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‘To Fight Corruption, You Must Have ‘Equity’ Mindset – Mitchell Elegbe

Mitchell Elegbe, GMD / Founder, Interswitch Group, has said that one way to fight corruption is to have the mindset of equity. He stated that corruption and poverty go hand-in-hand.

Elegbe made this remark at the second edition of the InterswitchSPAK Masterclass which held on Monday, August 19, 2019 in Lagos. Speaking on the topic: ‘Can I trust you?’ Elegbe explained the relationship between equality and equity, noting that we do not all have equal strengths, opportunities and privileges. However, with a sense of equity, the more privileged would share with the less privileged. He said: “While it is wrong for the less privileged to demand equity as a right – as that is extortion – it is important that the privileged have a mindset of equity, that allows them to share from their abundance. It is with this mindset of equity that prosperous communities are built and the fight against corruption is won”.

He also added that to become successful in life, one has to be trustworthy. He explained that being trusted goes hand-in-hand with trustworthiness, adding that trustworthiness was a culmination of ability, integrity and benevolence.

The Masterclass is part of the InterswitchSPAK Switch-a-Future project, a CSR initiative of the company focused on driving increased interest in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects among Senior Secondary School students across Africa.

Participants at the Masterclass were made up of the top 81 students out of the over 13,322 students from various private and public secondary schools across the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT, who wrote the National Qualifying Examinations in April.

Other speakers at the Masterclass were Dr. Ola Orekunrin-Brown, MD / Founder, Flying Doctors Nigeria, who spoke on the topic: ‘Entrepreneurship – Creating Sustainable Impact by Solving Social Problems’. Dr. Brown shared the story of how she started Flying Doctors and the challenges she surmounted. She reiterated the need for basic financial literacy for budding entrepreneurs.

Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade, and Investment who was represented by Ayokunnu Ojeniyi, Project Manager, Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, Office of the Vice-President, spoke on the topic: ‘Collaborative Approach to Social Innovation’ and why it was important to think creatively and critically in addressing social problems.

In her welcome address, Enyioma Anaba, Group Head, Corporate Segment, Corporate Marketing, at Interswitch, said that the Masterclass was an integral part of the InterswitchSPAK project because the sessions were designed to inspire the young people to contribute to solving Africa’s many problems.

She said: “We brought together these 81 brilliant young minds to draw from the experiences and insights of accomplished thought leaders, thinkers and professionals who are leading lights in their respective spheres of influence and who are practical advocates of innovation, as a platform for social and economic development. We hope that the interactions during the sessions will provide them with the right mental and emotional foundations upon which to build their character for the long haul.”

The Masterclass was a full-day of knowledge sharing and engagement session and had these inspiring and successful men and women in our society sharing their experiences across school, work and family life. The participants included the 81 finalists aged between 14 and 17 years, students from Slum2School Innovation lab, staff of Interswitch and the media.

Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Interswitch, disclosed that as a progressive organisation, Interswitch has the interest of the young African talents at heart.

She said: “For Africa’s youth to succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy, they need to acquire the right skill sets; their minds need to be re-engineered and reconciled with STEM education as well as introduced to other softer skills which are not readily taught in the classrooms. At Interswitch, we are creating a platform that allows them to not only compete within a job market that is globalized, but to become catalysts for the creation of job markets in themselves”.

In furtherance of the commitment to the pan-African spread of the initiative, the InterswitchSPAK Switch-a-Future project was launched in Kenya and the inaugural Masterclass for the finalists held in Nairobi on August 2, 2019.

About Interswitch Group:

Interswitch is an Africa-focused integrated digital payment and commerce company that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organizations on a timely and consistent basis. Interswitch also provides technology integration, advisory services, payment infrastructure and transaction processing across multiple channels to organizations across various sectors, including but not limited to: aviation, government, health, education, banking, insurance, SME, religious bodies, FMCGs etc.

Interswitch is present in 4 countries across the continent and has connected East and West Africa with an unequalled network of more than 100 financial institutions. Interswitch has demonstrated consistent, strong, and profitable growth since the business was founded in 2001 and in the five years to 2014, Interswitch’s revenue grew by 1,226% according to the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Africa Report, making Interswitch the fastest growing technology business in Africa. This strong growth has further accelerated Interswitch expansion strategies in Africa.

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