Dupe Olusola Highlights Action Points for Africa’s Accelerated Growth at Yale University
Dupe Olusola, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc, one of Africa’s most successful CEOs has said Africa must prioritise sound and stable micro and macroeconomic policies that are not selfish but forward-looking to accelerate growth.
She also said Africa must empowerment of our youth and women and activate positive participation and involvement of our African diaspora as part of key action points for growth.
The Transcorp Hotels CEO who spoke to the students of Ivy League research university, Yale University, United States said “Africa stands at the point of transformation and unprecedented growth with numerous opportunities from our young population, untapped resources, and our diversity.”
She spoke on Saturday, November 4, at the Yale Nigerian Students’ Association Accelerate Africa Business Conference which was held at Sudler Hall, Yale University. She joined the conference virtually from Abuja.
“The world has never seen a more dynamic and youthful continent, with the largely youth population of Africa projected to reach 1.1 billion people by 2040, who will become the largest workforce globally. Also, Africa is a continent of abundant natural resources such as oil and gas, minerals, land, sunshine, wind, and biodiversity, most of which remain largely untapped. There are a lot of opportunities to accelerate the growth of the continent” she mentioned.
According to her: “This is an exciting and pivotal moment in the world’s history.
While she acknowledges the challenges Africa faces are numerous, Olusola thinks the path to progress is not hidden.
Speaking based on her experience as managing director of Transcorp Hotels Plc, a role she took on in the heat of the pandemic, Olusola recalls how everything that could go wrong went wrong.
“During this period, we posted the lowest occupancy in the history of Transcorp Hotels – just over 5% – and recorded losses of over N650m per month. It was not easy, but we stuck to our guns, we got innovative, and we turned the tide. Between 2020 and now, we have grown our revenues by over 200% from N10bn to N32bn in 2022 and also grown our profit by 228% from N7bn to N23bn in the same period. And now, we are looking at revenues in excess of N40bn” she said,
Olusola continues; “Our brand continues to contribute to employment in our industry, and we are a significant part of the country’s tourism economy. Through the work we do at Transcorp Hotels Plc, we are contributing to accelerating Africa and building the continent of our dreams.”
The Transcorp Hotels CEO, who was recently awarded CEO of the Year at the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards, says her experience leading Transcorp Hotels back to profitability made her realise doing the basic things right can accelerate desired progress and prosperity. She highlights the basic things as – people mobilization, inclusive leadership, and goal congruence, which she said made a difference for her at Transcorp Hotels Plc. “These are the same things that will make a difference for us in our continent.”
She further highlights other priorities for Africa’s accelerated progress; sound and stable micro and macro-Economic Policies that are not selfish but forward-looking, prioritisation and empowerment of our youth and women, active and positive participation and involvement of our teeming African diaspora, as well as putting an end to insecurity.
She adds that Africa’s journey towards prosperity isn’t just about economics and gender equality; “it’s also about perception, participation and representation”. She challenges Africans in the diaspora to play their part in changing and positioning the right narrative.
According to her, the media plays a vital role in shaping how Africa is viewed globally.
“Too often, the narrative is one of poverty, conflict, and despair. While these challenges exist, they don’t define the entire continent. We must work to change this narrative and project an Africa of hope, resilience, and opportunity. Africa’s success stories, its thriving arts, and vibrant cultures deserve equal attention,” Olusola says, adding that when we project a positive image of Africa, we inspire more investment, partnership, and collaboration.
“Africa is not the “dark continent” of the past but a continent with a bright and promising future. It’s a continent of innovation, potential, and limitless possibilities,” Olusola enthuses.
She challenges Africans to get more involved in fixing the continent. “No one but us will develop Africa!” she asserts.