• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Speakers across Africa gear up for BusinessDay’s African Business Convention

BusinessDay’s African Business Convention

Insightful deliberations on the future of successful business in Africa by some of the continent’s top business leaders, policymakers and investors will take centre stage on Tuesday during the largest gathering of economic thought leaders on the continent when BusinessDay hosts the African Business Convention.

Confirmed speakers include Adeniyi Adebayo, Nigeria’s minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Sola David-Borha, CEO, Standard Bank (Africa regions); Admassu Tadesse, president, Trade and Development Bank; Austin Okere, founder, CWG Plc, and Kuseni Dlamini, chairman, Massmart Ltd. (South Africa).

Others are Chris Kwaja, a senior lecturer and researcher at Centre for Peace & Security Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Tech, Yola and member, UN Working Group on Mercenaries; David Malingha, East Africa bureau chief, Bloomberg LP; Lucy Pearson, West Africa Cluster Lead, British Council; Mayowa Kuyoro, partner and head of West Africa Financial Services, McKinsey & Company, among several other notable speakers.

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The session, which holds virtually starting 10am on Tuesday, will offer a unique platform for insightful debates around the prevailing challenges confronting businesses on the continent as well as emerging opportunities. Africa’s 54 countries are varied in terms of population, economic advancement and stability. However, certain challenges are harmonised across the continent, such as poverty, illiteracy, ill health, insecurity, poor nutrition and food security, access to financing, slow economic growth rate, inadequate energy supply and infrastructural deficits. These challenges affect the individuals and businesses alike, hence making it difficult for companies to thrive locally and compete globally.

Also, it will be an opportunity for businesses to communicate their expectations and fears to policymakers in ensuring the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) delivers on its expected prospects. There are also knowledge gaps on implementation of the trade agreement and how businesses can effectively participate and to shed light on this, knowledgeable speakers will address these gaps during the event.

While there are many gatherings and conferences that focus on the different dimensions of Africa – economy, business, leadership, etc – the ABC will be focusing on the businesses themselves and the issues and parameters that drive their performance. The underlining notion and motivation is in recognition that the progress in African economies, including the reduction in poverty and the increase in employment, will come from its businesses. When its businesses do well, the economies will do well.

The ABC will therefore be a platform to strengthen dialogue between governments and organised businesses in Africa, with the aim of removing barriers to investment and enabling the growth and prosperity of African businesses. It will also drive discourse that will help set the agenda for businesses in Africa for the year ahead.