Top Nigerian Banker Chika Mordi Launches Accender Africa to Fight Poverty
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 08 (THEWILL) - Efforts to make information more easily available and improve the effectiveness of government received a boost with the launch of Accender Africa, a non-partisan Washington, D.C.-based organization founded by top Nigerian Banker Chika Mordi.
Accender Africa, launched in Washington on November 29, uses an interactive multimedia Internet-based platform that allows users to tap into Internet and SMS technology to track data on government spending and effectiveness with the ultimate goal of reducing poverty in Nigeria and across Africa.
Despite an overwhelming embrace of democracy, most citizens of sub-Saharan Africa countries continue to live in abject poverty. Resource endowments in African petroleum-exporting countries have not translated to significant reductions in poverty.
UNDP data reveals that more than 50 percent of Nigerians live on less than a dollar a day and life expectancy in Africa remains below 41 years on average. African economies, including Nigeria’s, continue to under perform relative to Latin American and South East Asia.
“Accender Africa is poised to take advantage of the exponential growth in Internet access and mobile technology in Africa to build stronger links between citizens and their governments,” Mordi said. Starting with Nigeria, Accender Africa will research and disseminate information on public expenditures by governments and large multinational corporations. Information on local communities can be viewed by clicking a map of their regions on Accender’s Web site.
Mordi is unequivocal in the belief that Africans can replicate the economic growth seen in Asia and envisages dramatic elevations in welfare on the continent when communities engage their leaders and unleash the twin powers of applied public expenditure and entrepreneurship. Representatives from the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House, Transparency International, the Eurasia Group, and the U.S.
Department of State and the public and private sectors attended the event. World Bank Vice President and Transparency International co-founder Obiageli Ezekwesili delivered the keynote address, highlighting the need for transparency in governance in Africa. Peter Lewis, Director of the African Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), spoke on the problems of poverty and governance in Africa, whilst Cinnamon Dornsife, Director of the International Development Program at SAIS, gave insights on development in Africa.
About Accender Africa Accender Africa is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to using new media technologies to increase transparency. The board of Accender Africa comprises experts in academia, communications, business and Africa. It includes two Harvard professors, a Johns Hopkins professor, an IT expert recently ranked as one of America’s brightest, a multinational entrepreneur of Nigerian descent, a communications consultant and a South African investment banker.
The CEO is Chika Mordi, a leading Nigerian banker who played important roles in shaping retail financial services in Nigeria and Ghana. Chika, a Mason Fellow of Harvard’s Kennedy School, holds degrees from Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, IESE Business School and the University of Ilorin.