One Kindred One Business Initiative (OKOBI) – An economic philosophy currently practiced in IMO State, the Eastern part of Nigeria

One Kindred One Business Initiative (OKOBI) – An economic philosophy currently practiced in IMO State, the Eastern part of Nigeria

The One Kindred One Business Initiative is a new economic development of the Imo State Government located in Imo State, the eastern part of Nigeria, West Africa. The Initiative kick started at the beginning 2023 as an economic philosophy which is tied to Afri-capitalism and  focuses on common sense belonging. The One Kindred One Business Initiative traps into the roots of the African nature of Kindreds which is a smaller and closer group of people who come together to foster development. OKOBI therefore encourages them to set up businesses and helps them register these community tied businesses as Cooperatives, these businesses varies based on the choice of the group and there are no limitations in choice some of the businesses include poultry, fishery, cassava farming, Pineapple Orchids, Honey/Bee keeping, Transportation, bakery, livestock farming etc, through these businesses they can address their common problems of health, educational and poverty issues while providing jobs and employment opportunities at the same time.  Currently, there are over 100 and counting OKOBI registered in Imo State, with a mantra to spread the news and increase adoption in other Nigeria, Africa and the Globe. These businesses are community/group owned, controlled and managed. And in other for a business to be classified under OKOBI it must correspond to these 5 criteria:

  • It must  be a group-owned business
  • It must be profit oriented
  • It must be a formally registered business
  • It should be able to address the social and economic needs like employment/ job creation of the community it is based.
  • It should be domiciled in Imo State or prioritize a place

It fits into the global common discussion on shared community investment, prosperity and communities coming together to drive an agenda which is inline with the SDGs. The OKOBI agenda is trying to achieve a shift in the constant view of the government as the messiah by the people and it is an eye-opener to the hidden potentials within people when hands are joined together. Also, it is a just transition in the global economy with a mantra that people should not be left behind.

Below is an evaluation of the project and its alignment with the principles of  the Quintuple Helix Model :


There is a great inclusivity and active involvement of citizens, citymakers and other social players  like the NGOs, private sectors and civil society organizations in OKOBI. This dimension is highly visible because the initiative encourages the communal setting up of businesses which makes OKOBI a clear manifestation of the commons agenda.

In the case of Government involvement, in the interview on the 30th December 2023, we learnt that the collaboration happens mostly through  legitimacy from the registration of the businesses. But, currently the Imo state Government displayed  a huge interest in facilitating the OKOBI businesses, early this year by introducing the Community Economic Development Initiative CEDI, whereby each community presents a pressing need that will enhance their economic activities. These could be either Water supply , electricity, good roads and means of transportation etc and these means will be certified based on its economic impact, therefore communities that are involved with manufacturing can decide to choose electricity etc. This therefore serves as an enabling state activity.

In relation to Knowledge Institution, this is done through the government’s push where it gives the necessary legitimacy to research institutions and knowledge centers to build the required capacity. But currently the OKOBI initiative is beginning to gain global recognition by reputable educational institutes. The New Institute in Germany has indicated strong interest and has decided to run a fully paid research on the One Kindred One Business Initiative . Publications were also made by the London Business School  and La Repubblica which is a prestigious italian newspaper


Within the State, other communities are recreating the model, and more communities want to participate in the project. The idea is for other communities in other cities to also replicate this to help with development in the nation, therefore this variable is Moderate, but growing.

Tech Justice

The potential of digital infrastructures and access to technology to facilitate collaboration is not considered. Here we have a Weak dependent variable for tech justice. But currently ideas to set up digital hubs are being explored.


Adaeze Oluchi Ashaheme