Industry Deep Dives

Agriculture: Integrating Africa’s Agricultural Value Chain

Format: Deep-Dive

69% of the African population works in agriculture, and the industry accounts for 32% of Africa’s GDP. Unfortunately, small and medium-sized farms lack access to basic on-farm technological advancements, and are not linked to formalized markets. Therefore, investment in this space is key to unlocking the potential of the African farmer. An emerging, diverse group of players is focusing on the integration and empowerment of all African farmers. This panel will inform on challenges facing the industry, unique solutions being created, and exciting opportunities as Africa pursues its quest for holistic agricultural development.

  • Ayodeji Balogun - Country Manager for Nigeria, AFEX (Africa Exchange Holdings)
  • Jerry Parkes - Managing Principal, Injaro Investments Limited
  • Matthew Forti - Managing Director, One Acre Fund

Real Estate: What is Driving Africa’s Real Estate Boom?

Format: Deep-Dive

Rapid population growth and urbanization in Africa’s major cities have created unprecedented demand for real estate development and finance. From mega-projects to apartment blocks, real estate is critical to ensuring Africa has the physical infrastructure necessary to be globally competitive in the 21st century. In this session, our speakers will share case studies from their careers to provide perspective on the evolution of African real estate.

  • Adeniyi Adeleye - Head of Real Estate Finance (West Africa), Stanbic IBTC Bank
  • Kofi Asomaning - Managing Director - West Africa, Capri Investment Group

Financial Services: Direct Private Capital Investments and the Evolution of the Economic Backbone of Africa

Format: Deep Dive

The efficiency and sophistication of the financial systems within Africa will be critical to sustaining economic development and growth in the region. This encompasses deepening the sources of funding, across debt and equity instruments, as well as enhancing the availability of financial services and advice. Hear personal insights from leading financial services professionals with interests and investments in Africa to learn about how the financial services industry has evolved and the direction in which it is heading.

  • Colin Coleman - Managing Partner, Goldman Sachs, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • John Gadzi - Managing Director - Advisory, IC Securities Holding
  • Lisa Lambie - Managing Partner, Satatt Holdings
  • Rajith Sebastian - Former Regional Coverage Director, Nedbank in East Africa (Moderator)

Telecommunications: Connecting Africa's One Billion

Africa is now the second largest telecommunication market after Asia for mobile access. The continent essentially leapfrogged landlines and has seen double digit growth in mobile penetration in the last 15 years. Yet, the continent boasts 500 million potential mobile subscribers. In this session, industry experts will discuss the unparalleled growth of the telecommunications industry in Africa, highlight successful case studies of market entry and consumer base growth, and discuss initiatives being pursued to connect and empower Africa’s one billion through mobile access.

  • Hans Kuiper - Partner, Boston Consulting Group, South Africa
  • Lucy Quist - Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Ghana

Broad-Based Topics

Successful Capital Deployment Strategies in Private Equity

Format: Panel discussion

Africa’s myriad investment opportunities and small, illiquid capital markets make the continent an attractive location for private equity investment. Firms raised more than $4 billion for sub-Saharan. African investments in 2014, more than double the previous record. In this session, our panelists will discuss capital deployment strategies, their most successful investments, lessons learned, and perspectives on what’s next for private equity in Africa.

  • Adiba Ighodaro - Partner, Actis
  • Alan Fields - Principal, The Abraaj Group
  • Allan Cunningham - Founding Editor & CEO, Africa Capital Digest (Moderator)
  • Daniel Obaseki - Investment Professional, Black River Asset Management
  • Idris Mohammed - Partner, Development Partners International
  • Yomi Jemibewon - Co-founder and Head of Principal Investments, CardinalStone Partners

China in Africa: The Real Story

Format: Panel Discussion

China’s engagement in Africa has generated considerable controversy in recent years. Chinese investment in the continent has more than tripled to $26 billion in 2013 from $7 billion in 2008, and Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road initiative ensures the relationship will continue to deepen. The financing of African infrastructure needs in exchange for resources has been described as exploitative, but China’s investment in roads, railways, and telecom has freed up domestic resources for healthcare and education, and the improved infrastructure has dramatically improved Africa’s manufacturing sector and export sales. This panel will aim to dig deeper into the real nature of this important geopolitical relationship as well as explore the long term economic, political, and social effects on the development of Africa.

  • Aubrey Hruby - Co-founder, Africa Expert Network
  • Thomas Laryea - Partner, Dentons
  • Wenjie Chen - Economist, IMF Africa Department
  • Winslow Robertson - Founder and Managing Member, Cowries and Rice (Moderator)
  • Xudong Cheng - Director - Kenya and Ethiopia, CITIC Construction Co. Ltd.

Branding, Communicating & Expanding Africa's Brand Potential Globally - Co-hosted by Adirée

Format: Panel discussion

Co-hosted with Africa’s premier multi-cultural communications and brand strategy firm, Adirée, this panel seeks to delve into the role of branding and communications in the global expansion of Africa’s brands, using made-in-Africa fashion brands as case studies to explore this relationship. Fashion is a globally appealing sector for creative and savvy entrepreneurs (including media, tech and business) alike globally. Today, much of Africa boasts a large entrepreneurial and consumer class that is particularly evident in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda where new ideas and potentially profitable companies and brands are spurring both excitement and growth. While this entrepreneurial fervor spans all sectors, it is truly pronounced in the arts and artistic production, in particular fashion. Led by CEO and Founder of Adirée, Adiat Disu, an accomplished professional in the branding and communications space for multicultural and emerging market brands, the panel will evaluate the role of effective brand and marketing strategies in expanding Africa’s brands to a global audience.

  • Adiat Disu - Founder and Creative Director (Moderator)
  • Matthew “Tayo” Rugamba - Founder and Creative Director, House of Tayo
  • Fanta Kamara - Co-Founder & Creative Director, Marazetti Inc

Lean in, Africa: Unlocking the Full Potential of Women in Business

Format: Panel discussion

Female participation rates in labor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa are among the highest in the world. According to World Bank data, nearly two-thirds of women participate in Africa’s labor force, representing a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity. In fact, the rate of female entrepreneurship is higher in Africa than in any other region of the world. Nonetheless, of the fifty wealthiest people in Africa, only two are currently women and only one woman was included on Forbes most recent “20 Most Powerful People in African Business” list. This panel will bring together several women leaders in their respective fields in Africa, ranging from consulting to social impact to finance, to discuss their take on the state of women doing business in Africa. These remarkable women leaders will discuss their own Africa business stories and paths to success, the challenges they have met along the way and the opportunities that they see to unlock the full potential of women business leaders in Africa.

  • Ange Muyubira - Founder, Kaz’O’zah Art
  • Katherine Klein - Vice Dean - Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Wharton (Moderator)
  • Mia Kimani - Principal, Boston Consulting Group
  • Mirabelle Moreaux - Investment Officer, Injaro Investments Limited
  • Unoma Okorafor - Founder and CEO, Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women Foundation

Value of an MBA in Africa and its Role In Bridging the Management Talent Gap (Powered by Young African MBAs)

Format: Panel Discussion

On the helm of vast economic and social transformation, Africa’s success in its next chapter will depend on sound leadership and managerial acumen. In this session, our speakers will provide insight into their decisions to pursue, or not pursue management degrees, and their ability to leverage their expertise in the African context. With six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies calling Africa home, the continent is bound to need a growth in managerial talent at its disposal. This panel is ideal for prospective students, employers and those curious about Africa’s labor markets.

  • Andra Ofosu - MBA Candidate, The Wharton School
  • Dikko Atanu - Founder, Neoleum
  • Mauro Guillen - Director, The Lauder Institute (Moderator)
  • Sola Olaniyan-Bright - MBA Candidate, Harvard Business School
  • Yoeal Haile - Chief Strategy Officer, African Leadership Group


Creating and Scaling Sustainable Social Enterprises

Format: Panel Discussion

What do a non-profit, for-profit with a social mission, and an impact investor have in common? Each is working to create significant but in different ways. These social entrepreneurs and impact investors represent the changing face of impact creation in Africa. Learn how to leverage your interest in the most pressing issues facing Africa to create significant impact on the continent as they discuss their experiences creating and scaling social enterprises.

  • Adam Frankel - Chief Marketing Officer, Andela
  • Dia Martin - Senior Investment Officer, OPIC
  • Lauren Cochran - Director of Private Investments, Blue Haven Initiatives
  • Nick Ashburn - Director of Emerging Markets - Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Wharton (Moderator)
  • Saran Kaba Jones - Founder, FACE Africa

The Next List: Emerging Empires Driven by Passion

Format: Lightning Talks

Its been said – do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. These founders turned their passions into viable enterprises. Come for the firsthand scoop on how they did this and their aspirations for the future of their emerging empires. Leave inspired and enlightened on how to monetize your passion.

  • Adebola Williams - Co-Founder, Red Media Africa
  • Adekunbi Odubogun - Founder & Editor-in-Chief,
  • Ernest Danjuma Enebi - Founder and Managing Partner, The Denda Group

How To Get Your (Africa-focused) Startup Funded

Format: Fireside Chat

You have an incredible idea but no money to execute. In this session moderated by Okendo Lewis-Gayle, the founder of Harambe Entrepreneurs Alliance, you will get insider tips on how and more importantly when  to pitch your business to VCs to ensure successful outcomes. Renowned VCs from top funds that invest heavily in Africa-focused startups will be discussing how they pick ventures to invest in and will be here to answer all your funding related questions

  • Eghosa Omoigui - Founder and Managing Partner, EchoVC Partners
  • Jon Gosier - Founder, Cross Valley Capital
  • Mbwana Alliy - Founder and Managing Partner, Savannah Fund
  • Okendo Lewis-Gayle - Founder and Chairman, Harambe Entrepreneurs Alliance (Moderator)

Grits, Smarts, Hustle: What It Really Takes to be an Entrepreneur in Africa

Format: Panel Discussion

Entrepreneurship in Africa is booming, yet bureaucracy and limited access to capital still make founding a business on the continent exceedingly difficult. Succeeding as an entrepreneur in Africa requires street smarts and determination. These entrepreneurs, including the founder of Nigeria’s largest coffee chain and the founder of a solar-powered drip irrigation company in Kenya, have both. In this session, four entrepreneurs discuss the pros and cons of starting a business in Africa, share stories from their own experience, and offer advice for anyone looking to found a company on the continent.

  • Bunmi Akinyemiju - MD/CEO, Venture Garden Nigeria
  • David Wilson - Co-founder and CEO, Asimmetric
  • Michael Rain - Editor-in-Chief, ZNews Africa
  • Ngozi Dozie - Co-founder, Kaizen Venture Partners & Cafe Neo
  • Samir Ibrahim - CEO & Co-Founder, SunCulture

WABF Venture Competition

All over the continent, entrepreneurs are creating businesses, social enterprises, and non-profits. In this session, we will hear from the leaders behind four of these organizations – KosavaMemunatuZuvaa, and Star’D. They will tell us their stories, explain their business models, and navigate a Q+A session in this final stage of a competition that began with the largest application pool in WABF history. Judging them will be a panel of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, who will select one organization to take home $5,000 of venture funding.

  • Pardon Makumbe - Co-founder, CRE Ventures
  • Selena Cuffe - Co-founder and CEO, Heritage Link Brands
  • Jon Gosier - Founder, Cross Valley Capital

State of the Continent

EY 2015 Africa Attractiveness Survey

Format: Interactive Presentation

This presentation will feature highlights from EY’s 2015 Africa Attractiveness Survey

  • James Newlands - Lead Partner - Americas Africa Business Center, Ernst & Young

Careers in Africa: Owning Your African Financial Markets Career Potential

Format: Interactive Presentation

We explore all the factors that influence securing Private Equity, Investment Banking and Financial Markets career opportunities across Africa. Including understanding the market opportunity for International MBA’s, how to optimise your value proposition and managing Africa dialogue styles and interview strategies to actually make a progressive career move happen etc

  • Edward Stokes - Founder and Managing Partner, Intrepid HR

PwC: Bridging growth markets

Format: Interactive Presentation


The intrigue, complexity and challenge of the growth markets can be characterized by their people and local environment.  Consumer segments in these countries are evolving and expanding at a rapid rate, thanks to an increase in disposable income which fuels aspirations of enhanced lifestyles. However, these consumers live in business environments that are still maturing, whilst infrastructure, systems and processes are developed, skills acquired and political and regulatory stability established.

This presentation will look at several examples of consumer companies which have looked to adapt new business models when expanding in the growth markets.

  • Mary Iwelumo - Partner - Strategy and Operations, PwC Nigeria

BCG: Duelling with Lions

BCG 2015 report on Africa

  • Adham Abouzied - Project Leader, Boston Consulting Group
  • Sandra Idehen - Project Leader, Boston Consulting Group