By Amin Kef (Ranger)
Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, National Revenue Authority (NRA), was one of the key personalities that graced the 13th African Achievers Awards & International Summit which was held at the House of Lords, UK Parliament in the United Kingdom on the 14th July 2023 with the theme, “Unlocking Trade and Investment Opportunities For Sustainable Development in Africa”.
Prior to the event, the National Revenue Authority (NRA) was short-listed as a nominee and Honouree under the “Organization of the Year Award” Category, for innovation and excellent Service delivery. In addition, the pragmatic and result-oriented Board Chairperson was also invited to serve as a keynote speaker for the occasion as well as to be honoured during the programme; the 2023 African Achievers Awards.
The Right Honourable, Member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament, who was the Chair of the Government of the United Kingdom Race Disparity Unit Advisory Group until July 2020, served as the host and in attendance were very influential personalities including Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE, President and Founder of Wintrade Global Women in Business Network; Prof. Victor Mbarika, President of the ICT University; and Juliana Olayinka, a renowned journalist from Channels TV London. The lecture’s moderator panel featured Kristin Sharpe, Director of the European School of Economics, and Sidi Saccoh, an expert in entrepreneurship ecosystems.
Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara, the Chairperson of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) delivered an insightful address on fiscal affairs and economic development whilst Dr. Justina Mutale, Founder of JMF, captivated the audience with her empowering message on women in business were as Titi Horsfall, Head of Diplomatic Corps at Nigeria LNG Limited, shed light on the vital role of diplomatic relations in Africa.
It is worthy to note that throughout the engaging discussions, a wide range of topics were covered, including real estate investment opportunities in Africa and strategies to expedite the continent’s growth. The event also showcased a special presentation on the Great Green Wall initiative, which seeks to combat desertification and promote environmental sustainability.
The African Achievers Annual Lecture culminated with a riveting tech/AI session, exploring the future of banking and fintech in Africa. Visionaries and industry leaders, such as Viv Ahmun, Co-founder of Open Africa and President of Aspire Education Group (AEG), shared insights on the transformative potential of technology in reshaping Africa’s financial landscape and driving inclusive economic growth.
The African Achievers Annual Lecture, alongside the 2023 African Achievers Awards, also paid tribute to outstanding individuals who have made remarkable contributions to Africa’s development and progress.
Highpoint of the occasion was when the indomitable and charismatic NRA Board of Directors Chairperson, Tuma Adama Gento-Kamara, delivered the keynote address starting by emphasizing the importance of finding common ground and seizing opportunities for progress in Africa. She urged the continent to challenge negative narratives and showcase its vast potential, highlighting Africa’s abundant resources, growing population and emerging markets.
The charismatic go-getter and influential public figure spotlighted Sierra Leone’s efforts to rebrand itself and attract foreign direct investment further making reference to and emphasizing the country’s recent achievements, such as the re-election of President Julius Maada Bio for his final term, Sierra Leone’s election to the UN Security Council, and its reputation as one of the most peaceful countries in Africa. She underscored the need for Africa to take charge of its own narrative, develop business models on its terms and create a favorable environment for investment.
In her view of unlocking trade and investment opportunities for sustainable development in Africa, she highlighted the continent’s immense potential, including a rapidly growing workforce, improving business environments and a wealth of natural resources. According to her, increased intra-African trade, regional integration, and policy coordination will all contribute largely to maximize Africa’s economic growth.
The Chairperson emphasized the significance of two major trade agreements, namely the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) succinctly pointing out how these agreements provide opportunities for African countries to expand trade with each other and with international partners, removing barriers and fostering industrialization as well as economic development.
She concluded by urging African business leaders and entrepreneurs to embrace regional integration, remain intentional, professional, and visionary in their pursuits further emphasizing that progress could only be achieved through collaboration and seizing opportunities.
It must be noted that the NRA’s recognition at the 13th African Achievers Awards highlights the revenue mobilization institution’s commitment to innovation and exceptional service delivery in Sierra Leone.
Moreover, the African Achievers Awards served as a platform for celebrating achievements, fostering connections and inspiring further advancements across the continent.
In a nutshell, the prestigious event served as a reminder of Africa’s immense potential and the importance of unlocking trade and investment opportunities for sustainable development in the region.
By fostering meaningful conversations and facilitating collaborations, the prestigious event sets the stage for inspiring change and propelling Africa towards a brighter future.