On March 25-26, international investors and African executives will meet in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss ways to unlock the continent’s economic potential at the seventh edition of the annual Africa CEO Forum.
The meeting will bring together more than 1,500 high-profile leaders interested in driving the continent’s economic agenda to a whole new level.
In attendance will be heads of state, ministers, financial investors, and Africa’s leading CEOs. They will interact and forge partnerships through numerous investment-focused sessions.
In particular, the forum is keen on promoting intra-African trade, investment and the continent’s economic integration as key ingredients of the transformation agenda. The forum is committed to unlocking Africa’s economic potential by championing private-sector led growth, leading discussions around innovative public policies and sustainable business.
The Africa CEO Forum is the continent’s foremost business conference. Since 2012, it has gathered more than 1,500 African and international game-changers each year to explore and set Africa’s business agenda.
“This seventh edition will therefore be held in the heart of the continent, in Rwanda, a country both francophone and anglophone, whose economic dynamism and development model anchored in education, innovation and performance perfectly reflect the values of the Africa CEO Forum,” says Amir Ben Yahmed, founder and president of the Africa CEO Forum.
The forum will feature country sessions where government officials in charge of finance, industry, energy, investment and agriculture will connect with investors.
At strategic industry workshops, stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as the investment community will discuss public-private partnerships (PPP) opportunities or co-investment.
The forum will host high-level networking luncheons for investors and project promoters.
Some of the topics up for discussion include:
- How can Africa navigate the new realities of global trade?
- Banking: Rethinking regional expansion for the digital age
- Can the rise of regional markets spark agro-industry competitiveness?
- Solar: Unleashing the power of mini-grids
- From ports to hinterland: Reshaping African logistics value chains
- Tourism: Africa’s next growth frontier
- New horizons in healthtech
- Drawing a joint roadmap for direct foreign investments (DFIs) and the private sector
- Women on boards: Shattering the glass ceiling
- How to leverage partnerships to grow your family business
The forum supports Africa’s economic integration agenda. It takes note, for example, of the historic signing in Kigali in March 2018 of the agreement for the creation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
A long negotiation phase is now underway with the aim of eliminating customs tariffs, but greater change is needed if this initiative is to succeed.
Logistical and financial barriers, a lack of inter-government co-ordination, the low level of national economic specialisation and the fear of facing increased competition from companies based in neighbouring countries are all factors that hamper intra-African trade, and explain the modest size of continental champions.
With Africa struggling to return to sustained growth, and foreign direct investment flagging, the ideal of a common market offers the private sector a unique opportunity.
The forum offers the opportunity to further discuss such a development which augurs well for the continent.
The event is organised by Jeune Afrique Media Group, publisher of Jeune Afrique and of The Africa Report, and by Rainbow Unlimited, a Swiss events organisation and economic promotion company.