IN CONVERSATION WITH NELLI FOUMBA SOUMAORO, CEO OF KOMM MIT AFRIKA HOLDING

Nelli Foumba Soumaoro is originally from the Republic of Guinea and speaks German, English, French, Arabic and five African languages. He studied social sciences in Dortmund, Germany, with a focus on poverty and refugee migration. He initiated and supervised the agricultural project of  Prof. Alpha Condé, the President of the Republic of Guinea. Eight years ago, he founded his company ‘Komm Mit Afrika’, which has now become a holding company and has its headquarters in Germany but operates worldwide in twelve countries, nine of which are African countries including South Africa, Ivory Coast, Republic of Guinea, Mali, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal. He focuses on government guarantees to realize sustainable investment and business growth, etc. with African countries. He is also a gifted Author of books on empowerment and finance.

 

R:Ed: Can You Tell Us What Financial Literacy Entails?

The importance of integral thinking cannot be overemphasized. To properly understand financial literacy, there are some key points to note. They are:-

  • Return of Investment (ROI)
  • Having a proper business plan
  • Financial Security
  • Financial Independence/ Financial Freedom
  • Empowerment

Also, there are some important questions you must ask yourself. Questions like:-

  • What do I really want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • Who am I?
  • What can I do?
  • How can I save and manage money?

To add, you have to be mentally focused to generate money.  Learn to start investing early. Focus on project development as well as building your mindset.

 

R:Ed: What Are The Challenges Faced By Agriculture In Africa?

Food security must be taken into account. For example, we support about two thousand farmers in rural areas of the Republic of Guinea with microcredits from our investment company “Komm Mit Afrika Invest GmbH”. Due to the lack of basic storage facilities, a high percentage of agricultural products spoil. Our aim is to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure food security for the women. We also provide them with tractors and protective tools. In addition, our investment company is involved in water management, health care and mining.

Africa is blessed with good soil, but one of the challenges is inadequate irrigation. Training, education and development of young farmers is also very important. Farmers need proper training in agribusiness. We should see agriculture as a profitable business and not just as food security.  This is one of the reasons why I wrote the book ‘Integral Financial Empowerment’.

 

 

R:Ed: What Inspired You To Write The Book ‘Empowerment Of Refugees: Better Now than Later’?

I came to Germany as a refugee. Over time, I became an advisor in the Federal Chancellery, where I helped make many policy decisions in the field of emigration policy. Investing in people is one of the best investments and it has always been important to me that the government should do more in this area because human capital affects economic growth.  In the long run, migration also has many benefits not only for the economy, but also for peaceful coexistence and social cohesion.

 

R:Ed: What Does Africa Need To Know About Sustainable Economy?

It is important to note that Africans have a role to play by perceiving that they themselves can invest more in Africa than the foreign investors. We should not rely on outside investors to invest 100%. In order to adequately support the economy, the returns on investments should not only flow back abroad, but rather be oriented towards reinvesting most of the returns of the investment, where possible, in the country where the profit was made. The social impact should be considered. The common people, especially civil society, should also be involved.

 

R:Ed: Diversifying The Economy Of Any Nation Is One Of The Bedrock For Sustainable Development. Has Africa Done Well In This Aspect?

For sustainable development, it is not desirable for any nation to focus and depend on only one resource of the country. What happens when that resource is no longer needed? For example, if you invest everything you have in shares, you will lose everything if it goes down. Similarly, if you invest everything you have in agriculture and climate change affects it; then you are at a loss.

We need a socio-business model in Africa where producers, investors and consumers all participate and win in a participatory way.

 

Below are links to his books:-

Full financial autonomy

Empowerment of refugees: better now than later

 

 

 

 

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