its commitmentÂ Â to the development of Africa, recently went into a partnership the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to project Africa to the rest of the world.
With an estimated global listenership of over 150 million people by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the decision of Skye Bank Plc to enter into a strategic sponsorship deal with the BBC for the broadcast ofÂ â€œAfrica Business Reportâ€ should therefore be seen as a Pan African initiative.
The programme which will be aired every Saturday and Sunday at 1.30pm and 8.00 pm respectively on the BBC, is intended to showcase the economic potentials and developments on the African continent to the rest of the world and correct the negative reporting of Africa in the international news media.
The partnershipÂ which started last August will see BBC correspondents within each country l reportingÂ on the growing trends and latest business developments in the region to the worldwide audience thereby positively projecting Africa to the rest of the world.
Speaking at the launch of the programme recently in Lagos, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Akinsola Akinfemiwa, explained that Africa had often been negatively reported by the powerful foreign media, giving scant regard to the positive developments on the continent.
â€œThe idea behind the sponsorship of this programme is not primarily for publicity and visibility; rather, our intention is to add value and positively impact on the economic development of the African continent and the social wellbeing of its populace.
â€œAs a proudly Nigerian bank with a Pan African ambition, we see the need to tell the world about the various good initiatives and business opportunities that abound in Africa, thereby connecting Africa to the world and the world to Africaâ€, he said.
Also speaking, BBCâ€™s Executive Director, Sean Oâ€™Hara, said the programme would be viewed by over 150 million people across the world, stressing that it would tell the other side of Africa by showcasing entrepreneurial spirit in Africans.
The presenter of the programme, Komlar Dumor, said: â€œIt is a privilege to present African Business Report during a time in which the continent is developing its economic growth and business futureâ€.
According to him, Africa has a new generation of energetic entrepreneurs who are determined to compete on the global stage. Africa Business Report is designed to capture the energy and diversity of business life in Africa.
Analysts are of the opinion that the programme can lead to the blossoming of the entrepreneurial spirit among Africans as it is capable of setting in motion a healthy competition for innovation, job creation and the ultimate economic transformation of the continent.
The continent will also benefit from the programme as foreign investors may want to key in into the change process that is unfolding in Africa by bringing in their capital and expertise thereby raising economic productivity and the national income accruable to the respective countries in the continent.