Rubelyn (Ruby) Alcantara (The impact of ‘Impact Investing’ in Africa)

In this episode Rubelyn (Ruby) Alcantara and I talk about:

  • What is impact investing and what are the success stories?
  • Where is the focus of innovation in impact investing?
  • What is impact of fast Internet that is now available to most African Internet users?
  • Is the individual freedom in Africa much higher than commonly perceived and what impact does it have on economic growth?
  • Is the story of democracy in Africa a successful one? What are the downsides?
  • Are charter cities an option for Africa?
  • Is a Singapore style development a useful role model for Africa? How can economic growth be jump started?
  • Can the ‘Dutch disease’ be avoided when using commodities as a way to jump start growth?
  • What are the TOP 5 and Bottom 5 countries in terms of economic success? Is Ethiopia on the way to success?
  • What is the future of energy production in Africa?

Rubelyn (Ruby) Alcantara is an entrepreneur, impact investment practitioner consultant, public speaker focused on entrepreneurship. She has lived in 16 countries through her career in UK, Europe and Africa including Tanzania, Nigeria, Madagascar and Kenya.

She runs Supivaa Advisory Group, a Canadian-African based impact investment advisory firm focused on gender-lens investing and sits as an Advisor to Uhusiano Capital, a UK-based impact investment firm. You can reach Ruby via LinkedIn.


Welcome to the Judgment Call Podcast, a podcast where I bring together some of the most curious minds on the planet, risk takers, travelers, adventurers, investors, entrepreneurs, or simply mindbogglers. To find all the episodes of this show, please go to iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, or go to for more resources, including how to become a guest, how to advertise, and to see all the lectures, podcasts, and books I would like to, would like you to listen to or read, please also go to our website at Like this show, please consider leaving a review on iTunes or like us and subscribe to us on YouTube that will make it easier for other users like you to find us later on. This episode of the Judgment Call Podcast is sponsored by Mighty Travels Premium. Full disclosure, this is also my business. What we do at Mighty Travels Premium is to find the best travel deals for you as they happen. We do that in economy, premium economy, business, and first class, and we screen 450,000 new airfare deals every day just for you and present the best based on your preferences. Thousands of subscribers have saved up to 95% of the airfare deals. In case you didn’t know, Americans and Europeans can already travel to more than 80 different countries again, South America, in Africa, and in Eastern Europe. To try out Mighty Travels Premium for free, go to slash mtp. That’s too much for you to type, just type in, to start your 30 day free trial. I’m here today with Ruby Alcantara and she’s an entrepreneur, impact investment practitioner, a public speaker, and she’s been focused on entrepreneurship her whole life. She’s also lived in 16 different countries, including the UK, Canada, I assume, Africa, in a bunch of places like Tanzania, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Kenya. She currently works with Oceano Capital. I might totally mispronounce this. You have to help me with this, which is a UK based impact investment firm. Welcome to the Judgement Call podcast, Ruby. Thanks for doing this. Thanks, Doris. It’s Oceano, Oceano Capital, which is the impact. What does it mean? It’s a healing for acting as a bridge, so basically acting as a bridge between European based capital to capital in Africa. And then I’m also the founder of SAPIVA advisory group. SAPIVA advisory group is a Canadian based entity focused on empowering women and empowering, focused on investing in women. Yeah, I can see you keep yourself very busy. And we want to get into this and I’m really curious. Let’s start out with, and that’s for me also a new term. We talked about that before, but only briefly. What is impact investing and how does it work and what are, when I think of it, I feel like it’s a political entity. You have a goal first and then you put money against it to change the world the way you want. And profits are not really important. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s a bad thing. But what actually is impact investing? Sure. And thanks, Darson. And then I think that’s a great way to start off for people who don’t know what impact investing is. First off, one thing to clarify, impact investing is definitely for profit. Impact investors do want to make money. And basically, if an investment is not commercial, then it won’t make impact. If it’s not sustainable, it’s not financially sound, there’s no way that it can make impact. So first and foremost, impact investing, you always looked at it from being able to make an investment. Now, impact investing started, basically it actually started under back when Kofi Annan was the UN Secretary General. A number of key leading institutions came together to sign what was called the principles of responsible investing. So you may hear the term responsible investing intertwined with impact investing, but basically impact investing is more of another form or another level of responsible investing. So you’ll have investors who look at metrics such as ESG, environment, social and governance. But then you have the impact investors who will go another broader level and looking at how does my money make a greater impact on the community at large is the most simplest way of putting it. So one of the key frameworks that’s utilized is the UN Sustainable Development Goals. So there’s 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals such as poverty alleviation, such as zero hunger, such as climate change issues, such as better health and well being. So these are all part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Now, to give you an idea about the size of the impact investment space. Last year, the Global Impact Investing Network, which is also known as GIN, basically published the report and in 2019, assets under management for the impact investment industry was about 715 billion as a whole. Prior to that, the year before it was about 508, so about half a trillion. So you can see that impact investing still remains and continues to remain increasing in its size in terms of assets under management globally. Yeah, that’s very interesting to hear. What I’m trying to filter out and the UD expert in this, you know, for entrepreneurs, I think the inspiration and for a lot of entrepreneurs that I met and that are my friends, making the world a better place is one of the core ideas where you went into the field of entrepreneurship and this expresses itself obviously in somewhat different fields and very often the impact is not as direct in terms of making the world a better place. I always use that explanation that entrepreneurship creates a new set of products or services and they will eventually find a buyer, right? It’s a voluntary decision that buyers make and these buyers transfer a set of money to you, to the entrepreneur and say, oh, this is great, I want this and I’m ready to give you an exchange, a certain amount of money. And what’s kind of missing and that’s interesting to hear that is, and I feel like this is more on the investor side, but what’s also from the entrepreneur side, there’s always a bit of a dark side to entrepreneurship. You can make money and make others lives not so good. Let’s put it this way, you might focus on your customers too much, but there might be external effects and we notice from pollution that actually make a lot of other people worse off, which is certainly something to avoid. And I think this is often the way how we define entrepreneurship, but I think in the community I’ve been associated with, entrepreneurs are kind of like philosophers. They want to make the world a better place and they want to use their powers for the good in this world. Not everyone is like that, but I’d say the big majority is like that. If we go to impact investing, how does this actually translate into projects, right? And how does it translate into companies that are successful? Maybe you have some good examples or concrete examples from the last couple of years. What are the success stories where impact investing itself inspired entrepreneurs, gave them an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise, and then it became a very sustainable sense of financially sustainable business. Yeah, and I think the beauty with impact investing, fundamentally impact investing tends to be much more patient capital. So you’ll find there’s a number of elements or a number of different vehicles within impact investing that helps to create a much more patient form of capital. Unlike typical VC money where your typical VC investor wants to exit, let’s say, hopes that you get a 2X valuation within a period of two years, right? And they want to exit by year two. Impact investors. I think it’s more 10X now, a vision would still be a 2X. I think it’s a 10X or you never hear from them again. Yeah, I don’t hear it out. You can see I’ve been in impact too long. But at the same time too, there’s been some very amazing and incredible examples in Africa. So when it comes to impact investing, you have what we call, so you have what’s called blended finance. You have an element that you call grant funding that basically can match fund, the equity or the debt that has been put into an entrepreneur. So you want to start off with being able to tap into some of these grant funds. So some of these grant funds, for example, may help you raise an idea. Let’s say you’re in agriculture and you’re building up, this is actually one of my clients in fact, building a sustainable solution for higher producing crops in which maybe you have a hydroponic solution, for example. And the amount, if you had a traditional investor, you may have not necessarily had the opportunity to do as much research and development as you now could because of this grant that is funded innovation. Funded the innovation. So that’s one such example. Another example is a lot of that is agriculture, medical, medical tech and developing certain med tech technologies. So for example, there was a respirator that was made with a crank and this is not necessarily something you would see in the first world. This is something much more needed in areas where electricity is not necessarily available. And once again, it was because of a family office who was willing to make an investment to this entrepreneur, much more patient in order to see the returns to be actually to actualize. It was actually quite interesting to see some of these unique innovations that come out of impact investment players. Yeah. And I’ve been touching on this with a couple of different VCs over the last few episodes. And what we’ve been debating is, you know, there’s this one side where you say, oh, Silicon Valley, this is where companies go to steal ideas and raise a lot of money and then get rich quickly. And then the other idea, the other hand of this as well, if nobody and often this basic research, the innovations often come from somewhere else, very often government funded. Indeed, they come out of universities, but they’ve been lying on the shelves for decades, for centuries often, and nobody monetized it. So it was actually to nobody’s use. Like, nobody could have any GDP advantage, no productivity growth from it, because you couldn’t use it. Sometimes it is a patent issue. Sometimes it is just a way to the user interface. I mean, there’s multiple issues that where entrepreneurs come in and take the technology, monetize it. And it takes off. One example is there’s Mariana Mazzucato, I don’t know if you heard of her, she’s an Italian professor. And she basically says, well, the iPhone is basically all funded on public research. And there is something to it, right? Because you can go down the list of probably hundreds, maybe thousands of different patents and developments that came out of universities funded by taxpayer money that are being based on their being used in the iPhone. Because this technology layer, I always say it goes back to the Old Testament, because basically everything you produce ever since the Old Testament in technology you’ve been using right now, most of it you can use for free, all these layers, and then there’s a little bit of layer you add on top of it, and this is how you create a new product. And the debate is often, okay, what is actually the driver of this innovation? Is it all this publicly funded research that goes out there and creates real innovation, so to speak, very often very technical innovation? Or is it that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are not just Silicon Valley, but anywhere in the world people come in and layer a certain amount of usability to it of making it sexy, so to speak, and then paying for the marketing, right? The marketing is very expensive to introduce people to a new product. And this is actually real innovation. Now with impact investing, where do you see this piece of real innovation? Is it more where you feel this is on the side of the grand givers who probably also not just give money, but also give access to patents and other copyrighted material? Is it more on the side of the individual entrepreneur? Is it more on the side of an economy or a larger entity like a state run company? Where do you feel the strongest source of innovation is in that sphere of impact investing once it happens? I’m going to speak for Africa just because that’s my area and region of expertise and I’m not too familiar with what’s happening in Latin America and Asia. And when I talk about the global south and looking more at the perspective of most, a lot of the impact investment flows tend to go into the global south, so emerging economies. But I really think to answer the question is what is the driver of innovation? I think at the end of the day, the driver of innovation is need, pure, necessarily need of what’s in the market. So for example, when I worked at Madagascar and most many parts of Africa, you have inefficient electricity. Energy is such a problem. And then it gets dark by 5 p.m. So you as a student, it tends to happen in a lot of places. Yes, yes, yes. Dark by 5 p.m. And so therefore, if it’s getting dark by 5 p.m., how are you going to study? How are you going to read your books? How are you going to do your homework? Yeah. And so this, this, this was where, you know, I spent a lot of my career on the renewable energy space when I lived on the continent. And this is such an interesting and fascinating space because you take it for granted in the western world in terms of having lights. Yeah. But that ability to create mini grid systems, or I worked on a project that was introduced solar kiosks, those kiosks in a rural village very far from, very far from the grid. A couple of companies that are extremely successful on the continent right now have developed their mini home systems and other energy efficient appliances that have been, you won’t see it up here. When I say up here, I’m currently sitting in the UK. You won’t see it in the first row, but definitely these devices have worked extremely well. One company, to give you an example, there’s one company, Bebox. They’re now in, I can’t remember how many countries in Africa they are now, but when I had first worked with them back in the day when I was with the fund, they were only doing their series A. They got funding from USAID, they got funded, so a blended finance, as well as family offices, foundations, etc. Now they have, I think they’ve hit an over $100 million valuation, or 150. I think they are on their series C, raised 100, and this is only within a period of six years. The innovation that they’ve created has been phenomenal. And I know from feedback on the ground, people who use their products, it’s something that’s been affordable, accessible, and that people can use. So I think at the end of the day, at least in Africa, what the main driver of that innovation is pure need and necessity. I’ll give you another example. I love education, and some of the ed tech examples that have come out. You have parts of Africa, there’s a UN study on this, and it actually broke my heart. You’ll have schools absolutely filled with children, absolutely filled with children. But the key problem is not getting the children to school. The key problem is actually getting teachers to teach and having teachers show up. So what was really incredible is there’s been a number of different ed tech solutions, one of which is Bridge International Academies. They created a tablet that basically has a whole curriculum and it’s a whole learning. I don’t want to say that anybody could be a teacher, but it becomes easier to become a teacher within that village. And number one, the company has been extremely financially sound. They’ve attracted a lot of various different investors in their company itself. And then number two, the children are actually performing higher and better than some of the state schools, because basically the schools are privately funded. So those are just two examples of where innovation has really come out of a need and filling a gap in the market. Yeah, definitely the problem to solve is the first VC question, and I think they’re right with that. So it’s more of an, I feel in Africa, it’s more, and I really want to talk and go into Africa. There’s a bunch of things I have questions prepared for you. But in general, it’s my observation, things that are more robust, things that are kind of outside the box that can function in a relatively unorthodox environment. And those things typically do well. And I do have the impression, and those are from my own travels in, I’d say about 70% in countries, to the countries of Africa, the amount of connectivity and the way connectivity has developed, at least in coastal Africa, and we’re not talking about the Congo, but we’re talking about Kenya, we’re talking about Tanzania, we’re talking about even Malawi, which is not that coastal. It’s probably 500, 600 miles away from the coast, and there isn’t a lot of roads, but we can take Uganda, Rwanda, and the whole west coast of Africa. What I’ve noticed, about 10 years ago, there were the tales of the Kenyan ISPs who literally had the dark trenches, and they had trouble just getting anything through different property because it was so complicated. Nobody even knew who the property belonged to, and even if they knew it was a very difficult permit process. And it seemed like impossible to ever have any internet from what I’ve heard from the ISP. But what I wanted to say is that connectivity in general, most of Africa, has been solved. I’m stunned by the progress in a lot of cities, and maybe that’s just mobile internet. Often it’s not the regular internet, and it’s not DSL, it’s not cable, but generally, say, one amped speeds are pretty much available all over Africa, and I think it’s a stunning achievement coming out of a situation where it’s still tricky. It’s more tricky now to have electricity supply than to have internet. If you take the phones, there’s a backup generator, and they generally work. I think that’s pretty stunning, and that’s quite an achievement. And once you have that, then you have the ability to learn. You might not have a candle, but you have a smartphone, hopefully, that has a charge, so you have an extra battery, and then you can spend the night and learn what YouTube videos or whatever you need to learn. So I think this is really empowering the continent, or maybe in the future generation, maybe this hasn’t happened yet, we don’t see the impact, and I think I’m waiting for it. But Daniel Gross was describing that, and I fully agree with him there. He was saying, you know, the next generation of entrepreneurs, in terms of numbers, certainly in terms of what’s applicable to the developed economies, they’re all going to be from Africa, maybe from India and maybe from China, but mostly he expects them to be from Nigeria, Ghana, from their population rich societies in Africa. Do you agree with this? This is going to be the knowledge entrepreneur of the 21st century, or we are not there yet, or we won’t be the next 20 years? We’re going to see the next Wakanda. Wakanda is coming. Wakanda is going to happen. You know, and I think, but it just goes with time. You know, China had, I remember when I started my career, China had entered the WTO, everyone was so curious what was going to happen with China, and then now all the wealthiest billionaires now come out of China. And I think that it’s now Africa’s time. I think when you talk about the ISPs in Africa, what’s been fascinating is, with technology development, you also have the ability to leapfrog in terms of uptake of certain technologies. You know, in most of the continent, they didn’t have these ancient systems or the legacy systems that what you’d find in North America. So therefore it was a lot easier to put some of the technology required to get the internet speeds that we’re now enjoying in the likes of Kenya. In fact, I have a, we have a Sipiva has an office in Nairobi, and often my business partner in Nairobi is much easier to talk to them than my counterparts in the UK. That being said, it’s not necessarily consistent everywhere. This past year, I actually had analysts that were based all across the continent. So we had an analyst based in Nigeria, one in South Africa, one in Tanzania, one in Kenya and one in Rwanda. And you can see who was able to consistently log in versus who not. So I think that’s still going to be a challenge in terms of consistency, in terms of where the next potential is. Absolutely. And we can see it when a couple, there’s two Nigerian companies. And for the life of me, I wanted to look this up before I came on the call, but there’s two Nigerian companies that have done extremely, extremely well. Meanwhile, let’s not forget how successful many of the innovations and startups that are coming out of Kenya. Now between Kenya and Nigeria, the two of them attract, I would say, the majority of VC funding that goes into Africa. And actually Kenya gets probably the law and South Africa, but I would say Kenya now is getting the most higher chunk of it. But this illustrates that innovation is coming. There’s a lot of ideas coming out of Africa. And we have some, a lot of talented people. And not only the talented people within the continent, but you also have the talented people who are the diasporans who recognize, hang on a second, there’s actually a lot of opportunities back in my home country. I’m here living in Toronto, or maybe I’m living in LA, or maybe I’m living in DC. Wait a second, let me see what I can do back. And you’re seeing a lot of this, like when I lived in Nigeria, the number of Nigerians who used to be living in New York or London, and now have moved back to Nigeria, because I know that the opportunities are there. Yeah, what strikes me about Africa, and that’s, you know, that the troubles in Africa is often been, well, it’s probably good things, right? It’s been, and that’s my gut feeling, and I might just not have enough insight, but you’ve lived there for much longer. I feel the personal freedom is often on a much higher level. So things that we in the West have tried to codify and say constitution, that we tried to codify instead of laws, they kind of apply on a social level in many countries. Not every country is the same. Africa is very diverse. I feel they apply on a social level much stronger, and the ability to basically live your life without the state meddling with you, or without groups that are state like meddling with you is very high. And this has a lot of advantages, right? It gives you a personal freedom to develop yourself. On the other hand, it seems like it’s very hard for people to come together and execute a nationwide or citywide or even a continent wide initiative, and often infrastructure, like at the internet, electricity, roads, basically safety, that’s another thing. Things that are a public good, but they are, for the individual, may be quite expensive to deliver, but if everyone just spends a dollar or two or whatever the number is on it, then it gets cheaper for everyone. The basic example is not so much cheaper to make the roads nice instead of everyone upgrading to an SUV or 4×4 and then replacing the shocks every two years. So these things are true in the aggregate, and I’ve often struggled, and lots of things that we just talked about, they are kind of coming out of the very unorthodox set of infrastructure in Africa. Say, for example, Kenya, you have wonderful roads that are not just Chinese built, they are as smooth as they can get, and then you have a dirt road that’s barely drivable for like two miles, and then it goes back to the smooth road, and you’re like, how is that even possible for people who come out of, you know, always compare that more to a state run system like China that we now accept, especially in Europe, maybe less likely in the US, where we feel this is kind of, if that’s one city, then it should sooner or later even itself out in many African cities, in many African countries, the contests are pretty stark. Do you feel, after having lived there, this is a good thing, or this is something that will hamper growth, this is something that is definitely a problem, and we have to work on this, or we should just ignore it, and we should say, well, let’s take the freedom, enjoy the freedom, and leave the downside as it is. I’m going to say something controversial. I think that one of the biggest, I think it’s a bit major challenge, you know, to get that consistency, to get the, to have proper structures in which to follow, and why I say the fluidity of structures, I personally have been in a situation where government regulations decided to change overnight, thus lashing our revenues by 60% based on the particular tariff structure as a result of changing regulations. Now, that fluidity, I’m not going to say which country that was, but the fluidity of the government being able to simply do that, and also certain contractual fluidness of certain things, I think can be the risk for many businesses becomes high. However, there is the element of perceived risk versus actual risk, and what we’re seeing in a lot of African countries, which obviously if you are interested in investing in an African country, or partnering with an entrepreneur, or working with an entrepreneur, or investing with an entrepreneur in a particular country, obviously you need to do your due diligence to see what has been the key trends of the country, and how it’s changed, let’s say in the last 10 years, or what it’s been doing in the last 10, 15 years. And I would definitely say that there are certain darlings of Africa, everyone is investing in Nigeria and Kenya. I looked up the number, and basically during a five year period, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa accounted for 53% of the 3.9 billion of BC funding that went into the continent. So you can see there’s a lot of confidence going into those three countries, but what about the other countries? What about the likes of Ghana? What about Cote divoire? What about Angola, Mozambique? What are happening with these countries? So I think that as somebody going in, I think it’s really important to make sure to do due diligence. Is it good to have, I think there’s 54 countries in Africa, every country is going to be really different. How their policies and best practices are. The controversial thing that I’m going to say, and this is simply from my experience of living in various different countries, and having produced different reports. I don’t think a lot of countries necessarily are essentially ready for democracy. I think that there are certain countries that need to have a firm oversight of how their countries operate. And I’m going to give you the most solid example that everybody uses, the Singapore story. And if you look at what’s happened in Singapore, back in the days in the 1960s, Singapore was simply a fishing village. Now, today, Singapore is a developed country, one of the largest economies in the world, yet it’s run by a dictator, right? By comparison, my ethnic origin is Filipino. So my parents are from the Philippines. The Philippines in the 1960s was extremely wealthy. Asian Development Bank decided to put their headquarters in the Philippines. The Philippines was a democracy. Big mistake. The country wasn’t ready for a democracy. And if you look at it, the GDP of the Philippines is actually one of the lowest in Asia. It’s an absolute mess. You talk about these inconsistent roads. That’s the Philippines for you. And this is a country that I don’t think was ready for democracy. When you look to their Singaporean neighbors, who have done incredibly. So I think it’s going to, we’ll see what the trends are for certain countries and what they’re going to do. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of bad examples that I’m so disappointed by as well. I gave some of the good examples, but I’ve also seen some of the unfortunate ones that have happened in the last couple of years, particularly that just broke my heart. Yeah. I’m fully with you. And I think there’s this controversial what you just mentioned. And I just had Niels flinging on and what basically his mantra was. And we kind of got into an argument. He basically said, democracy, rule of law, that’s all you need, everything else. And that’s true for outside the organization. That can be an institution, can be a company, can be a country. You don’t have to think any further. And I think, and he made that example, obviously the US is obviously the founding fathers and the idea of the constitution, and then it’s spread beyond America later on. And I think, I’m glad you bring this up because that’s one thing I’ve been thinking about. And it’s more complicated than this. So first of all, I feel the rule of law, people think this is just the set of law. So the set of laws that are encoded. And then they’re being applied universally to everyone, including the leaders. And then they’re being by an impartial judge. They’re being, if there is a case, they’re being used as the way we can refer readers. But there’s more to it. The problem is you can always, even if that’s all true, you can always, and that’s the problem with democracy. And Benjamin Franklin said that democracy is literally two wolves and one lamb deciding what they have for dinner. And the problem with this is the majority, the 51%, or the 51, whoever wins the election, how close it gets much closer now, as we see in the US, basically can determine everything for the next four years, or the next eight years. And by that time, maybe the other half of the country is bankrupt because these laws are not universally, they can always be written in a way that it’s not universally applied. And that’s one problem. So you kind of can use democracy to exploit the rest of the country, maybe I’m using a very harsh word, but you can do this if you have that intent. And that’s one problem. The other problem is, you know, democracy is eventually their risk reducing mechanism, and they find the right solution over time, but they can be wrong for very, very long time. We saw this in Egypt, where the US was very pro democracy, and then the wrong people won, and then we’re like, we’re not that pro democracy. We kind of changed our mind on that, right? So it is a little more tricky than this. And thirdly, I feel, and I hope you share that it’s, you know, the idea of democracy, it needs a certain amount, it needs a certain trust in the system, let’s put it this way, something that’s a withering away in the US right now, and it needs institutions, it needs people who have grown accustomed to this idea, and I always feel it’s a bit of an Old Testament tale, right? It’s kind of a merge of the Old Testament and the Greek knowledge that became the New Testament. It became a very European idea, but it took like 2,000 years actually from the idea, from the initial setup to actually produce something that resembled democracy is just 100 years old. And I feel, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to leapfrog this, because if a country has developed very differently, and lots of African countries have developed literally as tribes, right? They haven’t developed as big countries. They basically European scheme and said, okay, this is a country, and people were like, whoa, what do you mean by this? The rest of my tribe is in the other country now, and I can’t visit them, yeah, that’s how this works. So it’s a very, but you see this also in Asia, where a lot of countries are supposedly democracies, right? But maybe they aren’t really, they aren’t the outcome of a democracy is not the same, and I like the example of a Singapore, the risk, I think, is always higher than autocracy, because they might be really messy dictators, or they’re gonna kill 20% of the population and just exploit the rest. But that’s always a big risk, right? And democracies usually don’t, they’re not as harsh. They can be, it can go wrong, but it’s usually they self correct relatively quickly. And I think the hope was, I mean, with the independence, and then after some countries adopted democracy, some adopted a Russian style model, and then came in the 90s towards democracy. You always feel like the people who would make the country progress the most and mostly that’s economic progress, they would win all over the board, and they would more or less be honest. Somehow this hasn’t really, in a lot of places, and this is, I think, what you mean, or maybe you can help me understand, what you mean by not ready. I think the whole country and the way democracy works is a relatively new concept in a nation state, not in a community, then it’s definitely not a new concept. But in these relatively anonymous nation states, I think I agree with you. I think if, and that’s a big if, if you can create maybe a smaller entity, like a city state or a charter city, to go in and have a little more control and less democracy, maybe that’s worth a shot. The question is, is this ever politically acceptable? Is it ever politically correct? And that’s the question I can’t answer. Maybe you’ve thought more about this. How would you solve this problem? I think, you know, and I’m really glad that you brought up the element of tribes, and you made me realize and recognize something very important. So a lot of these emerging economies are emerging markets. You have to remember, they’re also very, very young countries. Most of Africa got their independence in the 1960s. When I was referring back to the Singapore example, also another country that became independent in the 1960s. The Philippines was under colonial rule for 400 years. We look at parts of the former Soviet Union, them trying to navigate through, I was on a project in Macedonia as well as in Georgia, and them trying to navigate through, what is their system in their countries? It’s so new. And I think that it’s really important, the point that you brought about, like some of these countries were basically forced in to become a country, and it’s like, why am I a country? I don’t, you’re not my tribe. Where did my family go? And I thought that was a brilliant example that you gave. And this goes back to what I’m saying of, are these countries really, they’re so young. They’re so young in their systems, they’re so young in their forms. So therefore, to implement an institution or a framework that isn’t necessarily made for them, is made to push down on them, to say this is what the framework is. Also, when you’re looking at a more democratic system, I think you need to have a proper foundation. When I say a proper foundation, one of the reasons why I find certain countries consistently successful as a whole is there’s systems that are in place. There’s three aspects that I think is really important for our country to have, which will then make a better population, et cetera. So number one is a good education system. Number two, a good healthcare system. So if you can educate your people, you take care of the health of your people. And then education, health, and then the third, there was a third one, but those two are really like the two sounding blocks that I always like to say. If you take care of the education and you take care of the health, then you have a more productive society, a society that can actually go to work. If they get sick, you have some treatments if you’re able to. And you look at countries like Norway, Sweden, my country, Canada, the likes of most of the northern European countries. These are well functioning countries. And because of that fundamental, the education, the combination of education and health. If I personally don’t worry about my education, and I have the opportunity to learn and grow, and therefore also, you mentioned earlier about a lot of democracies, a lot of countries using democracy to actually exploit the country. Well, yes, I agree with that comment because a lot of countries or a lot of leaders may actually use the uneducated, this is gonna sound terrible, but people who are not necessarily less educated, they get the popular vote, but that not necessarily is the right leader for the country. Whereas had the population been a little bit more educated and had a ability to take a more critical outlook as to what’s being presented in front of them, and therefore make a more informed choice, then I think we would see a very different example. So yeah, I think that that’s, this is why, you know, when I say that countries aren’t ready for, there are certain countries that may not necessarily be ready for democracy. This is why I feel like you have, every system is gonna be different, every country is gonna be different. Yeah, we’re gonna work through your statement on Twitter, so that’s gonna be interesting. Anyways, no, this, I think it’s hard to describe, and I feel we have a lot that we feel is wrong there, and you know, it’s a bit like China, where everyone thought, okay, just economic growth will make them very democratic, and they’re gonna look like Taiwan, and it’s a safe bet. It happened all the time, right? If they make money, they’re gonna become more democratic. It didn’t happen with China. It happened with almost every other country on the planet. One thing that struck me, and that I learned only recently, is how socialist Singapore is. So Singapore is always seen as the heaven for wealth, and it has very low taxes. It’s very easy to set up a company, to close a company. It’s kind of like Hong Kong. But on the other hand, it provides free housing, or reduced income housing for a big portion of the population, Singapore, maybe 50%. It has tight restrictions on immigration, surprisingly, so it has the opposite of an open border policy. Maybe that’s not a socialist. It has an almost free healthcare system, kind of like the many European countries have then, like the UK. So it does things quite differently than what you would think when you think of Singapore as the haven of capitalism. And Singapore, as you say, was certainly, I wouldn’t say it was a crazy dictatorship, but it was certainly not ruled by, on a state level, and by the people living there solely, but by their leader. His last name is Lee. I forgot his first name. He’s been there. Who’s been doing this for 30 years, all right? So the question is, how does this really work for developing countries? Because obviously, there’s a couple of things at odds here. The first thing is the wars and also development is always counted in economic progress. If you lift the GDP, as hard as it sounds, but you make everyone sooner or later richer, and everyone has a better life, and has access to better healthcare, better access to education. So I think we can all agree, maybe this is not the only thing we should worry about. But in the end, if we have markers, and it’s easy to measure for GDP, then everyone is profiting from this rising tide. And then if we can agree on this, right, and I think everyone agrees on this, there’s a couple of sub issues, you know, you don’t want to do it at all costs, and this is where we talked about earlier, this, we want to not ruin the environment we are in, especially not for others. Once we agree on this, how do we actually, there is, you know, there’s a virtual signaling, I call it the new neocolonialism of virtual signaling, right? When you go to Africa, there’s a lot of people who I think want to do good, like NGOs, this is typically the NGO people, they’re often, they’re European, they’re the only ones access to, besides the government, really expensive cars, they live in their own separated area, they go to certain restaurants, and you can tell they are from an NGO 100 miles away, I mean, you can see, you can talk, you can seek out these people, you can distinguish them from the rest, that’s not, that has nothing to do with race. And these people, I think, have a good motivation, they want to help Africa. In my point of view, I felt there’s often a mismatch between the skills they bring, the costs that they have on the ground, so I’m not sure they’re making enough impact, and I want to learn more about that, I feel like they’re not doing enough impact. The question is, if we feel economic progress is what we want, how do we actually get it started? So what would you do if you would be the dictator of, say, Malawi or Madagascar? What would be your first, what is your six month plan? So one is just to attract more investment. And so, you know, let’s talk about the NGO aspect, I think what’s really important is a lot of NGO funding is now starting to go, going to impact investing. And a lot of the funds that would have funded more charity or philanthropic work is you’re seeing a conversion towards impact investing. And the reason why it’s converging to impact investing is they’re realizing that philanthropic work, there’s essentially a cutoff, you know, you put money in and then there’s no payback coming back out. Whereas in impact investing, it’s a perpetual fund, you know, the aim is to eventually create a perpetual fund so then you can also continue to make impact on a wider scale. So that’s where you’ll see like a lot of family offices, for example, what were they used to have very philanthropic initiatives. A lot of the family offices that we’ve been, that we’ve worked with and we’ve advised have moved into impact investing and realized actually my money will go so much further if I actually make sure that my money generates more money. And I think this is the end principle. How can my money generate more money? Yeah. So whether it’s from an entrepreneurial point of view, whether it’s from more established businesses who are doing, you know, entrepreneurship within a wider larger organization, I think that it’s really important one, a government would ensure to incentivize a business community to develop and grow and recognize what are the business needs, what are the economic development needs and how can we therefore support or encourage and allow for external investment to come in. I think the hardest challenge that I find with a lot of investors that I’ve worked with throughout my career has been being able to put money in and or take money out. So you have to be able to, as a government, you have to have this conducive environment where people are willing to put their money into the country and can also take money, which is so important if you can’t take money out. So I think that’s where I would really start. I would really start with making sure that if I was a government, my policies are conducive to a business environment that will encourage and allow for the various sectors that need it to thrive. At the same time, too, I think it’s really important to consistently and ensure that the companies are paying their rightful dues. And when I say rightful dues, that a government recognizes that we need to tax an organization. I’m not opposed to taxes, but it has to be the right taxes. It has to be a reasonable amount. Unfortunately, there was an example of a government in an African country very recently who decided they were going to tax all the mining companies an absorbent amount. Well, basically, all these companies left the country, and you can’t do that. It has to be fair and it has to be right. So I think the create policies that ensure a right balance. What is that balance? Once again, it depends on the country. Yeah. No, I mean, it’s hard. It’s definitely a very difficult question. I think there is something, and I want to talk about that, there is, from every 10 years, a spectacular rise of certain countries in Africa. It was Angola, lately in Nigeria, and usually it’s commodity driven. So we see, and I think this is not a good way to grow because it creates something called the Dutch disease. It makes any other service that you deliver or products that you create in that country much more expensive because your currency violently rises. And it happened to a bunch of countries, and it seems to be a cycle. So on one hand, I admire the commodity entrepreneurs. Sometimes they’re big oil companies, but there’s a lot of entrepreneurial service businesses along with this. So basically they find the actual sites. They create the infrastructure around it. They hire local people. So there’s a lot of potentially good there, right? But I feel like when Africa is booming, it’s generally about commodities. And then it drizzles off and that money is spent, or I feel like it lands in London bank accounts or in Swiss bank accounts. Why do you think is it the commodities that go in first who obviously are able to absorb a higher amount of risk? And is there something we can learn from it? I think there’s a huge boom and bust cycle, but is there something we can learn from people in that industry who are able to absorb that high amount of risk? Commodities, it’s a commodity curse in Africa as you rightly were referencing and referring to. I try to work in a space that encourages investment outside of commodities. So I try to work in a space that encourages investment into areas like renewable energy, agriculture, fast moving consumer goods, education. So the work that we do at Zipiva, our hope, as well as my work that I’ve been doing at Oceano Capital, is our hope is that we can create very profitable, attractive businesses that therefore we can move away from the commodities dependence. And if you look at one initiative that we are hoping to push is in the DRC, you have a lot of artisanal mining. And a lot of this artisanal mining is very dangerous, very hazardous in certain parts of the region. So for example, the world’s largest deposit of cobalt is found in the DRC. And cobalt is what you need for your semiconductors. For basically all your electronics, you need the cobalt. Now, a lot of, for example, a lot of women work doing what’s called domage, like some of the most dangerous jobs, very chemical intensive, it’s challenging. So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to push initiatives to encourage, hey, look at this wonderful fertile land why don’t we consider growing, why don’t we consider growing horticulture? Why don’t we see if we can, how do we implement fish farming? How do we implement other cattle that could we encourage and move away from being dependent on the commodities? And when I say commodities, I’m saying commodities such as copper, steel, nickel, the typical metals. So yeah, I don’t think I necessarily answered your question. I kind of deviated away from the areas that we’re trying to encourage. And we know that it is a curse, like the resource curse. The other thing that… I feel it doesn’t have to be right. That’s why I agree with you that the outcome hasn’t been great and the track record is terrible. If you look at countries like Norway who’ve been using the oil valve and building something on top of it, right? So it is possible. Every oil company, every commodities company has the same problem we’ve just talked about, right? They have to assess the risk. Could they get the money in? Maybe they can get it out? Maybe not? Did they never know what happens? In the meantime, there’s even more political issues. They obviously have bigger budgets, but in the end they have the exact same problem and they need to build a scalable local organization and they seem to pull it off and then they’ll leave and then they come back 20 years later or 15 years later. I wonder if there’s something to be learned. I fully agree with you on the negatives, but maybe there’s something positive there too. I think there’s a lot more mining companies, for example. So I’ve worked on a lot of… Canada, we’re a major mining country. In terms of our mining interests in Africa, it’s very big. And you’ll see from that, there is a lot of trends towards more CSR, but CSR evolving into much more impact investing. And we’re actually been working at Oceano Capital, we’ve actually been working on initiatives to encourage mining companies to look to impact investing and the practices of impact investing. So where the differentiator is, if you have a mine site, a lot of mining companies will wave their flag and say, hey, we built a school. Yay, or we built a hospital. What we’re saying and what we’ve been working with is, okay, so rather than building a school, why don’t we identify a number of different entrepreneurs or maybe introduce new agricultural practices? There’s a shortage after doing some research and feasibility studies. There’s a shortage of this, this and this, let’s say cattle, maize and corn, for example. And why don’t you fund the initiative for them to be able to grow these and then be able to find, identify off takers to therefore sell it. So I’m starting to see a trend towards that. There’s a lot more conversations happening in the mining sector, for example, on ESG best practices and the move away from corporate social responsibility. I think it’ll take time, but definitely. And in the case of Norway, the example that you give, I think it’s also easier when the country is smaller and it’s a smaller population to be able to manage. I think that’s also a major factor of it. And Norway is a country just overall, just in terms of its social practices. This is, we haven’t started talking about, the area that I’m passionate about is gender lens and women’s empowerment. But if you look at Norway, Norway has one of the most gender parity and part of their systems is that they encourage maternal and paternal leave. They encourage a very equitable from a gender perspective society. So I think that, but they also have a smaller population to be able to implement these measures and manage these measures. Plus they’ve been wealthy and with the oil that they’ve had. So in terms of the resources. So yeah. Yeah, I think where we’re, and I think it’s hard for us to get all the way down. I think there’s more to it. We’re scratching the surface and that’s been a problem for myself. There is something deep there, but I can’t really put my finger on. And I haven’t read a lot, I’ve found a lot of good stuff that explains more of that. And that’s intellectually honest enough. Why don’t we short circuit this and look into places that seemingly are doing a good job, right? What do you think from, and this doesn’t have to be impact investment. That’s just a sustainable economic growth in Africa. Where do you feel, which countries are like in the top five, where you feel like, well, they’re really, they’re getting their shit together. And then there’s the other end where you feel like, well, it’s maybe there’s growth, but it’s definitely not sustainable. So in terms of the countries where that is basically the investor darlings would definitely be in East Africa and then Nigeria, Cote divoire, Ghana in West Africa. With the exception of taking out Tanzania, unfortunately, but the likes of Kenya doing really well. Uganda will see how things turn and how things shift. Rwanda has been, Kagame really wants to become the Singapore of Africa. He said it time and time again, and if you go to Rwanda and you see what Rwanda has done, it’s absolutely incredible what Rwanda has done and achieved over a short period of time. I say this with a caveat, however, because you then also talk to people who are not Rwandans, but who are expats, maybe they had moved over from Tanzania or moved over from Zimbabwe. There’s a lot of, Rwanda feels a bit tight. When I say tight, maybe not as free as they, they’re maybe a bit worried. So we’ll see how Rwanda evolves. We hope that Rwanda becomes the Singapore, but we also hope that Rwanda doesn’t become another Zimbabwe, where a leader stays too long. Once upon a time, a Zimbabwe was incredibly successful. Zimbabwe, the currency one point was on par with the British pound a long, long time ago, and then unfortunately over time, under bad leadership, things went down the drain in a country like Zimbabwe. So I think the plus countries right now, and the ones to watch are obviously Kenya, which has always been the case, Nigeria, but Nigeria, when I say Nigeria, Nigeria is tricky. Nigeria is the most populous nation in sub Saharan Africa. So of course you’re going to have the angel, you’re going to have the unicorns that are going to come, like there’s the unicorns of Africa are coming out of Nigeria, which is I think really interesting to watch and to see, but it is also the most populous nation in Africa. So your market is massive in Nigeria alone. So I think Nigeria is something, everyone’s like, oh, Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria. I’m like, okay, well, you actually have to look at it differently because it’s a hundred million people, 150 million, 200 million. No one really knows the true census of it. So top five countries, I would say, in no particular order, Kenya, Rwanda, Kotevar, Nigeria, Ghana, which I think are the typical ones. I didn’t put South Africa in there. Now the reason why I didn’t mention South Africa is I just feel like South Africa is on its own little South Africa. It’s South Africa, South Africa. So I agree with you. It’s not what we think of Africa for sure. What about Ethiopia? Would you put that in the top five, maybe in the top 10, or where do you feel there? Top 10. I would definitely put it in the top 10, but I think that certain political, and this is where it becomes interesting right now as we watch Africa right now. There’s been just a history of many countries showing that political instability ends up affecting the risk profile of the country massively. So I think that with Ethiopia right now, it was a couple of years ago an absolute darling, now with some of the political turmoil getting kind of iffy. So it’s almost like, let’s wait and see how the waves turn. So the case in point is Tanzania. Unfortunately, it’s gone. 10 years ago, Tanzania was on the up, up, up, up, up. Everyone is investing in Tanzania. Tanzania looked brilliant. There was a lot of things going on in Tanzania, and then a new government has come in and, oh, so on the bottom end, that would be on the bottom end, for example. Okay, that far down? Okay, yeah. I mean, I felt like Ethiopia, when we talk about a more autocratic system, they are like the blueprint for it, right? They look towards China. They’re kind of communist, but kind of not. I don’t see a lot of communism there that’s actually real. Maybe they have that. But it’s from the people you talk to, and they might not give me the whole truth. It’s very far out there. I grew up in Eastern Germany. It was way more communist. Way, way, way. So maybe there is something there, but they really want this. And maybe this is something that we talked about earlier, is a system where they can stay in control as political leaders. They can have some direct impact on this economy. China has a lot of state run companies, but it has gone into this virtuous circle of we primarily invest into infrastructure, we primarily reinvest all these savings, and we don’t just base them on some government propaganda, whatever they do. They do this too, but there’s enough money in the system to make everyone richer because they reinvest it into the economy, which is something the Soviet Union also did, but I think they didn’t go to that full extent. They basically prohibited any kind of real market transactions, which is what China does in a lot, a lot of places. So Ethiopia has jumped on a train, and I think what there was a lot of enthusiasm, the troubles obviously in Ethiopia infrastructure projects are still very tricky because you start from zero. There’s literally no roads. They build a train in Addis Ababa, which looked like a subway from China, which probably what it is. This is all Chinese money that builds those, in terms of political allegiance in exchange for that, but the train, it doesn’t really work. It runs, but it’s really slow. It goes like 10 miles an hour, and it’s constantly overcrowded, and the idea of a train and what it actually did didn’t really, they were not in sync because Ethiopia or Addis never had bad traffic because they didn’t have a lot of cars, so they had buses, and these buses were stinky, but they work, and the train was kind of, was like the elephant in the room, and it’s nobody wants to deal with the elephant if you can just take a bus and get that five minutes instead of waiting for two hours for the train, which is brand new, but it barely ever shows up because of tons of issues. So I think Ethiopia, maybe that’s what you’re describing. They wholeheartedly tried this Chinese approach, and as you say, they’re a little stuck. Maybe it’s the political issue, but it’s, somehow the Chinese model is not a one to one copy for Ethiopia, they have to change it, and these changes and making it work, I’m not sure it will happen the way that the current leadership in Ethiopia wants to deal with this. To be honest, I actually don’t know what’s the right solution in Ethiopia. It’s a lot of smart people, they don’t have an education issue, they have it in rural areas, but in the cities, definitely not. They all speak English, but the local language, which is very complicated. So the education is not an issue in urban areas. There is a lot of, there’s a lot of agriculture. There’s a lot of things that Ethiopia has going for it, but it managed to be one of the poorest countries forever, which is striking to me, right? Do you think, what would be the better approach for Ethiopia if you couldn’t describe one? Do you think there is one? I can’t prescribe one because I really, I hate to say it, but honestly, I think a lot of it is going to have to do in leadership. And because the challenge with many of these really young countries, and when I say young countries, Ethiopia is the oldest civilization in the world. However, in terms of its current form, it’s still a young country, just like all the other African countries, also very young countries. So I think that political risk is unfortunately for a lot of these African countries, a major factor. And I witnessed firsthand a country that was just so on the up and up and up and up. And when I say up and up, not just like from external investments, I’m talking about the people inside the country who were innovators, who were entrepreneurs, who were pushing brilliant ideas. One company that I was working with got from 0 to 2 million in two years. And this is in Tanzania, and I say 0 to 2 million US dollars. And there were several examples of the Tanzanian owned, operated, funded company, fully funded. And then the current president put the business owner in jail. To extract money, or they had it viewed, or what was the reason for that? They decided that the current president a few years ago decided to take out the people who he believed to be corrupt. And therefore, a number of leading business people in Tanzania were put into jail during that time period. And to give you an example, this is the same president that has said, there’s no COVID in the country, and we have prayed COVID away. And I’m quoting word from word from what that president has said. So because I’ve watched this within my timeframe of working in Africa, and Tanzania was the very first African country that I came into, that I worked in, it’s so close to my heart. I do believe that in a case like Ethiopia or any other countries, unfortunately it’s still so dependent. The top level infrastructure, the political infrastructure is still too fragile. The foundation hasn’t been fully, fully built in that unfortunately it can really just move too quickly in a different direction still. So that’s something that still needs to be monitored. Yeah, no, I fully agree with you. And Ethiopia, for instance, they shut down the internet for a couple of weeks because they felt like that, like talk for everyone. And they just, there’s like the city of Bahia, the second biggest city, they just shut it off for like a whole year because they felt it’s too dangerous to have people probably organize demonstrations in that city, but still. The shutting of the internet has been very common in many countries in Africa in the past two to three years where there’s been a lot of electors. Tanzania shut down their internet last, just a few months ago. I had an intern working in Tanzania, sorry, I can’t deliver this. And I’m like, the internet shouldn’t shut down. Nigeria shut down their internet as well. And yet, we think that Nigeria is a darling country to invest in, which I gave you as my top five. Yes, earlier this year, the government shut their internet down. Yeah, that’s not ideal. I didn’t realize that. I know Uganda just slowed down the internet during the final stages of the election last month, or actually it was this month. When you look at these challenges, and I always, I kind of think like Africa in many places, because it was not as populous 50, 60 years ago and because it was run by tribes. So there’s often a system of elders, and I think that works really well. That often is on a village level, right? It is a part of a community. That’s something that can be instituted, and maybe we are looking at the wrong level. This nation state, if we go back, a very European idea, even in the U.S., we don’t really think of the U.S. as a nation state, but it’s way too big. It’s essentially your European idea, all these nation states. And even in many countries in Africa, I have populations that are widely divided between prior tribes, or just different languages, different religions. And are we looking at the wrong level, maybe we should go down a layer lower and say, why don’t we talk to a certain community and push the idea of the charter city that gets a certain political independence. Now, we can debate what this should be. Obviously, it should be a way to have access to money, how to deal with imports and exports. Say, like an advanced duty free zone, kind of like a Dubai style duty free zone that you institute in Tanzania port, for instance, and you get those rights. Maybe we have to put some troops there in order to get some boots underground. Do you think that’s maybe a way to go to just say, well, we take certain areas out and we get a guarantee to try something for 20 years, kind of like Hong Kong was to China? I think that model is actually working in certain sectors. So for example, in agriculture, you see a lot of the co op model. I was actually talking to a Canadian based entrepreneur who actually imports all of his goods from two African countries, from Malawi and Malawi and Malawi and Mali. I remember I was like, oh, that must be so difficult to always say, Malawi and Malawi and Mali. Quite far apart, yeah, quite far apart. Yeah, but that’s where apparently he imports his goods from. And so I think his father or his mother, basically, he had ties to both of the countries. And as you mentioned, working with the elder. So basically, he went into these communities and working with the elders and working, whether it’s with a female smallholder farmer, that actually does really focus on working with female smallholder farmers. And therefore, he guarantees that he’s going to be the off taker. He has essentially buys all the respective commodities. So it functions and really works well because this area of agriculture is independent from the other systems. And he basically just goes directly to the tribal communities. And I’ve seen this happen in a few others where you work directly with the coops or work directly within a community. And therefore, so it works really well in agriculture and agriculture setting. I’ve seen it work in a renewable energy setting, but from a point of view of if you’re, as long as you’re, if you’re really far off the grid. So if you’re really far off the main public grid and if you want to establish your own mini grid or some sort of other type of innovation, I think that works quite well. So, and they have that there are these free trade zones in several different countries where it seems to, it’s mixed. I would say I would definitely, I wouldn’t say that there’s a lot of people that have been extremely overly hyper positive about it, but nor have they been hyperly negative about it. So I think it does work both. I think it, it will depend on the sector. And B, it’ll obviously depend on the country. Yeah. Well, the idea of, you know, moving Dubai into Africa, I think this, as you said, Rwanda wants to be that it’s unfortunately very landlocked and it’s dependent on a lot of things. That’s, there is definitely a room for this, maybe just one or two Dubai’s. And I, the question would be if there is the political will to try that out. And it’s sometimes stunning to me that economic progress and we kind of predefined that in the beginning as so important. Maybe this isn’t what a lot of people optimize their life for in, in, in Africa. So I’m not saying it’s, it’s unimportant, but I feel the importance of it is, is maybe not as striking as it was, say Europe in the 18th century or the 19th century. Do you think that’s true or that’s, that’s, that’s too broad and judgment? Quite broad, but I also, you know, you have to also factor in the younger generation. And I think the younger generation, you know, Africa is, Africa is going to have the youngest population in the world by 2020, like the 20, I think the predictions are by 2030. And also these young people, the younger generation have a lot more access to information. It’s a very, you know, so therefore their needs and their desires and their wants are fundamentally going to be very, very different from the generation before them. And so I think that where, and therefore thus where the opportunities lie, you know, is, is, is significant to be able to target. And I think this is one of the reasons why the uptake, for example, in FinTech in Africa has been incredibly high. If you, if you watch and monitor what happens in FinTech, like mobile payments, being able to buy and purchase, online purchasing is really significant. And it blows my mind because, you know, the uptake in smart, smart phones on the continent, you gave an example earlier of like, well, even if I don’t have electricity, I can have my smartphone and it, maybe I have a generator or something. Absolutely, it’s true. So I think that the, the, the younger generation is going to have very, very different needs than what the generation beforehand is. And at the same time too, you know, this is why we also need to make sure we are investing in the young entrepreneurs. We are taking the time to ensure that these young entrepreneurs are getting the skill sets. They are getting developing the skills that they need to be able to navigate through and develop businesses because at the same time, one of the major reasons why the turmoil that we had in Nigeria earlier this year was because of a young, educated population that is unemployed and a young educated, uneducated population that is unemployed is a ticking time bomb for a country. So we need to make sure that jobs are being created, entrepreneurs are being supported. Then more jobs are going to be created, greater impact, better stability. So I do think that economic development is incredibly important for countries of the current, for the current way the countries are going in this direction. Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. Once, once they’ve, they’ve watched enough YouTube influencers, they’re going to be, they’re going to want what the influencers tell them. Yeah, you know what, if we go further, I kind of want to, want to talk about what could be that potential edge, what could be something that, that Africa has on a specific level that no, or many countries in Africa have, that no other place has. And when you think of China, what they basically understood is that they have a large labor force they can direct, right? They can basically tell them what to do. They can use the word slaves, but sometimes that is kind of what we look at it. It’s not true for, if you would live in China, because it’s still better than your prior job. But you would, you would basically learn that you would say, take any big market that you find in the world, find out what the products are, disassemble them, reestablish how you could build them on your own, but cheaper, then go to the exact same customers, tell them this is the product we give it to you, cheaper. That does manufacture it for you. And then you can say that’s stealing the, the intellectual property and maybe this, but so everyone did that at one point. The U.S. did it from the U.K. and then Germany did it later on. So that’s the cycle of development. You make something cheaper, so you’re more productive and then you rise up, you innovate yourself, and then eventually became the dominated manufacturing because they have the sort of, you know, skilled in that sense, not super skilled, but skilled enough for these kind of manufacturing. And they also had the management potential to pull this off. And this is a mega industry. And I think this is where Ethiopia wants to go. I don’t think they’ve made many inroads there. For Africa, I see that manufacturing hasn’t led anywhere for multiple issues, infrastructure, getting products in and out. So even if you have good manufacturing, it never really took off. What do you think could be the next, or this itch or this mega industry where Africa could make a huge difference? I’m going to say agriculture because I’m biased towards agriculture. 60% of the world’s arable land is in Africa. I worked on a project where we were able to develop a medicinal crop that was a counter crop to rice, and it’s an incredibly high value crop. So if you are able to introduce these techniques, obviously it was a very complicated crop to grow, but the climate in this country was very conducive for this particular medicinal crop to grow. You’re seeing, for example, a lot of countries are now allowing license for production of medicinal marijuana, whether it’s simply growing the cannabis versus actually exporting. I mean, the cannabis industry is going to be massive, or is already massive in terms of the value. In Europe alone, now with the use of CBD oils, the use of moisturizer, I’m here in the UK, I just enter my Holland and Barrett, one of these UK drug stores, and you have a whole section. So I do think these high value crops, whether it’s things like Moringa, whether it’s cannabis, whether it’s things like Artemisia, there are so many high value crops that Africa is an area that has proven and can produce these commodities. Not only that, a lot of countries in Africa still have to import a lot of their food. We didn’t talk about this, but the Africa Free Trade Agreement that was signed and ratified last year, this is a major game changer. Within Africa itself, the African Union, the amount of now trading and the ease of trading that it’s going to represent. So this is also a very big opportunity because when your market was once only Mozambique, all of a sudden you now have access to Angola, you have access to Botswana, you have access to all these other countries. So your market now has just become much larger. So I think that’s also a very interesting opportunity that the African Free Trade Agreement will represent. And I think that in terms of fast moving consumer goods, so you have the agriculture side, you have the effects of the African Free Trade Agreement, and then you have a massive potential in the consumer buying. This is a continent that buying and increasing spending power is definitely on the rise. Everybody wants whatever they’re seeing on TV or whatever they’re watching on YouTube, and you’re seeing that this is why a lot of the alcohol companies, the beer companies, everyone’s flocking the cosmetics industry, is now flocking into Africa. It was really interesting. Chris Rock did a documentary on hair. The hair industry in Africa, women weaves. My goodness, it’s massive. And there’s an incredible example of a Japanese entrepreneur who basically, apparently the Japanese hair is like the most incredible. And the amounts that people are paying for this. So I think there’s a lot of potential in agriculture, in fast moving consumer goods, and leveraging on the effects of the African Free Trade Agreement. Yeah. I mean, generally, it’s not a must have, right? But generally, you have some kind of export lead growth. That’s how most economies take off and then eventually get rich, and then they end up like Japan, they have too much money, and they don’t know what to do with it. Yes, it should be, but we still consume a lot, right? We overly consume over here. I was expecting you to also, I don’t know if this is still current, there have been plans for a long time that solar energy panels, massive solar factories, would actually be installed in northern Africa, more towards the coast. Are these things, and that would be an enormous boost of free energy, or low cost energy, renewable energy for Europe? Are these plans still in place? Are they still being built, or this has been shut down by often very difficult political situation in these countries? Unfortunately, tourist in the countries that I’ve seen and noticed. So I’ve watched, there’s a couple of projects, the major solar, major hydro, and major wind projects, all of these countries would be brilliant at producing copious amounts of energy, renewable energy. Unfortunately, I think the political situations have not allowed or enabled some of these major massive energy projects to come to fruition. In Tanzania, the company that I worked for, one of their portfolio companies was an energy, had invested in what would have been the largest wind energy farm in East Africa, the first wind energy farm in East Africa. We’re talking about, it was hundreds of millions, possibly even hitting the billions in terms of the value of that project and the amount of money that went into it. Unfortunately, it didn’t come to fruition. So we’ve been talking, I was advising a Canadian solar energy company and they have just had so many challenges with their solar energy facilities in Western Africa. So I think that’s a harder one. Unfortunately, when it comes to energy production, there’s a lot of other players that we may not necessarily be aware of that might be hampering the full potential of what it can be achieved. Yeah, it’s very vulnerable also. They are just physically vulnerable, you need a certain amount of maintenance and you need a long term agreement. You need to be sure that this thing delivers for 10, 15 years at least, otherwise it makes no sense. I think at the time it was a bit like, there’s these huge parts of the Libyan desert, the Moroccan desert, and the idea was to just basically pump all this power to Europe. I think it was maybe a bit of a pipe dream, because Europe has so much money and they’re ready to spend it on renewable energy. Germany has this very high target of renewables, I think it’s about 50%, and they have the most expensive electricity on the planet because of that, but they’re ready to spend for it. So that’s their decision. And obviously they thought, why don’t we put all the wind generating towers that kind of make our landscape ugly, why don’t we just move a lot of solar farms where they actually can produce a lot of energy. Germany is mostly cloudy and dark, but if they would be in Morocco, that seems like a match made in heaven. But yeah, the political instability is a real issue there. So they probably have built some, but I’ve never seen them take off on a grand scale. Yeah, there’s a couple of projects that have been built. Yeah, that explains a lot there. Here’s one mega trend that I’ve been thinking about, and I see this here in the US and I think the UK, you guys are on the same level there, is that people are making steps to kind of leave their physical existence. And this is not just a COVID thing. I think this happened for quite some time. And a lot of futurists, I had David Orban on, he was talking about basically this time to have mind children, not just biological children, a tongue in cheek. So I feel like this idea of merging with the cloud, so to speak, and a lot of people have, I mean, forced by COVID or maybe because this is what people find more comfortable anyways, they’ve maybe been making moves to spend most of their life in the cloud, consuming cloud, producing stuff for the cloud, kind of what we do with the podcast, right? It doesn’t have a physical address, so to speak. I always feel Africa is in a fantastic position for that, right? There’s a lot of places that speak the same language. There’s a lot of places that could contribute to the growth of the cloud. And I was referring to this earlier. I feel like Africa is not just ready for this, it’s like destined for this, because literally all you need is an internet connection and a brain, and then you contribute to this cloud economy. But the question is, is this going to be enough, right? Is this like what China, the China’s manufacturing, is the cloud economy enough for Africa? What’s your gut feeling? Do you think that’s going to happen, or this is just going to be a minor thing? I think technology as a whole will be a major thing for Africa. I don’t think, like, I really don’t think manufacturing is going, is not, I don’t think that’s what it’s going to be for Africa, but I definitely think technology, technology and innovation. So whether it’s building systems that serve up into the cloud, I mean, the company that just raised, and I was just trying to look it up as we started talking, as you were referring, I mean, they, I think they hit their $100 or $200 million capital raise very recently, and it is, it’s all tech, it’s all, it’s technology. And so I really think that for Africa, the biggest area that it’s going to be in terms of opportunities is tech innovation, what does that, what does that tech look like, whether it’s ag tech, ed tech, just general, you know, look at the proliferation and PASA mobile payment systems, delivery systems, I mean, I just feel as if you’re going to have to have some really, really massive servers in Africa and sitting in Africa, if they’re not already there, which I’m sure they, they already are. And the proliferation of what technology is going to look like on the continent, that’s where I think the major opportunity is going to exist. Yeah, I feel it’s more like this, the soft layer on top services. I think the, the, the ship for the data centers is already sailed, or maybe that’s, that’s wrong, but I don’t see Africa being excelling again. That’s an infrastructure partner laying the pipes, building, building big data centers, but it’s just layered on top, you know, I don’t want to say entertainment, but the softer layer of, of, of eCommerce, of how do the world learns. I always feel like, and I said this to Daniel, I feel like 50% of the teachers are going to be Nigerian and they’re going to teach all our children, because this is where this is the most efficient and maybe the most qualified stuff we can find that might also be in India, because the current model of school seems to be broken. What, when you, when you, when you look back at your own career, and that’s kind of an advice for, for other entrepreneurs, what attracted you to what you do in the first place? And if you, if, if, was it a certain talent that you had, or how did you discover you, you want to be kind of a strategic entrepreneur? That’s, that’s how it would describe you, right? You, you’re like a layer on top of that and helping investors making the right decisions. When did you decide that was for you? And do you think there was random or there was some, someone talked to you at some point? I think it was completely, I really, when I look back at my career, I realize it wasn’t random, but when I was living it, it felt random. And the reason why I say that is because I started my career off just like, I’ve always been curious and I have always had a curious mind. And I think that for many entrepreneurs, if you don’t have that curiosity, like what is that, you mentioned earlier that entrepreneurs tend to be very philosophical. Well, I also think they have to have a curiosity, you know, because they want to make something or change something or disrupt something. And therefore that, that, that inquisitive mind of not just accepting what things are, but how can I, blah, blah, blah, finish the sentence, right? How can I blah, blah, blah. And so for me, you know, when I left Canada, I had this amazing opportunity to work in country reports. And basically I would interview CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. I would interview heads of state ministers, various different governments. You know, I’ve talked to some of the biggest companies in the world. And, and therefore, you know, it was really intriguing. We were, our aim was to be able to promote a country and attract investment into a country, which is how I ended up living in so many countries. And in so doing that, I realized that, hang on, if I really want to make a difference in this world, and if I really want to do something that can contribute to the greater good, it’s got to be an entrepreneurship. You know, it’s got to be at the level of business, because business is what generates growth. Capitalism, being able to make money, fuels for their growth, makes for their impact, et cetera. And so I, when I did my MBA, and when I went to business school, it was of that mindset, you know, you have to understand, I studied like journalism and communications. I never thought that I would go into business and finance, which is what I do now. I didn’t think that I would be looking at financial modeling on a day to day basis. That’s not what I thought I would be doing when I started my career out. So I did an MBA with the projection of going into entrepreneurship, so I could learn the business skills and get the business acumen to better understand. And knowing that eventually, I wanted to become an angel investor, was kind of my, my, my, be able to exit out of certain companies and then become an angel. And that’s basically, you know, what happened in 2000. I entered the, after my MBA, it was, I did the MBA just after the crisis. So you couldn’t get a job anywhere. Which crisis was that? There’s so many lately. Yeah, that’s true. 2008 or 2001. 2008 financial crisis. Yeah. So the 2008 financial crisis is when I did, when I had done my MBA and, and that’s where, you know, I, I, I fell in love with Africa. I fell in love in Tanzania specifically. And I just decided to move back to Tanzania and, and like come with me, we’ll see what happened. And while I was in Tanzania, I met an investor who was like, look, I have this company, would you, can you run it? Can you take over it? And I said, okay, cool. Happy to do that. And that’s basically how my career evolved is I’ve worked with a lot of investors who, whether they are, whether they are an angel investor, whether they are private equity fund or whether they are BC fund. Oftentimes what’ll be is, okay, this is the business. Can you have a look at it, see how you can fix it? Where can you find some inefficiencies on it? Great. Fantastic. Let’s do it. And then eventually, you know, the trend into impact investing came very naturally because I was already working in Africa. And because I, I was actually part of a, one of the first crowdfunding sites that really specifically focused on Africa and the development funding projects across the continent. We, we managed to raise 25 million funding, 12 projects and 35 projects across the continent. And that for me was like, you know, I really just enjoyed being able to do that. So it was a very, I always often say it’s like, you never know what’s just going to come at you. And I have a, I have a, I have a German niece and nephew actually. And my niece is 22 and my nephew is 17. And I say, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re very in a stringent system that I need to study this and I need to study that. I’m like, yeah, but you know, you never know what life is going to send you. And I’m over the opinion of just keep an open mind. And I, and now today, like I love what I do. Like I, I feel very fortunate to be able to work in a space where I get to work with investors to ensure that they, you know, they are investing in women. They are empowering women. They are empowering the lives of, of people on a day to day basis. And at the same time too, they’re making a financial return. The other side of this, I love seeing all the different ideas that entrepreneurs have and saying to them, okay, hang on, let’s take a step back. How can we make you grow even further? So it’s been really fun in that way. One of my clients, just to give you an example, I just love what they do. They’re basically the Uber of Africa in terms of artisanal mining. So they’ve developed a technology whereby they’re able to work with artisans in the slum areas, tell them how, like, they basically through the app and through the system, they tell them what jewelry they need to make, the jewelry is made and created and sold to the likes of Macy’s, you know, Neiman Marcus, these, these, these big stores in the U.S., beautiful jewelry. And yet they’re empowering 3,000 artisans in the slums of Kenya. Yeah. Yeah, that is a fantastic idea. That definitely sounds like, like a real niche. I like how you describe that. I like how you describe your career. And obviously we see a different looking back, right, than when we, when we go into it and the, the, the way that we feel like we were destined to do this. But at the time it felt kind of shaky at least. That’s, that’s kind of what, what, what I felt at the time. Everyone, and I grew up in Germany, you know, you vary in Germany. You don’t leave a certain career trajectory. You’re right. And until the end, until you literally retire and you can’t go to work anymore, you have a heart attack and you fall, fall over. And this is the system they’ve, they’ve, they’ve been doing very well with. It’s changing a little now, but it’s, you know, slow, it’s slowly changing. I never felt, and there were lots of crosspoints where I felt like, okay, I can’t do this. I literally can’t do it. And then five years later, I’m like, okay, this made sense. But like I was in this moment and I’m like, I just, I feel it, right? I can’t really say why this is so. And I couldn’t explain it to anyone because I, I’ve been one obviously in Germany or then he in the U.S. had a very different idea on how life should be. So it’s, it’s, it’s funny how we look back and we say, okay, this, this is what I wanted, but I couldn’t express it. And then it drove me towards a decision where I eventually didn’t have that need to rebel anymore, right? I felt like I’m in the right place at the right time. A lot, a lot of entrepreneurs say this about curiosity. You’re absolutely right. That’s, that’s absolutely a precondition. When, when you look at, and I think this is a lot of what investors describe as it’s a bit of the being torn between just operating a business for some time and, you know, being at the controls. And on the other hand, being so far away. And I think we have this with Africa. We think it’s so far away, literally, or just because in terms of cultural, cultural markers and then it’s hard to call someone. It’s always in the middle of the night. How do you feel by making these investments and kind of being or advising on investments and being on the outside? Do you feel like, okay, I could go to Tanzania and could run this place and I know it could work. But I just have to wait until someone gives me the results two years later. Are you getting impatient or that’s never been an issue for you? So I always say I personally will advise and work with investors who want to be close to their entrepreneur. So, and therefore build up the entrepreneur. And I always, so on one side, if I’m working with an investor, it’s we’re working hand in hand with the entrepreneur. I don’t want to say breathing down their neck, but understanding that, okay, this is like, let’s coach them through. And I think it’s really, really, really, really important for an investor. Like, so for example, if you’re a private equity investor, a lot of private equity investors may take a majority share knowing that there’s a lot that they know that they think that they can improve. I always ask the question, well, why are you taking the business in the first place? Like, what is it about the business? Is it the entrepreneur itself or is it the business? And oftentimes I prefer working with investors who like the entrepreneur. And it’s the entrepreneur that has the idea because often the big entrepreneurs of the world that we have seen, you know, the Teslas of the world, the Steve Jobs of the world, the Bill Gates, it was in them. They had this crazy idea. You know, it was in there. They knew the solution. No one else could tell them what the solution is. They knew what it was and they did this crazy thing. You know, I think of like, who would have thought that Airbnb would be Airbnb today? You know, just crazy ideas. Yeah, but look at what it like, look at what it’s done. So on one hand, I think it’s really, this is just my personal thing that I do. And it’s also because I run the companies myself, like I run companies and I know how more appreciative I am when I know that my investor is essentially out. Like it is not just going to leave me to be and is actually taking an interest because therefore I know that the money is going to work in my best interest. And in my best interest, when I say my best interest, my best interest of the company that I’m currently running or helping to run. So on one side with an entrepreneur, I always advise an entrepreneur. Look, an investor is like a marriage. Don’t accept the person. Just because somebody wants to give you money doesn’t mean that you should take it. Make sure that you’re taking money and you’re aligned in terms of values, in terms of principles, and this is where you want to take your business. This is your baby. Don’t let anybody else tell you anything different with your baby. Or be open to advice that you realize will help. On the other side with the investor, why are you taking the investment in the first place? Why are you making the investment in the first place? And what do you want to see out of this investment? Now, a lot of the investors won’t have time to really be at it on a day to day basis. But it’s the fact that the interest is there. Or maybe they have additional, maybe there’ll be somebody sitting on the board that really knows and understands this industry or this sector who can provide for their offtaker, customers, solutions, market entry strategy, etc. So I like to look at investment from a more strategic perspective. It’s been a big learning experience today. I’ve learned a lot. I really thank you for your time and for this year. I can see not just the curiosity, but the passion that you have for this topic and for a continent that hasn’t seen its limelight yet, but I think it will change very quickly. Thanks for doing this, Ruby. That was fantastic. My pleasure, Torsten. Really enjoyed it too. Thanks for being on the show. Absolutely. I hope we see you again. I’m sure we will. We didn’t get a chance to talk enough about gender lens investing. We have to do this next time. We would probably disagree on most of those, but I’d love to. I’d love to make this as part of a very open debate. Well, and like you said, it’s a learning, right? So I’m happy to have a comment. There’s obviously lots of things I don’t know. Maybe this is one of the reasons I’m doing this, right? So there’s a lot of preconceived notions. And just in the short amount of time that I’m doing this the last couple of months, I learned a lot of things and I look at things very differently that I’ve never done before. It definitely already changed me. Amazing. Which goes back to, you know, when we’re doing something at the time, it’s like, why are we doing this? And then when you look back in retrospect, it’s like, oh yeah, this made sense. This actually made sense in my career and made sense in, yeah. What made you start the podcast? Well, some guests were remarking this and it’s certainly true. Again, it’s one of those things I wanted to do and I didn’t really know why I was getting into that. Why I was interested in this. I feel like in retrospect, so to speak, and it’s only been a couple of months so far, it’s just using your own potential, right? Living up to your own potential. And when you start a company, and even if it takes off, and that’s a big if for most venture companies, but you’re trapped in like, you know, 60 hours a week lifestyle where you basically, your investors and everyone around you just wants to find out what you could particularly do about the growth of that company, right? What matters to everyone around you. And even if this company is very impactful, I always felt like there isn’t enough for me to really make my mark on the world. And in a way, I’m interested in lots of different topics, right? That’s what a lot of this curiosity, I’m interested in many, many things and know not enough specific about any of the topics that I’m interested in. So really finding out what goes on in other people’s minds and giving a kind of education, but it doesn’t look like education, it doesn’t feel like education to anyone. That’s what I really felt the podcast could be like, you know, learning from YouTube and also being, discovering things that you didn’t know you were interested in. And those were the motivations for me when I look back only, it’s only six, six, 12 months ago when I really started out. I think this is what a podcast can deliver for me personally, but also for the people who listen to it. I learned so much from different podcasts, and I’m stunned that I didn’t have this medium before, or it could have been YouTube, right? It could have been a TV show, but TV is just not delivering that. And maybe there’s not an audience for it, it doesn’t make enough money, I don’t know what it is, but TV rarely delivers this. Maybe the exception is the BBC. Yeah, but at the same time too, I think TV has lost its luster, you know, and I think people appreciate or need on demand, like people need their Netflix now, people need their Amazon Prime. Whereas flipping through a television and waiting for a program to come on, just to give you a prime fundamental example, my friend has a three year old, and was watching his cartoons, normally cartoons are on. Anyways, went to his grandmother’s house. His mother doesn’t have Netflix. And so trying to explain to a three year old child that, oh, sorry, we don’t have on demand. These kids, and this is what we were talking about in the podcast, this younger generation, these are digital natives, like pure digital natives. And I think flipping through a TV is too tedious for when you can go onto YouTube or just Google a podcast. Yeah, I mean the whole model has changed so much, and I think what I’m hoping for, the media consumption is off the charts, from two hours on six hours on average per child. What I’m hoping is that there’s a bit of this YouTube discovery that actually helps them discover its skills, because that’s a big if, obviously, but it’s my hope for this next generation, and it is very egalitarian. Anyone in the world who has access to this can access the same knowledge. There is no gatekeepers anymore, as long as you have an iPad or a phone with YouTube and decently fast internet. And I think this is what makes me so excited is this huge, hopefully this new bubble of entrepreneurship coming up. We’ve kind of lost in the US the idea of entrepreneurship. It’s kind of, you know, it’s become a government program, so to speak, but it isn’t a societal value. And I came to the US because I felt this is the strongest here compared to anywhere else on the planet, or I could be part of this in the strongest way. I’m not sure this is true anymore. Maybe we are seeing renewal, I hope so, but it’s definitely in dire straits right now. I think up to Africa. I think Africa has really such a strong entrepreneurial vibe, and it is really going to become the new silicone, like the next silicone valley, it really is. There’s just so much ideas and innovation out there. That said, I do think that the European market as well. I mean, Berlin has become this lovely ecosystem of ideas and startups and whatnot. And I think that it’s just crazy what technology has done and has created within a small period of time. And the case in point, I told you I have German family, so I have my German niece and my German nephew. When my sister first moved to Germany, she was living in a really small town, like really, really small town. They only spoke, like not even high Jewish, they spoke Swedish. She could barely understand anybody. I remember visiting her, I actually had to learn German. Fast forward to 20 year, people in the small town now speak English. All the kids that my niece and my nephew go to school with, they all speak English. Which, by the way, my brother in law’s generation was not like that. My brother in law, he speaks English, but only maybe one or two of his friends speak English. But all my niece and nephew’s classmates, I’m having conversations with them. And it’s a teeny, tiny, teeny, tiny little town in Germany. Oh, it’s definitely changed. I feel Germany has a lot of potential. It’s just never using its potential the right way. And I don’t know how this is going to play out this time, but there’s something in the nature of Germans, it’s just not right. We talked about the superiority complex on one of the earlier podcasts, that’s just preventing them from doing the right thing, so to speak. What is the right thing? That’s obviously up to debate, and they will have a different view. But there is something nefarious there. And I’m digging my own soul, that’s kind of a Dostoyevsky theme, where you’re constantly looking into your own soul and starting looking into what can you actually contribute, so I’m trying to balance this. But there’s something going on there that’s not good. And yes, it’s improving, and I think Germans also change. It obviously takes a little longer, and they do a lot of things very well. I’m a little worried about Germany, too. I don’t know what to say about Germany. I think that the world is just much more global. I think we all have exposure. I think what’s going on right now with COVID is an opportunity for just us to rethink how we do things, and I think it’s also just crazy. I’m currently stuck in the UK. I can’t get back to Canada at the moment. If you want to be scared of a country, be scared of the UK. The UK now has the highest average, right? Yeah, I’m very worried about the UK, and I love the old UK, the 19th century UK, but the 20th century UK is not my favorite anymore. That’s always been a problem for me. I feel like when I go through London, I’m like, man, can we just return time or just dial it back 100 years ago? I don’t feel there’s another places, but in London, I always have that impression. Yeah, I’m really just sad about what happened here in terms of Brexit and I don’t know, it was a global trend because, don’t forget, after the vote on Brexit, it was Trump. We’ve had this last few years between the UK and the US, just absolute bollocks of craziness, and then therefore it then encapsulated with COVID. And then you see these two countries with stupid leadership and look at what COVID has done to it. How is it that the UK has the highest death rate in the world? It’s insane. Yeah, COVID is definitely… Well, there’s more to it, but if you do a COVID podcast, it gets taken off YouTube, so I can’t do that. Yeah, you have to be very, very careful what you can say and what you cannot say. So you can basically just… You can say whatever is the official line in that moment, but if it’s the official line from three months ago, that’s a big problem. They just take it off YouTube. So, well, I can’t do that. The other side of podcast is easier, right? If you did the Apple, Apple doesn’t censor as much. Yeah. Awesome. Thanks again. It was so nice meeting you and chatting. And whenever you want to talk on gender lens investing, I would very much welcome that conversation. I will take you up on that. Definitely. Thanks for doing this, Ruby. That was awesome. Thanks for taking the time. Let me know when you publish it. Yeah, absolutely. It will be about a week, more or less. Sounds good. Ruby, talk soon. Thank you.

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