Growing inequalities, the damaging effects of climate change, the disruption of the technological revolution and the steady rise of protectionism are the four main challenges facing global business today. These issues affect every part of the economy and firms of all sizes and foreshadow far-reaching shifts in capitalism worldwide. For Africa to thrive in this era of transformation, its economies and businesses must energetically join the debate on “capitalism for the many”.
More than elsewhere, in Africa, the private sector has shown that it is possible to combine the imperatives of “doing well” for their investors and “doing good” for the wider society. Chanting the mantra of “stakeholder capitalism”, African firms are slowly finding ways to serve local communities yet make sustainable returns on their investments. Tech and telecoms companies are fostering financial inclusion, investors are building community solar power plants while agribusiness corporations are working more closely with local farmers and processors on out-grower schemes.
For the eighth edition of the AFRICA CEO FORUM on 9 and 10 March 2020 in Abidjan, 1,800 business and financial leaders, heads of government and policymakers will gather to rethink the role of African capitalism in this age of digital disruption with its attendant economic and political uncertainties.
The Forum will encourage debate and address the tough questions: How far should African companies focus their strategy on reducing inequalities, combating climate change, training and creating decent jobs for the continent’s youth? How can such goals be balanced with the challenges of international competition and fast-changing trading alliances? What resources and intelligence do companies and their leaders need to navigate the accelerating technological and social changes that are revolutionising the business landscape? As digital technologies disrupt traditional production and trading systems, how can Africa’s companies harness them as a force for sustainable growth?
Over two days and through forty panel discussions, public-private workshops and case studies at the AFRICA CEO FORUM, the leaders of Africa’s major firms will also discuss both the pressing operational issues of the day and the equally critical need to develop longer-term strategies: integrating Africa’s markets, fostering innovation, reforming and streamlining regulations.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS AT THE AFRICA CEO FORUM 2020
- AfCFTA: bolstering trade finance
- Energy: getting a grip on the utilities crisis
- Mining: new risks, new challenges
- Family Business: leading with the best
- Women: building a winning gender strategy
- Megacities, mega-challenges
- State enterprises: searching for a successful model
- Winning the race for talent