By Sully Manope, In Lagos
Sam Dossou-Aworet, the widely influential Beninois businessman, who is Chairman of the Board of NDWestern Ltd, has been elected President and Chairman of the Board of the African Business Roundtable (ABR).
Dossou-Aworet is first and foremost founder and Chairman of Petrolin Group, which has extensive interests in oil and gas operations around the globe. Petrolin holds about 40% of the equity in NDWestern, a special purpose E&P firm which holds 45% in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 34 onshore Western Niger Delta.
Going by his pedigree, it is unlikely that the Presidency of the ABR will excite Dossou-Aworet, unless he plans to turn around the moribund entity, described in a recent press release as an affiliated group of the African Development Bank (ADB).
The toothlessness of ABR is evidenced by the fact that one man, Bamanga Tukur, a politician from Northern Nigeria, had held the Presidency for over a decade. And for all the conversations around Africa as an emerging business hub, ABR’s voice has hardly been heard.
Dossou-Aworet has far more influence in the business world than his predecessor on the job. His tenure may provide the tonic that ABR needs to step up and make impact on the African business landscape. Until he makes the required changes, his takeover of ABR is meaningless.