Kola Aina, Banky W, Seni Sulyman and Eric Idiahi Named to the 2020 Archbishop Tutu Fellowship

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The African Leadership Institute has announced the final selection of Africans that will be joining its fellowship this year. A total of 21 Africans made the final cut from the over 300 people that were nominated for the fellowship.

4 of the 21 Africans are from Nigeria and they are Kola Aina, Olubankole Wellington (Banky W), Seni Sulyman and Eric Idiahi. All four are from different sectors of the Nigerian society and have been responsible for major actions and changes in their respective sectors.

Olamide Kola Aina: General Partner at Ventures Platform

Olamide Kola Aina is the General Partner at Ventures Platform. In 2019, he stepped down from his position as the Executive Director of the Foundation. He has since served on the foundation’s board to provide leadership which will help achieve its ultimate goals and lead its investment efforts.

In the 3 years since Ventures Platform was founded, Kola Aina’s contributions with his team impacted over 40,000 people and 300 startups as a result of various programs and a thriving co-working community.

Olubankole Wellington (Banky W): CEO of Empire Mates Entertainment

Olubankole Wellington, known as Banky W to many, is largely known for his works in the entertainment industry. Besides being a musician, Wellington is a businessman and is the Chairman and CEO of Empire Mates Entertainment (EME). EME started as a record label before transitioning to a media agency.

As a media agency, the company has handled media-related projects for brands including Budweiser, Access Bank and Peak Milk. Besides being a businessman, Wellington is also a politician.

While he lost the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency Elections in 2019, the impact he made during the build-up to the polls is still being felt.

Seni Sulyman: Vice President, Global Operations at Andela

Seni Sulyman recently stepped down from his role as Vice President, Global Operations at Andela. He started with Andela in 2016 as the Director of Operations, and was the Country Director for Nigeria and Interim Country Director for Kenya before he became the Vice President, Global Operations.

Before Sulyman joined Andela, he had worked with other companies which included Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bain & Company, Konga Online Shopping Limited, and Bristow Group.

Eric Idiahi: Co-Founder of Verod Capital

Eric Idiahi is Co-Founder and partner at Verod Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in companies across various sectors. He has led the mergers and acquisitions at Verod Capital and the growth of many African firms.

Idiahi is a member of the board in various companies including Tangerine Life Insurance Limited; African Lifestyle Limited; EMZOR Pharmaceuticals; Greensprings Educational Services Limited; Rainbow Educational Services Limited; and Lancaster University, Ghana.

The Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship

The Archbishop Tutu Fellowship was named after Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He is also the patron of the African Leadership Institute. As a major flagstone of the institute’s activities, 20 to 25 Africans are selected yearly to be part of a multifaceted learning experience.

Oxford University is a partner to the Institute to provide this learning experience for the fellows. The purpose of the learning is to continually groom leaders that can, through their own sphere of influence,
build the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent.

A major consequence of the Institute’s activities is the positioning of Africa, not as a needy and helpless continent, but as one that is well-represented and the centre-stage in global affairs.

With the new crop of Tutu Fellows, particularly from Nigeria, and the impact that has already been made before they became fellows, collaborations and more strategic leadership are to be expected from this new phase.

The Archbishop Tutu Fellowship is respected because it has been productive over the years. Congratulations to each fellow.


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