The AFRICA CEO FORUM’s program

Open Africa: from continental treaties to business realities

From the UK’s planned EU exit to the trade war between China and the USA, a divide is ving up in the global economy. In contrast, a highly fragmented Africa has embarked on an accelerated integration process, with 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 tarifs, but greater change is needed if this initiative is to succeed. Logistical and financial barriers, a lack of inter-government coordination, the low level of national economic specialization and the fear of facing increased competition from companies based in neighboring 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. Indeed, business must now weigh in on the ongoing discussions in order to determine the real priorities for economic integration and achieve much-needed changes.

For its seventh edition – 25 and 26 March 2019 – the AFRICA CEO FORUM has decided to unite its 1500 participants around a transformation agenda… What priorities must be identified to boost the level of intra-African trade and investment? What must a united Africa do to better protect its interests and industries? How can we mobilize the private sector around cross-border infrastructure and logistical projects? What insights can be drawn from the East African Community – considered the most successful regional model – given the tense new political waters? How can we create a truly pan-African financial services industry?

During this two-day event – filled with some 40 panels, public-private workshops and case studies – business leaders, shareholders, investors, as well as heads of state and ministers, will discuss these major topics and address additional key challenges for Africa’s private sector, including the representation of top women executives in the boardroom and the modernization of family business governance. The AFRICA CEO FORUM and its participants have a shared objective: using regional integration to drive private sector growth and create more African champions!


INDUSTRY OUTLOOK – ELECTRICITY

Access to power: can cross-border projects change the deal?

Major investments in power production are reshaping the African electricity landscape. While some countries such as Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire will quickly run into overcapacity, others such as Nigeria and Tanzania are expected to continue to suffer from a significant power shortage. The development of cross-border networks would allow countries with larger amounts of affordable power to supply those burdened by a shortfall. But only the effective engagement of private operators in this effort can help make up for insufficient public funds. How can this be achieved?

Key points
  • Electricity corridors: where are the main opportunities to connect Africa?
  • What is the best business model to boost sustainable private sector investment in transmission projects?
  • Clarifying the roles of regulators, public authorities and operators in project governance

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INVEST IN… MAURITIUS

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 are designed to facilitate discussions between government delegations and investors on topics ranging from the business environment to the most attractive public and private investment opportunities.

  • Moderator

    Kevin Njiraini

    Regional Director, Southern Africa and Nigeria, IFC

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STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE – WOMEN IN FINANCE (BY INVITATION ONLY)

Building the business case to close the gender finance gap

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most gender unequal regions in the world. Women face significant challenges in accessing capital to launch and scale their businesses – according to the World Bank, 37% of women in the region have a bank account, compared to 48% of men. The financial services sector can play a major role in closing this gap by taking the lead through market strategies that target women. This approach would enable them to expand their businesses into new market  segments, manage business risks while innovating with products and services that meet the needs of women. Participants will propose practical solutions to close the gender finance  gap and  build a gender intelligent salesforce.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK – E-COMMERCE

Online marketplaces: major threat or huge job opportunity?

While elsewhere in the world, online marketplaces take a toll on bricks-and-mortar businesses and destabilize the labour market, their development in Africa could create more value. According to a BCG study, e-commerce platforms will create around 3 million new jobs across the continent by 2025, while increasing consumption in remote areas. What measures should be pursued to create a conducive environment for the successful growth of a job-creating e-commerce industry?

Key Points
  • What new jobs do online marketplaces create and are they sustainable?
  • Traditional distribution channels vs. e-commerce: new arbitrage opportunities for retail leaders?
  • Logistics, payments, legal framework: overcoming the many barriers to the development of African e-commerce?

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NETWORKING BREAK


INDUSTRY OUTLOOK – INFRASTRUCTURE

Infrastructure and local financing: a 1000 billion dollar opportunity

African pension funds and insurers now manage more than $1 trillion, most of which is invested in public debt (e.g. more than 60% in Nigeria and Morocco and more than 75% in Egypt). Much of these funds could help close the financing gap in African infrastructure (between $130 billion and $170 billion per year). The involvement of local pension funds greatly contributed to the infrastructure boom in Asia and Latin America – so what are the roadblocks in Africa? Are the recent successful initiatives in Kenya or Nigeria replicable elsewhere on the continent?

Key points
  • How can the use of local funding contribute to reducing the risk for project developers?
  • Can resource pooling be the answer to the fragmentation of the African pension funds and insurance markets?  
  • What role can development institutions and governments play to boost domestic resource mobilization?

  • Moderator

    Colin Coleman

    Chief Executive Officer , Sub Saharan Africa, Goldman Sachs

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FAMILY BUSINESS INITIATIVE

Family businesses: finding the partnership that will take your company to the next level

From one generation to the next, family businesses are faced with the twofold challenge of perpetuation and growth. Structured around a strong family core, some of them have nevertheless opted to open up and conquer new markets – without losing controlling interest in their company. How did they achieve this? How can family culture align with external partnerships? What safeguards need to be put in place to protect the interests of the business?

Key points
  • Growing your equity by joining forces with a strategic partner
  • Are multinational companies the catalyst for your international expansion?
  • Talent acquisition: attracting the right skills and expertise by hiring outside the family

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INVEST IN… RWANDA

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 are designed to facilitate discussions between government delegations and investors on topics ranging from the business environment to the most attractive public and private investment opportunities.

 

  • Moderator

    Patrick Dupoux

    Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

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STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE – ENERGY (BY INVITATION ONLY)

Solar: Unleashing the power of mini-grids

Switching on an additional 150,000 mini-grids in Africa by 2040 could provide access to power to more than 140 million people. However, the financing options available to mini-grid developers are currently limited, as their projects are considered high-risk, require long-term loans, and do not fit the public sector financing criteria. During this workshop, policy makers, operators and investors focus on concrete solutions to unlock the potential of these tools, including public-private partnerships, innovative financing options, and strategies to increase profitability.   

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NETWORKING LUNCH


STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE – IMPACT INVESTING (SIGN-UP REQUIRED)

Shaping the African Impact Investing market

Impact Investing involves investments that combine a positive social, economic or environmental impact with financial returns. Despite experiencing a significant growth worldwide, in Africa this market remains the purview of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and specialized investment funds. In order for this market to grow, notably through the continent’s institutional investors, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently developed Operating Principles. How can the latter positively influence the African Impact Investing field? What are this nascent market’s largest opportunities and challenges?

  • Moderator

    Kevin Njiraini

    Regional Director, Southern Africa and Nigeria, IFC

  • Expert

    Ruth Horowitz

    Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, IFC Asset Management Company (AMC)

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK – TOURISM

Tourism: Africa’s next growth frontier?

While the travel and tourism industry accounts for close to 10% of global employment and GDP, this figure drops to 7% in Sub-Saharan Africa. About thirty nations in this region are yet to design effective strategies in this area. On the other hand, countries such as Kenya and South Africa are enjoying great success and concentrating most of the continent’s hotel projects. From beach to cultural or business tourism, what are the best strategies for African economies to make the most of their potential? What are the building blocks for financially viable investments in such projects? What should be the private sector’s focus?

Key points
  • From security to offering diversification, training, and financial mix: what are the key success factors for governments?
  • What obstacles should be removed to accelerate private sector investments in hotels?
  • Air transport: what role can airlines play? Are open skies the key?

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CEO TALK 2

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WORKSHOP – FAMILY BUSINESS (BY INVITATION ONLY)

  • Expert

    Alan Barr

    Managing Partner, Head of Family Business, KPMG

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Public Private Deal Room Mali

The AFRICA CEO FORUM and the Mali Investment Promotion Agency (API – Mali) invite you to meet the Malian official delegation during an exclusive Public-Private Deal Room aimed at furthering the development of public-private partnerships – with a focus on Agriculture, Energy and Infrastructure.

With :

  • Hon Moulaye Ahmed Boubacar, Minister of Industry Development and Investment Promotion
  • Moussa Ismaila Toure, Managing Director of API-Mali

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GLOBAL TRADE

How can Africa navigate the new realities of global trade?

From Brexit to the growing tensions between the United States and China, the rising geopolitical uncertainties worldwide are expected to also impact Africa, particularly through scarcity of capital as well as exchange rate and commodity price fluctuations. However, the emerging geopolitical shifts and the new trends in production relocation could benefit the continent and its companies. What will be the effects of these developments on Africa? How can the expected benefits of the CFTA outbalance the potential negative outcomes?

Key points
  • How can Africa adapt to the new state of world trade?
  • How can the CFTA contribute to protecting the intra-African market?
  • Is now the time for Africa to renegotiate its trade deals?

Speakers

  • Emma Wade-Smith

    Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, UK Department for International Trade

  • Alain Law Min

    Chief Executive Officer, Mauritius Commercial Bank

  • Andrew Alli

    Partner and Group CEO, SouthBridge Group

  • Philippe Heim

    Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Société Générale

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK – DIGITAL ECONOMY

Digital innovation: creating African digital champions

As the vast majority of online content and services consumed in Africa remains produced elsewhere in the world, governments and operators must work together to build a local digital industry. The challenge is to move from being digital consumers to producers by creating new African champions in the fields of outsourcing, e-health, artificial intelligence, agtech and mobile money. These digital innovators will in their turn create more jobs and generate more tax revenue. What ecosystem should be built to increase the impact of digital technology in Africa?

Key points
  • Why should telecom operators lead the emergence of the African digital economy?
  • What synergies can be built at a regional level to develop digital industries?
  • From training, to start-ups, and financing, what are the key components for a prosperous African digital ecosystem?

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NETWORKING BREAK


CONVERSATIONS FROM THE TOP

Is it time for reconciliation? In an exclusive interview, Paul Kagame and Felix Tshisekedi will discuss the future of relations between their two countries. The President of Rwanda and the President of the DR Congo will also discuss their respective development models, the preservation of environmental ecosystems and mining issues.

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CLOSING CEREMONY