Ayodeji Balogun

Ayodeji Balogun
Country Manager
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Abuja/Lagos
THNK connection: THNKer , AMS Class 15

My life can be summarized in phases, which I fondly liken to the process of steel hardening and tempering.

I started my life as an only-child in a middle-class family in Lagos, pampered in every meaning of the word, and read books on anthropology, astronomy, and history as a child. At ten, I understood elementary palmistry and could lead a meditation session based on Rosicrucian principles. A decade later, as a teenager, I moved to live with my biological family, in a sub-urban town, Ijebu-ode, and one of many siblings and cousins. While I got everything I needed, I quickly learned the difference between need and want. I was immersed in value creation and conservation, participated in business activities and decision making. I quickly grew in ranks in the family business as a young adult, trading commodities across West Africa, and managing corporate client accounts for the business. In my late twenties, I decided to leave the business school as part of an aggressive ten-year plan I had defined for myself; It was a journey that added finesse to my grit and tenacity; built ethics into my management prowess; I learned frameworks and tools for strategic analysis which complemented my ability to read and play markets.

In my current phase, I am learning the definition of success to be more than just career goals and financial aspirations, I now define value creation more broadly that profitability and growth, and I am finding ways to create and scale businesses that solve life’s wicked problems – poverty and its impact on health and education of poor Africans; food security and climate change. I am a father of two – Jafar & Hanifah, and happily married to Kemi, an always-busy, ever-loving Medical Doctor.

I currently serve as the Country Manager for AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX) and the Regional Director, Africa Exchange Holdings for West Africa. At AFEX, we are building systems that leverage technology, innovative finance, and inclusive agriculture to connect smallholder farmers to commodity and financial markets. I hold an MBA from Lagos Business School, a first degree in Mechanical Engineering and a diploma in Heavy Equipment Engineering from Penn Foster University, Scranton, US.