Africa’s leading digital entrepreneur and Chairman, of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, has once again urged young business owners and startups in Africa to demonstrate a high level of integrity and diligence when executing government contracts as the quality of their country defines their future.
Ekeh made this call during a recent mentorship programme with a select group of African foreign-based postgraduate students in the latest edition of an annual lecture series aimed at grooming the next generation of certified entrepreneurs.
Speaking during the virtual session which was monitored online, Ekeh counselled the participants to shun the overwhelming temptation to treat government contracts as an avenue for overnight enrichment or sub-standard implementation, adding that this often has disastrous consequences.
Citing the importance of ethical standards and principles as uncompromising foundations of a successful business, the Zinox boss lamented the disturbing tendency of young, impressionable entrepreneurs to get easily excited and throw caution to the winds, especially when it comes to executing government contracts.
Consequently, Ekeh, a Forbes Best of Africa Leading Tech Icon, sounded a note of caution, warning that these acts can irreparably fracture the trust reposed by the government in entrusting major projects to startups or even to other established firms with proven capacities in their respective countries, further resulting in capital flight and erosion of the giant strides recorded in local content development.
Ekeh lectured that it is a fact that doing things properly in some African countries sometimes attracts pain from competition who write frivolous petitions to security agencies to inconvenience the preferred company, but he advised them to stay on the path of honour and provide time to answer those queries as they come up, instead of compromising on quality.
Using Nigeria as an example, he disclosed that for every big tech contract won by his company, they had always expected petitions from faceless blackmailers to authorities such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), among others. However, he advised his audience not to be deterred by these antics.
Urging the budding entrepreneurs not to lose hope because of the ongoing difficulties in the macroeconomic environment, Ekeh expressed optimism that the African economy would survive the present challenges and rebound stronger.
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