There is a spirit across the continent that is unmatched elsewhere. It is largely unspoken, a feeling and way of thinking that allows us to say with the greatest of confidence that Africa’s future is bright, and that we can do anything we set our minds to.
All too often, news headlines dwell on Africa’s macro challenges, overlooking its track record of creative, ingenious and often unique, home-grown solutions to problems. While Africa’s challenges remain true, we also have a remarkable ability to overcome obstacles in ingenious ways.
As a forward-looking independent African bank committed to the bright future of our continent, Absa is focused on finding solutions that will help bring our country and continent’s possibilities to life.
A walk down any bustling African city – from Accra to Nairobi, Johannesburg to Kampala – quickly reveals that Africa is a continent of doers, always going above and beyond to get things done. Consider Bernice Dapaah who whilst others saw bamboo, she saw convenient transport for school children and Paul Coffie who through his ingenuity is making homes out of what others see as plastic waste.
Bernice Dapaah grew up in a small rural community where kids walk a long distance to school every day; a common fate of many rural folks. Moved by this, she built her first bicycle using bamboo. Today, she employs many women and her bamboo bikes make it easier for children to get to school.
Living in an environment where waste management is of concern to all, Paul Coffie accepted the challenge of building with plastic waste after years of study in this practice. Paul Cofie also recognises the housing deficit in Ghana. So, he is applying his creativity by using plastic waste to build affordable homes. Today, his invention is helping to solve these major social challenges in our country and also providing jobs for ordinary Ghanaians.
As we embarked on one of the continent’s most ambitious corporate rebranding programmes – changing our name from Barclays to Absa – we took a close look at our business, our employees and the people we serve, with determination to forge a refreshed, fit-for-purpose bank that had meaning and relevance in the lives of our customers and colleagues.
We also looked at our context and our continent for inspiration. What is it that makes Africa unique? What is our essence, our driving force, and the thing that will unlock our potential?
As one of the continent’s largest banking and financial services groups in Africa, this uniqueness inspires us. But we didn’t have a word to describe this – so we created one: Africanacity – the distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done.
As an organisation, we are inspired by the spirit of Africanacity, which thrives on turning every challenge into an opportunity. We are inspired by people who challenge traditional ways of thinking. Africanacity is the inspiration behind Absa. In defining this word, we commit to helping people find a way to get things done.
We believe that everyone needs a financial partner who will help them realise their possibility. From our colleagues and customers, to the continent at large, Africanacity is a call to action for everyone.
It’s a defined term to describe a longstanding attitude. It’s what drives and inspires everything Absa believes in, and, above all, it drives the beautiful country and continent we serve.
The author Nana Essilfuah Boison, Marketing & Corporate Relations Director, Absa Bank Ghana