We are meeting with Per Christensen on a roof terrace, on one of the highest buildings in Lagos, the most busy and developed city in Nigeria. Below the never-ending view on the enormous area of the 21 mln. population city, milions of lights, busy traffic and the sea, the Gulf of Guinea.
Per Christensen has been the General Consul of Denmark to Nigeria for 4 years. He is BIC’s main support in the African project.
How would you comment BIC’s decision to put the foot in West Africa?
The plan to create sustainable high competence jobs for West African professionals is very ambitious but I’m sure BIC will succeed. There have been made many preparations so far, incl. market studies, recruitment process preparations, establishment of the business operation hub in Ghana etc. BIC is on good track and we fully support this fantastic project. Together with the Royal Danish Embassy in Ghana, The Royal Consulate of Denmark to Nigeria, which I am representing, we are currently in a close cooperation with BIC, to help all plans happen. Such initiatives a highly supported by the Kingdom of Denmark, which is one of the main contributor of the European Union projects involved in Africa’s development.
What would you say about professionals in Africa?
It is very diverse – there are many well educated specialists here, but still this part of the world is a place where 75% of the population does not get a proper education. It is therefore very important to create new possibilities to educate young people and to create sustainable jobs in Africa. I’m very excited about BIC’s concept to train the first 20 African graduates in Europe according to BIC’s high standards and to bring those standards to Africa. I’m sure that the goal to employ approx. 200 highly educated professionals is reachable in the nearest future.
You lived in Nigerian Lagos in the ‘80s, as it was much smaller city than now. How much has it changed?
The difference is huge: the city population was that time 2 mln people. Now it is 21 mln and it still rapidly grows. There are currently many investments and many “big players” are already here. The potential is incredible!
What would you say about West Africa and the Nigerian and Ghanaian people?
My observations during the last years that I spent in West Africa and in other globe’s corners like South Korea, Latvia, South Africa, Chile etc., lead to a conclusion, that this part of the world is one of those, that I have been enjoying the most. Although it is full of contracts and there is so much to do, the people are full of positive energy as nowhere else.
And what do they like? What can they have in common with BIC’s technicians?
For sure it will be football. Nigerian and Ghanaian men are big fans of football and are very well informed what is going on all over the world, you might be surprised!