The AFRICA CEO FORUM's program

Capitalism for the many: a new horizon for the African private sector

 

At #ACF2020, 1,800 business 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. Find out more about the overarching theme here.


OPENING CEREMONY

  • Moderator

    Nozipho Mbanjwa

    Conversational Strategist, Akwande Communications

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CEO Talk - Abdulsamad Rabiu

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BUA Group, one of Nigeria’s leading diversified companies specialising in food and infrastructure, offers his insight as a major African business leader on key issues impacting the continent’s future, including the Continental Free Trade Area, Nigeria’s future, food independence and corporate social responsibility.

  • Interviewer

    Nozipho Mbanjwa

    Conversational Strategist, Akwande Communications

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“Capitalism for the many”: a new horizon for the African private sector

Growing inequalities, the damaging effects of climate change, the disruption of the technological revolution and the steady rise of protectionism: these four main challenges facing global business today foreshadow far-reaching shifts in capitalism. For Africa to thrive in this era of transformation, its economies and businesses must join the debate on “capitalism for the many,” especially as the continent seems to successfully combine the imperatives of “doing well” for their investors and “doing good” for the wider society. According to Dalberg, investments that meet sustainable development objectives in Africa could unlock business opportunities of $2trn per year.

Key points:

  • How can social and environmental goals be balanced with the challenges of competition?

  • Changing your business model: because you have to or because you want to?

  • As digital technologies disrupt traditional production and trading systems, how can Africa’s companies harness them as a force for sustainable growth?

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Networking break


INDUSTRY OUTLOOK - Social and environmental impact: the mining industry at a crossroads

In addition to being an immense tragedy, the collapse of a dam at the Córrego do Feijão mine in Brazil in January 2019 dragged the mine’s owner, Vale, into one of the worst crises in its history and resulted in the departure of its CEO and most of its executives, a $10bn drop in its market cap in a matter of days and a shattered reputation. For mining companies, risks impacting their operating licences, whether social or environmental in nature or related to the nationalisation of resources, pose the greatest threat to their operations. Confronted with these risks, mining industry operators are now putting such issues at the centre of their strategy. How can risks be curbed on the African continent?

 

Key points:

●      Is green mining possible and how can countries make it mandatory?

●      How can value be created in countries, especially through local populations?

●      How should operators deal with the trend towards nationalising resources?

  • Moderator

    Namrata Thapar

    Manager, Global Infrastructure Mining, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

  • Expert

    Christian Mion

    Senior Partner, EY

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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. 

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK - Start-ups and major corporations: a new partnership for the many?

In 2019, 234 African start-ups raised a cumulative total of more than $2bn (up 74% year on year). An increasing number of major corporations are contributing to this trend, through dedicated funds (such as Orange Digital Ventures and Naspers Foundry) or direct investment. Of the major business leaders polled by the AFRICA CEO FORUM, 24% consider start-ups to be their preferred partners when it comes to innovation. Given that major corporations are sometimes unable to “recover” as much innovation as they had hoped to and that start-ups fear “losing control”, how can these new types of “couples” be win-win for both sides?

 

Key points:

● Integration: what organisational structure is optimal for blending start-up and corporate cultures?

● Strategy: is it better for major corporations to finance start-ups directly or through funds?

● Foundations, states and incubators: pooling synergies to maximise the likelihood of success

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The Green New Deal - Is the end of the fossil fuel era an opportunity for Africa?

Over the past years, more than 1,000 institutional investors have undertaken to divest €7.2trn from the fossil fuel industry in order to reinvest it in renewables. Meanwhile, wind and, in particular, solar power costs have fallen significantly enough to be competitive with coal and oil and gas in purely economic terms. At a time when Africa is highly dependent on its natural resources, with its oil fields generating $500m in revenue per day, is it equipped to confront this change? How can operators successfully transition to cleaner energy?

 

Key points:

●        Coal and oil: is tomorrow the end?

●        New producing countries: how to take into account the end of fossil fuels

●        Operators: is gas an ideal solution in the energy transition?

  • Moderator

    Andrew Alli

    Partner and Group Chief Executive Officer, Southbridge Holding

  • Expert

    Albert Zeufack

    Africa Region Chief Economist, World Bank

Speakers

  • Amadou Hott

    Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, République du Sénégal

  • Momar Nguer

    Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, Total

  • Maria Shaw-Barragan

    Director, European Investment Bank

  • Mustapha Bakkoury

    President of the Casablanca-Settat Region & Chairman of the Management Board, Masen

  • Austin Avuru

    Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Petroleum Development Company

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Women in Business Initiative Diversity: gender strategies that make a real difference

Gender diversity is gaining traction in the private sector: 31% of CEOs at African companies now consider diversity in management position as a priority. Within a month, the AFRICA CEO FORUM’s Gender Diversity Charter was signed by more than 100 major African companies. Affirmative action and quotas, diversity training sessions, appointment of a Gender Diversity manager, diversity-friendly HR policies… which strategies represent the most effective way to achieve gender parity at major companies?

Key points:

● Which drivers can be used to convince CEOs of the importance of developing a strategic commitment to gender diversity?

● How to spot talented women leaders and incorporate them into decision-making bodies

● Better division of work, flexibility, horizontal management… how can companies increase inclusivity at every level?

  • Moderator & Expert

    Enase Okonedo

    Dean, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University

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Networking lunch


INDUSTRY OUTLOOK - Bottom of the pyramid: new tactics for conquering African consumers

Early on in the previous decade, the African Development Bank caused a stir when they claimed that 300 to 500 million Africans belonged to the middle class. Such a figure, coupled with population forecasts, painted a rosy future for the retail and consumer goods sector. However, the reality proved to be more complex: nearly 70% of this so-called middle class fell into the lowest income bracket, spending between $2 and $4 a day, and the group’s consumer behaviour differed significantly from that observed in other regions of the world. As sector players re-adjust their ambitions and their strategy, both in terms of production, distribution and pricing, what conclusions can the sector draw from the past decade? How can a product offering that is specifically tailored to African consumers be created?

 

Key points:

● Means/needs: how do African consumers actually behave?

● High costs vs. limited purchasing power: getting the size of the offering right

● Convenience stores/supermarkets/shopping centres: what is the sales outlet of the future?

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Infrastructure: innovating to ensure project bankability

By focusing the spotlight on the infrastructure sector’s annual funding gap – estimated to fall somewhere between $53bn and $93bn per year from 2016 to 2018, the media and institutions have missed the point: the continent is more plagued by poor project structuring than a funding shortfall. Currently, only 10% of projects reach financial close. From innovative financing to better project preparation, what solutions are available to improve the structuring of infrastructure projects across the continent?

Key points:

  • Governments, development finance institutions or private entities: which partnerships improve project bankability?

  • Does Africa lack good project developers?

  • Innovative financing: insurance, blended finance, what solutions are available?

  • Expert

    Kodeidja Diallo

    Director, Non-Sovereign Operations and Private Sector Support Department, African Development Bank

  • Moderator

    Haruperi Mumbengegwi

    Legal Counsel in the Power Sector, African Legal Support Facility

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STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE - Finding the right solutions for deploying digital capabilities at scale

African companies are looking to scale up by leveraging personalised customer experience and emerging digital technologies. Given the ever-evolving nature of customer needs and market trends, companies have to come up with operational strategies that capture opportunities, help scale rapidly and retain necessary talent to accomplish the goals and objectives set. In addition, the quest for growth can expose companies to new risks and threats which require a digitally enabled and secure architecture to protect business assets. In this session led by KPMG, participants will explore how to take advantage of digital opportunities, now a prerequisite to compete in the long term and remain relevant and profitable.

 

By invitation only

  • Expert

    Boye Ademola

    Partner and Lead for Digital Transformation in Africa, KPMG

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INVEST IN - Morocco

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. 

Speakers

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Women in Business Initiative - Workshop

At every level of business today, finding effective tools to reduce the gender gap is a must. From the importance of having diversity-focused hiring practices to providing equal pay and creating a balanced management team and executive committee, this workshop will give participants the opportunity to discuss such issues in practical terms and share best practices, with the end goal of building an effective gender strategy.

 

By invitation only

Speakers

  • Patricia Obozuwa

    Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer, General Electric Africa

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Future of Tech

Will Africa be a force in biotechnology? What will financial services look like ten years from now? How will the growing e-commerce industry impact the continent? How will African supply chains operate in 2030? This special session seeks to get in on the sectoral outlook bandwagon alongside four CEOs from the continent’s most promising start-ups. Through dynamic and interactive 15-minute keynote speeches, they will imagine the future of their respective sectors.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK - Trade finance in search of a second wind

At a time when between 70% and 80% of global trade is financed through credit, international banks have been withdrawing from many developing markets, which is making trade increasingly difficult in these regions. In 2017, the trade finance gap reached $150bn for Africa alone. As the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) comes into being, intra-African trade finance needs to be revived. Can pan-African banks take over from their international counterparts? What role can regulatory authorities and multilateral institutions play to limit risk?

Key points:

●  Payment simplification, currency convertibility, regulatory fragmentation: eliminating sticking points

●  Transparency, guarantees, capacity building, compliance: increasing the number of African banks in trade finance

●  Blockchain: by streamlining transactions, will fintech be a game-changer?

  • Moderator

    Alain Nounke

    Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

  • Expert

    Chinwe Egwim

    Economist, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Ltd.

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CEO TALK - Capitalism for the many: a new horizon for the African private sector

Growing inequalities, the damaging effects of climate change, the disruption of the technological revolution and the steady rise of protectionism: these four main challenges facing global business today foreshadow far-reaching shifts in capitalism. For Africa to thrive in this era of transformation, its economies and businesses must join the debate on “capitalism for the many,” especially as the continent seems to successfully combine the imperatives of “doing well” for their investors and “doing good” for the wider society. It is estimated that investments that meet sustainable development objectives in Africa could unlock business opportunities of $2trn per year.

 

Key points:

  • How can social and environmental goals be balanced with the challenges of competition?

  • Changing your business model: because you have to or because you want to?

  • As digital technologies disrupt traditional production and trading systems, how can Africa’s companies harness them as a force for sustainable growth?

  • Moderator

    Patrick Dupoux

    Managing Director and Senior Partner, Head of Africa, Boston Consulting Group

Speakers

  • Alioune Ndiaye

    Chief Executive Officer, Middle East and Africa, Orange

  • Nick O'Donohoe

    Chief Executive Officer, CDC Group

  • Farid Fezoua

    President and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Africa

  • Alain Law Min

    Chief Executive Officer, MCB (The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd)

  • Isis Nyong'o Madison

    Principal at Asphalt & Ink, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, MumsVillage

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STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE - Cybercrime: how can public and private entities tackle new threats?

Service providers, governments and regulatory bodies – especially those in the telecom and financial transaction services sectors – are challenged by an increasing number of digital security threats. There is a general need to find the right methods to ensure that customers and citizens are protected. Workshop participants will share and discuss ideas about key digital security issues.

 

By invitation only

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STRATEGIC ROUNDTABLE - Private equity: creating shared value

Over the last 20 years, success has been mixed for African private equity funds. Players in the sector have faced obstacles, with weak performance leading some international asset managers to shift their investments to other regions. Nevertheless, a collection of successful fund managers have implemented value creation strategies to drive growth and build scalable businesses, while providing attractive returns. During this roundtable, private equity investors and African CEOs and DFIs weigh in on the best ways to increase African private equity and catalyse private sector growth.

 

By invitation only

  • Moderator

    Kevin Njiraini

    Regional Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

  • Expert

    Michelle Kathryn Essome

    Chief Executive Officer, African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association

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CEO Talk - Sébastien Bazin

The Chairman and CEO of Accor, one of the world’s leading hospitality groups with operations in more than 100 countries, 4,800 hotels and 280,000 employees on five continents, talks about his career as a global entrepreneur, shares his vision of the future of capitalism in these challenging times and the impact of the tourism and hospitality sector in Africa.

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Growth for the many: Creating jobs, transforming economies

Africa, home to a large, young and growing population, will need to create more than 200 million jobs for its citizens by 2032 in order to stabilise current employment rates. To transform their economies, African countries must implement policies that facilitate the growth of the private sector, which contributes the most to job creation. While pursuing export-led growth based on natural resources development, how can African countries join global value chains and take advantage of the digital technology revolution?

Key points:

  • What are the necessary skills to compete in the future global economy and how to acquire them?

  • Business climate: how to attract suitable FDI?

  • What strategy for industrialisation in the age of the fourth industrial revolution?

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Cocktail


Gala dinner / Awards Ceremony