'Palabre' - let's talk about things.


Roots – Dun & Bradstreet 1/2

By Amira Serhani | Oct 6, 2017 | 0

This article on Dun & Bradstreet – the credit scoring giant – marks the first of a monthly series exploring the origins of the different ways of doing what we do. From the establishment of the Mercantile Agency in 1841, to the invention of the Data Universal Numbering System in 1963, Dun & Bradstreet has…

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Rolando Version.1710.2

By Alec FOKAPU | Oct 2, 2017 | 0

OUR STORY I met Rolando when he and I were working at Total back in the day. It made sense for Rolando to join me and the team at Labadens as he had a strong interest in Africa after having worked at the United Nations. When he joined us in 2011 his job was mainly…

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Michel Version.1709.1

By Alec FOKAPU | Sep 15, 2017 | 0

The first version release of the FiftyFor platform is named after one of my good friends Michel. OUR STORY We met on the first day of term at the Grenoble Ecole de Management in 2002, tied to a pillar with students throwing things at us – as per tradition for the incoming students. I was…

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Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa

By Amira Serhani | Sep 15, 2017 | 0

Corporate Social Responsibility, widely referred to as ‘CSR’ was defined by the European Commission in 2001,  as ‘a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis’. Whilst this definition appears straightforward, the reality of CSR in companies’ operations is far…

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Should you be African to do business in Africa?

By Alec FOKAPU | Sep 4, 2017 | 0

Treading a fine line.   Needless to say, history doesn’t shine a flattering light on the West’s treatment of Africa. The horrendous effects of slavery and imperialism are still being felt today. And still, today, Africa is not taken seriously by much of the business world. It is clear that colonial attitudes and exploitative business…

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Credit rating, audits, and the African environment 3/3

By FiftyFor | Aug 27, 2017 | 0

Potential solutions Despite their limitations, credit rating agencies and auditing firms play an important role in Western economies. They evaluate organisations in order to establish their credit-worthiness or their financial credibility. Due to their importance in the West, they have been imposed on the African continent’s own business world. As we saw in ‘Credit rating,…

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Credit Rating, audits, and the African environment 2/3

By Alec FOKAPU | Jul 28, 2017 | 0

Auditing in Sub-Saharan Africa     In the face of major corporate collapses and the 2008 financial crisis, the 1990s and 2000s saw the auditing profession come under fire. The ‘big five’ became four, as Arthur Andersen surrendered its licenses in 2002, guilty of malpractice in auditing energy giant Enron. The accountability and efficacy of…

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Credit rating, audits, and the African environment 1/3

By Alec FOKAPU | Jul 21, 2017 | 1

Credit rating agencies       Historically as well as in the present day, credit rating agencies have played an important and central role in evaluating the financial behavior of businesses and enabling loans. Nonetheless, they are vulnerable to criticism. There are question marks, too, over their ability to serve Africa and its developing world…

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Africa’s Middle Class

By FiftyFor | Jul 13, 2017 | 0

Is it worth our attention? In recent years there has been an increasing amount of literature published on Africa’s “emerging middle class”. The Standard Bank estimates that, in 2014, 11% of Nigeria’s population could be classified as middle class, while the Mckinsey Global Institute excitedly announces that private consumption is increasing, “offering promising business opportunities…

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Bank Liquidity in Africa

By Alec FOKAPU | Jun 23, 2017 | 0

No way out? For a long time now, many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have had a liquidity problem. Banks have excess liquid assets that they appear to be unwilling to lend, stunting economic growth. The question is, can this excess liquidity be justified? What’s more, can we find the means to free up the banks’…

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