Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi, Chief Economic Adviser to Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo State

OKOBI: German institute names Amaeshi lead researcher

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By Francis Onyeukwu

Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi, Chief Economic Adviser to Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has been appointed by The New Institute, Hamburg, Germany to lead a new research on the One Kindred One Business Initiative (OKOBI).

OKOBI is an initiative of Gov. Hope Uzodimma-led administration in Imo, aimed at tackling the tripartite economic challenges of “Poverty, Informality, and Employment”.

Amaeshi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the research is a one-year project.

The adviser said that the research would interrogate the OKOBI model, and see how the model and the social structure of Imo and South-Southeast people work.

He said that the projection at the end of the research was to explore the outcome in tackling the socio-economic challenges in other countries of Africa, and the world where similar structures exist.

“This project will entail that some of the owners of OKOBI businesses that are doing well may have to travel to Germany for exchange programme and this is an incentive for them,” he said.

“It is always refreshing and intellectually entertaining to witness the continuous emergence and rise of Homegrown Opportunities for Prosperous Economy (HOPE) in Imo.

“At his second term inauguration on Jan.15, Gov. Hope Uzodimma, unveiled a community sustainable socio-economic development programme, dubbed Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) as a key agenda of his administration.

“Amongst others, CEDI is expected to address the infrastructural challenges standing in the way of sustainable community economic development in the state,” he said.

According to Amaeshi, Uzodimma noted that each community would be expected to identify one impactful project that government would do for them.

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Explaining further he said that CEDI directly and significantly aligns with the Imo sustainable industrialisation policy and development plan.

According to him, both CEDI and OKOBI are complementary programmes of the state as they centered on promoting, advancing, and empowering rural community businesses for enhanced job creation and growth.

“Currently, about 100 businesses have been registered under OKOBI in Imo, which shows the growing strength of the programme since its launch in 2022.

“The intention of OKOBI is to ensure that all kindreds have a registered business that can provide jobs, scale, and participate in the global value chain”, he said.

“This will enable them to be active participants in the Imo State economy,” he said.

Amaeshi said, CEDI is clearly an affirmation to strengthen OKOBI in various communities in Imo through economic stimulating and orchestrating infrastructural provisions.

“For example, the provision of stable electricity will enhance and guarantee power supply and reduce cost of production; road network infrastructure will enhance access to market, connecting multiple communities and boosting local trade.

“Internet connectivity will enhance access to the international market and advance the capability of the business to play in the global value chain,” he said.

“This is no coincidence considering the CEDI and OKOBI business imperative to promote the development of rural businesses that will transform rural economies,“ he said.

He said, both programmes would play the roles of a catalyst and enabler of businesses as they will position the participants for competitiveness.

Amaeshi holds a Chair in Sustainable Finance at the European University Institute, Italy, as well as a Chair in Business and Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

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He is also a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance for Low and Middle-Income Countries, added that OKOBI was already transforming Imo. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Joseph Edeh

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