African entrepreneurs must run twice as hard-Justin Chinyanta

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Justin Chinyanta speaking at the Nyamuka National Business Conference held at the Mulungushi Conference Centre
Justin Chinyanta speaking at the Nyamuka National Business Conference held at the Mulungushi Conference Centre

Zambian born prominent African investment banker Justin Chinyanta says Africa still offers plenty of opportunities despite the many challenges present on the continent.

Mr Chinyanta who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Loita Holdings Corporation Africa said natural resources are plentiful on the continent but need to be developed to full potential.

He said which African entrepreneurs face challenges of poor infrastructure such as electricity-load shedding, unreliable telephone networks, poor road systems, cumbersome border delays, abundant labour but limited skilled resources and burdensome and frequently changing regulatory requirements including the difficulty of accessing capital.

Mr Chinyanta whose Loita Capital has arranged over $3Billion of deals throughout the continent was speaking in Lusaka during the Nyamuka Zambia National Business Conference.

“If African entrepreneurs do things differently, in my view, it is because of the exigency of the developmental issues they face, This means that they must run twice as hard as the entrepreneur in the West and East to just stay in the same place, but still they thrive,” Mr Chinyanta said.

He added, “That is not to say that Africa does not present opportunities for the entrepreneur, young populations are willing to try new ideas, really handy for a market.”
Mr Chinyanta has since called for the setting up of venture capital fund to fund viable SMEs in Zambia.

“In this regard I am passionate about enabling the accessing of capital by SMEs in particular. Let us see a venture capital fund specifically to focus on the funding of viable ideas and Greenfield enterprises. Such a fund (unlike the CEEC) should not be an initiative of government but a PPP (Public Private Partnership), the private sector (through a body such as the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry-ZACCI) in joint venture with government but managed by the private sector,” he said.

He added, “Personally I would like to cede some capital to such an initiative, it makes great business sense. In addition to addressing the SME capital requirements, technical advisory capacity and business culture enhancement (including the fostering of a culture that respects debt) would also need to be included as part of the total package.”

Mr Chinyanta is a Zambian trained lawyer with a Bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Zambia and is a specialist and an expert in the financial markets of eastern and southern Africa, with over twenty years of professional experience in commercial and investment banking in the region.

Prior to forming Loita Holdings Corporation, he held senior positions with Citibank and HSBC Equator Bank in Africa.

Mr. Chinyanta sits on various Boards of private African corporations and NGOs as well as serves on Zambian Investment and Business Advisory Committee.

He is also the Executive Vice President for the Southern Africa Chapter of the Africa Business Roundtable and has been appointed on the Expert Roster of the United Nations Institute for the Training and Research for the Debt, Financial Management & Negotiation Programmes.

Mr Chinyanta was invited by Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA) to become a Fellow.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Great read. Very inspirational. Thanks LT for . a different topic from the polluted politics. We need more of such.

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    • WOW WOW WOW, good on you Lsk Times for reporting something different from visionless Edgar Lungu and his PF cadres!

      Keep up the best!

      The Undertaker!

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    • Great man. The problem/ danger he didn’t highlight is that the PPP venture capital would be hijacked by the PF cadres who would share the money amongst themselves bankrupting the whole initiative. Brilliant ideas now but the moment he will join the PF, you will hear what kind of nonsense he will be talking.

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  2. Thank you very much LT for headlining something refreshingly different that is thought provoking from the stale political headlines of the usual greedy shameless politicians (both Ruling and Opposition) jostling for power at the expense of poor masses. On the other hand I can guarantee you that such headlines attract few comments as the require usage of ones thinking capabilities, something that is lacking in a cadre’s ” you are either with us OR against us” simple brains.

    As for African entrepreneurs, we have to change our mindsets and always think globally…foreign investors are in Africa because of this selfsame mindset….companies like Trade Kings are where they are because of that.

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  3. Yes, indeed JayJay companies like trade kings are so innoventive and exprolative another is dangote we can learn some thing from these prosperous african soil companies.

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  4. Mr chinyanta has a very rich resume.but dunderheads will use their political appeasement instead of apply knowledge prowess as suggested by mr chinyanta.

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  5. This is an amazing business leader from Africa and Zambia to be particular. He can speak major languages from Africa, stretching from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, ……..

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  6. This is news. I simply love it when Africans collaborate to find progressive solutions to their problems and uplift their standard of living. For too long we have been reduced to “milking-cow” status to accumulate wealth for the developed nations. It is time to get our back off the wall and develop our continent.

    Experts estimate that southern Africa alone can produce enough food and resources to satisfy more than half the population of the whole world, so why are we afraid to take the bull by the horns?

    Development is NOT rocket science – it is possible, necessary and desirable!

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  7. Both PF and UPND politicians should read this article so that they stop fighting each other. Politics is not about calling names of other politicians.

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  8. ZNBC should come up with a programme to be featuring sucessfull Entreprenuers every wednedsay.Not always Bowman or …..

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    • Just featuring them would not be enough. I would suggest a program like Dragon’s Den on BBC where successful business people evaluate and invest directly into viable companies.

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