The great thing about finance -- personal, corporate or government finance -- is that they stay true to some fundamental principles. For example, it doesn't matter how financially big you are, the moment your expense begins to exceed your income it is a drive down into poverty/demise/trouble. That is why you keep hearing stories of once popular and super rich footballers now poor and living on hand outs. That is why you will see very big companies like Arik Air and Aero Contractors dying. That is why Nigeria is still poor despite the plenty natural resources and accumulated earnings from oil and other mining exports.

What then is great about it all?
It is that for someone who pays attention to these fundamentals and diligently learns from history, he can be handsomely rewarded. He gets to fare better than others.

Lately, I have been trying hard to be that someone. What opportunity lies in our current state in Nigeria? What does history say about what is currently happening? Those who came out on top, according to history, did what?

Today, as my gift to you into the new year, I will be sharing with you my amazing find.

First, just in case the whole holiday activities have made you to forget, I will be presenting our current economic state in Nigeria. Since last year (2015) we have been experiencing an undesirable change in our economic fortunes, though, it started before we actually voted for change. The seeds were sown by our past political leaders, they made sure that they spent all the money the country earned without planning/preparing for the future. They know nothing about business cycles and the economic turbulence no nation is immune to. So when money flows in, like agberos who believe that there will another danfo to extort money from tomorrow, they squander everything. They do white elephant projects to ensure the money is completely spent. They spend millions/billions on painting and repainting the third mainland bridge parapet, building a centennial city, doing double anniversary/independence celebration in one year, printing new celebratory currency notes, paying criminals upfront as amnesty, living national life like there is no tomorrow.

Then tomorrow showed up and we are now paying for their irresponsibility. Unfortunately, they privatized the cash outflow, diverting huge chunks of project money into their own pockets, and now they are trying to publicize the cash crunch, squeezing money from us in all ways they can.

The inflation rate shot up. Went from 9.6%  in January 2016 to over 18% by October and November 2016.

GDP declined and the entire economy shrunk.

Foreign direct investments dropped as investors became worried by our unsound policies and lost confidence in us. Dollar inflow dropped. Our foreign reserve dropped. The Central Bank entered a panic mode. Ordinary Nigerians bear the brunt of it all as unemployment rate went up and prices of goods went up.

So by the important metrics, we are doing very badly.

The Naira is losing value and rather than our salaries increase, most people are out of job/salary or have seen their salaries slashed. 

However, in a corner, out of attention, is our stock market not much feeling the general economic happenings this year. But all that is not because it is immune but because of what economists call a lag. There is always a lag between cause and effect in the economy of a country (macroeconomics). But if one reads through the textbooks on the fundamentals and pay attention to history, he would know the direction the stock market will head once the lag time is over.

And that is the secret, the amazing find, I want to share with you.

I'll start from what the fundamentals say: in the end the stock market always capture the inflation-driven price increase and generally produces more returns than bonds. And when you look at the Federal Government 10 Year Bonds doing return of close to 16% and still lagging the inflation rate, then you know that the stock market is ripe for nominal growth.

As for history, Venezuela just won the award this year for the best stock market return in the world in nominal terms. Also during the popular Zimbabwean hyperinflation years, only the stock market reflected the new realities by rising in tandem with cost of living. I know that our current situation is not as dire as theirs is/was, but the fundamental holds true. The stock market, especially in times of unexpected high inflation, always rise to reflect the underlying price increase in the economy.

What is my takeaway from all these? I have moved all my money from savings-like (money market) investment to the stock market. And I am investing all my income, after taking out the living expense and business expense, in the stocks market.

I know not everyone can take such a decision, but in case you've been mulling it and would benefit from an outside opinion. Here's my "You're welcome!" to your anticipated "Thank you".

The newest biggest feature in the Excel world is the new Office Add-ins that allows you to build add-ins that can be published in the Office global store and made available to users on their Excel for Windows, Excel for Mac, Excel for iOs, Excel for Android and Excel for web environment.

It is a big shift and full of opportunities. The current VBA add-in alternative works only fully on Excel for Windows and partially on Excel for Mac. The VSTO and COM add-ins work only on Excel for Windows. And they both can't be put in a global store that makes it easy for people to discover your add-in and offload a huge chunk of the marketing part off you. 

With the new Excel Web add-ins I get a lot of flexibility and ease of deployment, and can be used by users on any platform (Mac, Windows, smartphone or their internet browser).

I am currently working on a Nigerian Tools add-in that will provide common local tasks Nigerian users of Excel carry out, like:

  1. Insert a list of states in Nigeria
  2. Insert an expanded version of the list of states -- with capitals, population, governor, e.t.c.
  3. Insert NGN/USD, NGN/EUR and other NGN currency forex pairs
  4. Insert Nigerian companies on the stock exchange and their last share price, market capitalization, ROE, dividend yield etc
  5. Insert some interesting data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics
  6. Naira currency sign formatting with 2 or zero decimal places
  7. Insert a map of Nigeria
  8. Insert the six geopolitical regions in Nigeria
I need more ideas of what to include. When done I will make the final add-in freely available to everyone and published on the Office apps store.

I am using Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise to develop the add-in.

It requires the knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It's making my long-term learning of those tools to now pay off.

Don't forget to share with me the ideas of what to include in the toolset. Thanks!

Culled from the Program PDF: View original PDF document
Application portal:


An Initiative of German Industry for Future Leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa

6. Intake




    1. Aims and structure of the program
    2. Preliminary program schedule 2016-2018
    3. Fellowship benefits - what the program includes

PART B: Application Guide

    1. Who can apply? Candidate requirements
    2. Placements and profiles of AFRIKA KOMMT! 2016-2018
    3. Four steps to apply for AFRIKA KOMMT! 2016-2018
    4. After the program
AFRIKA KOMMT! receives valuable contributions from the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) and the German embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The program is supported by the Federal President of Germany Joachim Gauck.

AFRIKA KOMMT! is implemented and coordinated by:

Part A – About AFRIKA KOMMT!

    1. Aims and structure of the program

      Business-driven capacity development
      19 leading German enterprises founded the initiative AFRIKA KOMMT! in the year 2008 - the very first joint-initiative for capacity building by German industry.
      After the success of the first five program cycles, the sixth AFRIKA KOMMT! intake will follow on seamlessly with the application phase starting 12 December 2016.

      Win-win situation: benefits for both sides
      At the heart of the AFRIKA KOMMT! fellowship program is an eight-months practical training in a leading German enterprise benefiting both, fellows and partner companies - a classic win-win situation:

      The program fellows benefit through
       gaining first-hand practical experience in a leading German enterprise
       being exposed to leadership concepts and management techniques in practice
       becoming acquainted with working processes and business culture in German enterprises
       extending their international management competencies
       initiating networks of cooperation partners between Sub-Saharan Africa and German companies

      The partner companies benefit through
       establishing networks of cooperation and trust in promising future markets in Sub-Saharan Africa
       extending their experience with the working and business culture in Sub-Saharan Africa
       improving their knowledge about cultures, markets, countries etc. in Sub-Saharan Africa

      After four completed program years a significant number of the participants now work in the branch office of their respective partner company in Africa.

      Key elements of AFRIKA KOMMT!
      Financed by the German partner companies, the capacity development program AFRIKA KOMMT! is conducted in German and consists of the following key components:

      1. One-month home-based intensive German language preparation course
      2. One-year stay in Germany comprising of:
         Three-months intensive German language course
         Eight-months internship in a German partner company
         Three one-week training modules on international management and leadership competencies
         One-week study tour in Germany on relevant subjects, e.g. “Regional Economic Development”
         Weekend seminars on cultural and social subjects organised by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Stuttgart and the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius in Hamburg
         Cultural weekend activities organised by GIZ
      3. Six-months transfer phase after the stay in Germany via GIZ’s online platform Global Campus 21
      4. Refresher course in Africa, approx. 6-12 months after the stay in Germany, offering the former fellows to extend their networks with other alumni and to mutually benefit from their experiences.

    2. Preliminary Program Schedule 2016-2018



      Application phase
      12.12.2016 - 03.02.2017
      Application phase of the 6tintake.
      Assessment Center
      24.04.2017 - 05.05.2017
      Assessment Center in Nairobi / Kenya
      Final Selection
      May 2017
      Final selection of participants by the companies
      Preparatory phase in Africa
      May - July 2017
      Stay in Germany
      (01.08.2017 - 31.07.2018)
      Arrival in Germany (Bonn)
      02.08.2017 - 10.08.2017
      Welcome and introduction (Bonn)
      Kick-off meeting with companies (t.b.c.)
      14.08.2017 - 18.08.2017
      International management training I
      21.08.2017 - 20.10.2017
      23.10.2017 - 27.10.2017
      1 week holidays and time to move to companies’ cities
      01.11.2017 - 29.06.2018
      18. - 29.12.2017
      Two weeks Christmas holidays
      Between January and July 2018
      Official welcome at the German President’s Office in
      Berlin (t.b.c.)
      February 2018
      Mid-term program evaluation
      05.03.2018 - 08.03.2018
      International management training II
      09.03.2018 - 11.03.2018
      Weekend seminar at Robert-Bosch-Stiftung GmbH (t.b.c.)
      16.07.2018 - 19.07.2018
      20.07.2018 - 22.07.2018

      23.07.2018 - 27.07.2018
      End of program
      End of July 2018
      Office (t.b.c.)
      Further program activities
      Offered by GIZ:
      Follow-up in home countries
      Alumni networking activities
      Refresher course
      January 2019
      management training IV
      • Invitation, visa and health check procedures
      • Parallel: Individual German language courses for selected candidates in their home countries
      • Intensive German language course (Goethe Bonn)
      • Parallel: Visit at partner companies
      • Internship in partner companies
      • Voluntary: German language course
      • Study tour (t.b.c.)
      • Weekend seminar at ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg (t.b.c.)
      • International management training III
      • Official farewell ceremony at the Federal Foreign
      • Return to home countries
      • Cultural activities
      • Alumni networks
      • Coaching
      • Regional refresher course including international
      • Meeting with former program participants (Alumni)


    3. Fellowship benefits – what the program includes

The AFRIKA KOMMT! fellowship program includes:

Language course
 An individual German language course before departure to Germany
 An intensive German language course in Germany of three months including fees, accommodation and living allowance

Travelling expenses - Flights, Visa, etc.
 Visa for Germany for one year
 Roundtrip airfare from your home town to Germany and back
 Travel to refresher course and back
 Program-related travelling expenses in Germany

Monthly living allowance during the theoretical phase
 Monthly living allowance of € 750,- (August, September and October 2017; July 2018)
 One-off relocation fee of € 1.000,- for settling back into the home countries
 Monthly salary during the internship in the companies of approx. € 1.500,- gross

Important note:
The monthly allowance of € 750,- and the salary ensures an adequate standard of living in Germany. However, the amount is not sufficient to provide financial support for families or relatives and for this reason they cannot accompany the fellow to Germany. Additionally, the participants have to make arrangements to ensure the subsistence of their families in their home countries during their participation in the program.

 Accommodation during all stages of the program in Germany (including internet allowance, electricity, water and other charges)

 Health, accident and liability insurance

 International management training courses
 Study tour and weekend seminars in Germany

Alumni activities
 Refresher course in Africa, including management training
 Alumni networking activities

AFRIKA KOMMT! is a practice-oriented fellowship program. Fellows will receive two certificates. One
official certificate by the Academy for International Cooperation of GIZ GmbH upon successful completion of the program with a detailed description of the specific contents and components of the training and one
official certificate by the partner company upon successful completion of the internship.

Part B – Application Guide

    1. Who can apply? Candidate requirements

      Formal eligibility requirements
      Candidates need to fulfil the following formal eligibility requirements:

      • University degree in a relevant subject (please see individual company profiles below)
      • Postgraduate degree (e.g. MBA) is an advantage
      • Two to five years of relevant work experience
      • Excellent English language skills
      • Basic knowledge of the German language is an advantage
      • Not older than 35 years and physically fit
      • Female candidates are welcome

        Candidate profiles
        The AFRIKA KOMMT! fellowship program aims at highly qualified, self-driven young professionals and
        junior executives from Sub-Saharan Africa with several years of hands-on work experience, strong leadership qualities and a very high level of commitment and dedication.

        Besides the specific technical expertise relevant to the partner company, the program requires candidates to have the following set of general skills and attributes:

        Language and communication skills:
      • Excellent English skills
      • Strong oral and written communication skills
      • High willingness to learn German

        Professional skills:
      • High leadership potential
      • Strong self-motivation and self-starter mentality
      • High level of dedication, commitment and target-orientation
      • Strong capacity for teamwork

        Personal attributes:
      • High level of enthusiasm, flexibility and resilience
      • Outstanding intercultural competencies
      • Ability to adapt to new environments quickly

    2. Placements and Profiles of AFRIKA KOMMT! 2016-2018

      The following fellowship placements are available as part of AFRIKA KOMMT! 2016-2018. The third column shows the general background required for each placement. The button on the right side leads to further information on the specific profile needed. Please read it thoroughly before applying.

      Please note: You will have to apply for the whole program and not for a certain company or placement. There is no guarantee that the practical training in a specific company is possible.


      Placement & Required Background


      Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co. KG

      Profile 1 (Human Pharma Emerging Markets)
      Degree in Business Administration, Pharmacy or Medicine

      Profile 2 (Global HR – Diversity / Communication)
      Profile will follow soon.


      Robert Bosch GmbH

      Profile 1 (Robert Bosch AA)

      Profile 2 (Robert Bosch PT Sales)
      Degree in Economics, Marketing, Sales, Business
      Development, Business Strategy or Technical Degree

      Profile 3 (Robert Bosch PT Sales)
      Degree in Economics, Marketing, Sales, Business
      Development, Business Strategy or Technical Degree

      Profile 4 (Robert Bosch PT Sales)
      Degree in Economics, Marketing, Sales, Business Development, Business Strategy or Technical Degree


      Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH

      Degree in Humanities, Social Sciences or Economic Sciences


      B. Braun Melsungen AG
      Profile 1 (Finance)
      Degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration
      Profile 2 (Sales)
      Degree in Economics, Specialization in Marketing and Sales


      Continental AG

      Profile 1 (Finance)
      Degree in Business Adminstration with major in Finance and

      Profile 2 (Operations)
      Degree in Business Administration, Commerce, Logistics


      Merck KGaA

      Profile 1 (Finance and Accounting)
      Degree in Business Administration or Economics

      Profile 2 (Innovation Center)
      Degree in Natural Sciences or Engineering

      Profile 3 (Information Services)
      Degree in Information Technology, Economics, Business

      Profile 4 (Performance Materials)
      Degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy

      Profile 5 (Life Science Distribution)
      Degree in Business Administration, Supply Chain Management, Logistics

      Profile 6 (Life Science Commercial)
      Degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Pharmacy

      Profile 7 (Biopharma, Global Drug Safety - Operations)
      Degree in Pharmacy/Life Science/Biochemistry/Chemistry

      Profile 8 (Biopharma, Global Drug Safety - Regions)
      Degree in Pharmacy/Life Science/Biochemistry/Chemistry

      Profile 9 (Biopharma, Global Drug Safety - Strategy and Business Operations)
      Degree in Pharmacy/Life Science/Biochemistry/Chemistry


      SAP SE

      Profile will follow soon.


      & Co. KG

      Degree in Economics / Business Administration

      thyssenkrupp AG

      Degree in Economics, Business Development, Marketing, Business Strategy

      Volkswagen AG

      Degree in Economics, Engineering, Sales and Marketing

    3. Four steps to apply for AFRIKA KOMMT!

      Recommendation: Please apply as soon as possible and not at the very end of the application period as the expected high number of applications might cause technical delays.

      Four steps to apply
      If you want to apply for the sixth AFRIKA KOMMT! intake from 2016-2018, please make sure you follow
      the four steps listed below:

       Step 1: Check the general candidate requirements – do you fit the criteria?

       Step 2: Check the available placements and required profiles of the sixth intake of AFRIKA KOMMT!
      2016-2018 – Please remember you are applying for the program in general, not for a specific placement

       Step 3: Visit and fill in the application form

       Step 4: Submit your application BEFORE 03.02.2017, 23.59h CET – applications submitted after this date cannot be considered

      Application submitted - what happens next?
      Once you have applied within the application period, you will be informed within approx. 8 weeks if your application has been successful. If so, you will receive an invitation to a 2-day assessment center in Nairobi,
      Kenya, which will take place from 24.04.2017- 05.05.2017.

      The assessment center includes a number of tasks, group activities and presentations and serves as a basis for the final decision. The results of the assessment center will be communicated in May and June 2017 – successful candidates will then receive the invitation to Germany for one year!

      Leave of Absence
      We recommend applicants to consider well in time how a one year stay in Germany could be arranged with their current work situation. Candidates might want to ask their employers for a leave of absence, either
      before applying or before the assessment center.

      Closing date for the application period: 03.02.2017, 23:59h CET

    4. After the program

After the one-year stay in Germany, all candidates have to return to their home countries. Alumni activities will continue and allow former fellows to extend their networks with other alumni and to mutually benefit from their experiences on an on-going basis.

In case a company is interested in extending the cooperation with a candidate beyond the one-year stay in Germany, this has to be arranged bilaterally between the company and the candidate.