- Chair, United Bank for Africa (currently with Etisalat Nigeria) (Financial services)
Born Lagos, Nigeria (1955). Bachelors, Oxford University (1976); MBA, Harvard Business School (1980).
“The biggest challenge in Africa… is that you constantly have to manage the government and the regulatory agencies. They play a far more pervasive role in Africa than they do in the United States.”
Hakeem Belo-Osagie, chairman of Nigerian-based United Bank for Africa (1988 to 2004), illustrates the difficulties of building a multinational financial institution active in multiple African countries. Belo-Osagie highlights the strategic problems he faced navigating local regulations in the Nigerian banking sector while seeking to build global competitiveness. He further recounts the political turmoil he encountered while trying to significantly reduce staff as he tried to privatize his operations, and the particular difficulties Nigerian entrepreneurs and business leaders faced in the early 2000s trying to overcome the stigma associated with the country due to online fraud activity.