A new world coming
How can Africa and its private sector
navigate the change?

By accelerating pre-existing trends, such as protectionism, digitisation and the fight against climate change, the Covid 19 crisis has brought to a close a 70-year economic cycle dominated by globalisation, industrialisation and fossil fuels. A new world dawns in its wake, for which Africa and its private sector must be fully prepared.

This is the ambition set out by the AFRICA CEO FORUM. In partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), we are inviting you to debate on the theme: “A new world coming: How can Africa and its private sector navigate the change?”

To address this issue and other questions it raises, the AFRICA CEO FORM has mobilised its community of decision-makers on 28, 29 and 30 September 2021 for a special digital edition.

  • Join the debate

  • (GMT)
    Opening Ceremony


    Key points

      • Local currency: How to mobilise the vast local currency resources on the continent


      • Local banks: Innovating towards project finance transactions


      •  International investors: What are they looking for in local equity and financing partners?



  • (GMT)
    PANEL | Africa in the age of the new trade wars

    The process of globalisation and trade liberalisation we have been experiencing since the post-war era is at an end, as evidenced by the shutdown of the WTO’s top court, Brexit, the expanded use of retaliatory economic measures, the battle for semiconductor supremacy and heightened tensions over digital security. What’s more, the trend towards isolationism has picked up pace, with the global public health crisis raising questions about vaccine access. Given Africa’s status as the world’s most trade-dependent continent – it conducts nearly 84% of its trade with international partners – and that it recently launched the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), what implications might the ongoing reconfiguration of global trade have for Africa?


    Key points  

    • International trade wars: Dangers and opportunities
    • AfCFTA: Finding an implementation strategy amid renewed national protectionism
    • Future of trade: The private sector’s upcoming needs

  • (GMT)
    FIRESIDE CHAT | Conversation with Abdul Samad Rabiu

    Africa’s sixth richest man, CEO of the conglomerate BUA Group (specialised in cement, agribusiness and logistics) discusses how business growth can be sustained on a continent the IMF says is facing “economic calamity” post-COVID-19. The Nigerian cement tycoon has seen the stock value of BUA Cement PLC double since a Nigerian Stock Exchange listing in January 2020, while the tycoon’s sugar and foods businesses are upping production capacity and leveraging international partnerships. CNN’s Eleni Giokos asks Mr Rabiu if revenues and expansion can endure the volatile business climate and how he sees the future of industry in Africa. 

  • (GMT)
    KEYNOTE SPEECH | DeepTech: how Africa should prepare for the next wave of innovation

    A new industrial revolution is taking shape through technological advances in fields ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) to synthetic biology to nanoscience and quantum computing. It will impact all industries and has the power to break the compromise between sustainability and profitability, while enabling start-ups to tackle pressing challenges once addressed only by states. This session will discuss how the Deep Tech revolution will impact Africa and how companies and governments should prepare. 

  • (GMT)
    INVEST IN | Mauritania

    As the foremost annual meeting of the private sector on the continent, the AFRICA CEO FORUM is the leading platform for public-private dialogue. ‘Invest In’ sessions allow CEOs and investors to meet with high-level African government officials to gain deeper insight into their countries’ economic development strategies. These sessions provide exposure to a variety of key sectors, business environments, and public and private investment opportunities. 

  • (GMT)
    BUSINESS CASE | Lessons from African ‘unicorns’

    Digital innovators and start-ups valued at over $1bn are emerging across the continent. Today’s unicorns are mainly fintech and e-commerce startups, but other domains such as GreenTech are emerging. This session will showcase two flagship case studies of pan-African digital innovators, who will share their experiences in building innovative businesses at scale.

    Key points :

    • Embracing a culture of innovation
    • What lessons can we learn from Africa’s digital champions ?
    • What role will AI and tech play to create a sustainable competitive advantage ?