Preparing for the future

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the share of African business leaders who feel confident about the economic situation in their countries of operation has dramatically plummeted, from 83% at the start of the year to around 25% currently. In this time of uncertainty, family businesses are struggling to be responsive, a trait of upmost importance in a crisis and one that is all too often a weak spot. How can family businesses instil a culture of agility, independence and innovation? How can they implement a leadership structure conducive to quick decision-making that allows them to come out on top of the current crisis? How can they make smart investments? How can they prepare for a new future and what will that future look like?

During the first ever Family Business Summit, more than 150 leading African family business leaders and shareholders will share their current and past experiences in order to turn the crisis into a source of opportunity. Over the course of six hours of conferences, themed workshops and networking events between economic leaders, the who’s who of the African family business world will also delve deeper into, through a practical approach, a number of key issues still facing them today: corporate governance, family governance, financing, generational handover, talent management, transaction structuring, etc.

Opening ceremony

Opening Panel | Preparing for the Future

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the share of African family business leaders who feel confident about the economic situation in their countries of operation has decreased from 78% at the start of the year to just under 25% currently. In this time of major upheaval, the survival of their business largely depends on their responsiveness and adaptability. But how can they successfully reinvent themselves and make their business viable under such circumstances? During this session, various African and international family businesses will share their experiences and offer advice on how to achieve these goals.


Key points

  • How can you instil a culture of agility, independence and innovation at your company? 
  • How can you implement a leadership structure which facilitates efficient and sound decision-making in order to come out on top of the crisis? 
  • How can you make smart investments? What can you do to be better prepared for the future?


Workshop | Continuity: Weathering the crisis with a cross-generational approach

A mere 13% of African family businesses make it to the third generation. To ensure success over the long term, family business owners have no other choice but to carefully prepare for the integration of new generations. The crisis provoked by Covid-19 has shown that the NextGen – more internet-savvy than previous generations – may be better positioned to contribute the kind of agility and innovation family businesses need. Via a case study, two generations of leaders explain how they are harnessing the current crisis to accelerate the pace of generational handover.

  • Expert

    Elmarie Venter

    Director, Nelson Mandela University family business unit


Workshop | Family cohesion: Building a long-lasting governance structure

Family businesses rarely formalise their family governance structure, despite the fact that they need one to reach their long-term objectives and ensure the stability of their company during crises. In this small group workshop, you will learn with the help of case studies how to create a family governance structure, define a strategic vision for your family business and formalise decision-making processes. The objective: ensure family harmony so as to guarantee the long-term viability of your company.

  • Expert

    Alan Barr

    Head of Family Business, KPMG

Panel | Where is the global economy headed and what can we expect for Africa?

The global health crisis has ushered in a period of immense economic uncertainty for Africa: the OECD is forecasting a recession of at least 6% for 2020, while the World Bank is predicting 5.2% and the IMF 3%. As for African business leaders, two-thirds of them do not foresee a recovery prior to the fourth quarter of 2021. What should we expect exactly? Protectionist withdrawal, industry relocation and the slowdown of trade flows: which trends are here to stay? Are other changes being forecast?


Key points

  • Can economic integration fend off protectionist withdrawal? 
  • Is this the right time to invest in local production capacity?
  • How will African countries reposition themselves to be globally competitive?


  • Carlos Lopes

    Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town and Visiting Professor at Sciences-Po Paris

  • Alain Nkontchou

    Chairman, Ecobank and Founder of Enko Capital

  • Ouided Bouchamaoui

    Administrator and owner, Hédi Bouchamaoui Group (HBG)

Panel | Generational handover: how to avoid tax and legal pitfalls in Africa

While succession is often a taboo topic on the continent, legal complexities add another layer of difficulty in maintaining generational continuity. From the absence of a testamentary bequest to disputes between multiple heirs, not to mention the various unclear succession duties divided between customary and modern law, legislation in Africa presents many stumbling blocks to avoid. How can the introduction of legislation that is more family business friendly be encouraged? How can you prepare your succession plan during your lifetime? Is it better to opt for a sole heir or a collective succession? 


Key points

  • Why are family businesses shrouded in so much legal uncertainty?
  • Is there any hope for a harmonisation of succession duties on the continent? 
  • How can you overcome the current legal system to prepare your succession plan?


Workshop | Investing your wealth successfully

On average, family business owners devote more than 75% of their wealth to their company. Risk aversion, conservative capital practices and fears over heirs losing the value of money are just a few of the reasons behind this trend. In this workshop, you will learn, based on your own business’s specificities, how to invest your fortune wisely outside of your company to grow your wealth.