CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--For the past thirty years, Africa has been experiencing its longest income boom with GDP growth rates averaging around 5% annually over the past decade. But while the continent is being heralded as the next growth frontier, infrastructure deficits along with other challenges could derail its process.
Industry professionals, CEOs, and government officials from across Africa will gather under one roof to discuss the continent’s most pressing business issues during a two-part conference at MIT’s world-renowned Media Lab.
On the evening of Friday, March 15, an MIT Africa Investment Forum will spotlight infrastructure investments and trade flows along with new entrepreneurial endeavors. Slated keynote speakers are:
- Donald Kaberuka, President, Africa Development Bank
- Ahmad Mohamed, President, Islamic Development Bank
Discussions will revolve around two panels:
- Infrastructure and Trade Flows in Africa
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Small and Medium Enterprises Development
Topics will include, among others, mobilizing foreign and private investments to address Africa’s infrastructure development, designing investment models and strategies, rethinking resource mobilization and large scale infrastructure financing models for Africa’s infrastructure development and building the absorptive capacity to effectively leverage and channel foreign direct investments while internalizing gains and innovation.
On Saturday, March 16 the Africa Innovate Conference will introduce slated keynote speakers:
Makhtar Diop, Vice President for Africa, World Bank (Senegal)
Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Ltd. (Nigeria)
Njeri Rionge, Founder and CEO, Ignite Consulting and Investments, Insite Ltd. (Kenya)
Four panels will focus on:
Venture and Growth Capital
Opportunities and challenges facing early stage investors in Africa, the biggest hurdles to the growth of this asset class, and how early-stage investors approach exits in Africa.
Entertainment, Media, and Technology
Opportunities available to both local and foreign investors within the industry and beyond in supporting fields such as AV technology, online streaming, franchising and network syndication.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Africa
By sharing their own stories, panelists will shed a light on Africa’s entrepreneurial process, from founding to financing to achieving best-in-class entrepreneurial performances over the coming decade.
Food and Agriculture
This panel will focus on an emerging green revolution in Africa.
Finalists in this year’s African Solutions Business Plan Competition will battle it out with original and scalable solutions to important problems facing the continent’s inhabitants and stakeholders. The winning team will be announced at the end of the conference. Also scheduled are Vision Talks, a set of visionary and declarative speeches from Africa-focused entrepreneurs and business leaders.
For more information, please visit: http://sloanafrica.scripts.mit.edu/africainnovate/
To register, please visit: http://sloanafrica.scripts.mit.edu/africainnovate/registration/
The MIT Sloan Africa Business Conference is the annual flagship event of the Africa Business Club at the business school, which attracts more than 400 participants annually. With a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa, the conference hosts panels in various sectors such as entrepreneurship, agriculture, finance, infrastructure, mobile and telecommunications. The conference also hosts inspiring Vision Talks from Africa-focused entrepreneurs and business leaders along with a very successful Business Plan Competition.