While the COVID-19 pandemic began as a step backward for many industries and businesses, the resulting technological advancements, increased connectivity, and flexible business models have taken us two steps forward. As acclaimed investor and serial entrepreneur Kojo Annan notes, even businesses in emerging markets – like many of those in Africa – are adapting to these changes in a way that will set them up for success in the digital age. Kojo believes that as we move towards a “new normal,” businesses are returning with a renewed sense of resilience, creativity, and adaptability. Kojo wants to help innovative and visionary start-ups in Africa and global start-ups take advantage of these unique circumstances and take on the digital age with confidence; in doing so, he hopes to revolutionize a number of industries across the African continent.
Revitalizing Industries Across Africa
Kojo Annan is a world-renowned serial entrepreneur, accomplished investor, and global thought leader. He specializes in targeted strategic consultancy for startups in emerging markets like Africa. Kojo wants to help these growing businesses and industries stay ahead of the curve with the global digital transformation.
Kojo’s work spans a wide variety of industries that he hopes to revolutionize, from fashion to finance, from transportation to education. He is breathing new life into emerging markets in Africa by supporting innovative startups through investments and strategic consultancy. Kojo currently serves as the principal owner and managing partner at Vector Global, executive chairman and co-founder of Made in Africa (MIA), as well as chairman and founder of Boardroom One.
Creating Jobs and Supporting New Markets
Ghana is an emerging market, one that is quickly taking its place on the world stage. In 2002, Kojo and his partners envisioned a modern container terminal that would significantly boost Ghana’s growing trade industry. Kojo partnered with Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, APM Terminals, and Bolloré Transport and Logistics to create Meridian Port Services (MPS). The terminal connected Ghana to new trading routes and markets and created thousands of jobs in the process. MPS’ latest equity financing round was at $1.5 billion USD.
Supporting Startups with Vector Global
Kojo’s involvement with Vector Global (VG) serves as an outlet for his passion for innovation, building businesses, and growing industries. VG is a UK-based investment holding company supporting cutting-edge tech companies in a variety of diverse fields, from healthcare to cryptocurrency, biotech, Al, machine learning, spacetech, foodtech, and edtech. VG provides all the advantages of an international investor.
Using Sports as a Tool for Development in Africa
Kojo has dedicated himself to helping Africa’s youth reach their full potential through sportsmanship and academics. Kojo’s lifelong love of sports and four-year tenure as President of Vevey Sports FC in Switzerland inspired him to create Africa 10 (A10). Founded in 2016, A10 is a social enterprise seeking to empower African youth through the transformative power of sports and education. The organization has also provided scholarships to young African students seeking to attend university sports education programs in the United Kingdom.
As of November 2020, Kojo sits on the advisory board of the Global Institute For Sports. He also served as an executive producer on The Beautiful Game, a 2012 documentary highlighting the transformative power of football in modern-day Africa. He hopes that supporting access to athletics and academics can change the lives of many young Africans.
Bringing African Culture to the World
Though he considers himself to be a global citizen, Kojo is proud of his African heritage and has long sought ways to share it with the world. Kojo co-founded Made in Africa (MIA) to bring the beauty of African culture and fashion to the world. Kojo collaborated with a team of experts in the fields of fashion, retail, and distribution to build the Made in Africa organization. Some of MIA’s early brands are garnering international attention in the fashion trade, and are quickly becoming major players in Africa’s growing print market.
Increasing Global Connectivity and Communication
With much of our personal and commercial interaction taking place online, many brands are looking for innovative ways to connect with consumers worldwide. An exciting new content trend, social audio, is rising to fill this need.
Realizing the potential to connect people across the globe in a uniquely personal way, Kojo quickly came on board with the Boardroom One (B1) app, for which he serves as Executive Chairman. Boardroom One is a one-of-a-kind social platform for professionals set to launch in June 2022. It is an integrated mobile-first application designed to improve human connection and communication online. The app’s forward-looking features and design serve as an exclusive preview of the business interactions and communication systems of the future.
B1 was recently highlighted by Alpha Grid Financial Times alongside platforms such as Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse, and Spotify Greenroom as a key participant in this innovative content trend enabling brands to connect with consumers like never before. Kojo’s goal is to make B1 even bigger than Clubhouse over the next few years.
Growing as a Man, a Person, and Professional
Born to a Ghanaian father and a Nigerian mother, Kojo’s family moved around quite a bit throughout his early life. During his childhood, Kojo lived in Accra, Geneva, London, and the United States. His experience and exposure to so many cultures inspired Kojo to identify as a global citizen, adaptable to any environment or culture on Earth. Kojo’s global citizenship sparked his passion for connecting people and industries across the globe.
Kojo is proud to be the living legacy of his great and respected father, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Throughout Kojo’s life, his father bestowed upon him the paragons of virtue and the assets of trust, human connection, and collaboration.
In recent years, Kojo Annan has embarked on a journey of personal and professional growth. His subsequent self-realization and maturation have helped Kojo to find his purpose and define his mission. Whether through investment or consultancy, Kojo wants to support technological innovation and digital transformation in Africa.
Though he frequently travels, he spends most of his time in Ghana with his wife Shanthi and three beautiful children.
Read about Kojo Annan’s work on his official website and connect with him on LinkedIn. Click to learn more about Vector Global, Made in Africa, and Africa 10. See his work covered by Fintech.TV on CNBC Africa.