Wharton Africa Business Forum (“WABF”), now in its 23rd year, is the premier and the longest running student-organized Africa-focused business discussion. Year after year, WABF continues to adapt to the ever-evolving socio-economic environment to provide relevant, cutting-edge content, attracting, on average, over 500 attendees each year. In 2015, the Forum attracted a record 700 participants with a waitlist close to half that number. The team, in an effort to ensure quality and substance over quantity, worked very hard to manage our attendee numbers despite overwhelming interest in the Forum to ensure the best possible experience for all who are able to attend.
Thank you for joining us at #WABF23, we look forward to seeing you again next year!
1. Africa: One of The Fastest Growing. Most Dynamic Regions In The World.
The forum will feature:
- A Solid Macro Profile: Thought leaders from McKinsey, Bain, BCG and other major organizations will share deep insights on the opportunities abound on the continent. According to IMF World Economic Outlook, Africa has twelve of the world’s fastest growing economies, half of Africa’s countries are already middle income and the middle class is expected to increase at a much faster rate than developed markets leading to increased spending power. With almost 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa also has the youngest population in the world, and this number is growing rapidly. The number of young people in Africa is expected to double by 2045.
- Industry Deep Dives: In-depth coverage of the development and evolution of the key industries driving Africa’s transformation such as Real Estate, Telecommunications and Agriculture from practitioners and experts
- Diverse Topics: Ranging from traditional areas, such as Private Equity and capital deployment in Africa, to more rapidly evolving areas, such as Funding your Startup in Africa, Women in Business, and Sustainable Social Enterprise. For detailed sessions see here
2. Networking: Connect with Like-Minded Individuals. Share Ideas with Potential Business Partners. Make New Friends.
- Meet Other Attendees: Multiple avenues to interact
- Pods: Sign up for a pod! A pod is a group of attendees randomly formed based on interest e.g. Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Private Equity and Venture, Prospective Students, etc. Pods are formed before the Forum and members of Pods are introduced via GroupMe. Pods will meet for small group dinners on Friday of the Forum and be able to continue to engage throughout the forum.
- Friday Night Mixer: Two-hour open-bar for all attendees after small group dinners
- Saturday Gala: African inspired cuisine and good company. Meet new friends at our “fancy” black tie dinner
- Facebook Group: Connect with new friends during and after the Forum by joining the Facebook group created exclusively for WABF23 attendees
- Meet Forum Speakers: Opportunities for select attendees to sit with speakers during lunch and the gala dinner as well as scheduled coffee chats with speakers of interest. Available only to early-bird ticket purchasers. Register now! Early bird ends Friday, October 23.
3. Careers: Entrepreneurship. Career Change. Moving Back to Africa.
- Entrepreneurship : Learn from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on what it really takes to fund and run an africa-focused start-up
- Venture competition: Enter your Africa-focused business plan into the competition for a chance to win $5,000 and pitch to top venture capitalists with investments in Africa
- Career Fair: Diverse set of of companies with interests in Africa representing industries such as consulting, financial services, human resources, technology, social impact and many more. Leading africa-focused executive recruiting firms will also be in attendance. View the career fair page for more information on attending companies
- Coffee Chats: All attendees will get the opportunity to submit their resumes to be selected for coffee chats with interested companies
4. Admissions: Learn about Wharton, One of Oldest and Best Business Schools in the World.
- Prospective Student Session: Come and learn about about what it is like to go to Wharton from our very own dean of happiness – Kembrel Jones and representatives from admissions, career services and student life. Learn more about the session here
- Explore Penn: The Forum will be held at the Jon M. Huntsman Hall and Perelman Quadrangle, giving attendees the opportunity to explore Penn’s beautiful campus
- Connect with Current and Other Prospective Students: Sign-up for the Prospective Student pod. Meet other prospective students. Current Wharton MBA students and Admissions Fellows will attend the Friday Prospective Student pod dinner
5. Fun: Unwind with Top-Tier Entertainment in the City of Brotherly Love.
- Entertainment: Dance the night away to music from top African DJs – DJ Zimo and DJ Yoosooph – and enjoy a musical performance from a special guest artist (to be announced in the coming weeks). Learn more here.
- Philadelphia: The birthplace of America. Known for its rich history, historic landmarks, and “Rocky”, Philadelphia offers a number of unique experiences including exceptional museums and spectacular restaurants with BYOB. Find out more here. #VisitPhilly
6. Pricing: Select from an Array of Options.
- Unbundled Tickets: Select the ticket option that best suits you from our two ticket types: (i) Conference ONLY (ii) Conference+Gala+Party.
- Student Pricing: We understand the “student budget crunch”. Discounted pricing designed for students by students. Don’t miss out!
- Discounts: Get more value! Early bird and group discounts are mutually exclusive.
- Early Bird: Buy tickets early (before Friday, October 23, at midnight) and receive a 20% discount. Enter code “EARLY” to receive discount when purchasing tickets.
- Group Discount: Invite friends! Buy tickets in groups of 5 or more, and receive a 25% discount until the end of early bird period (Friday, October 23, at midnight). Receive a 20% discount thereafter. Enter code “GROUP” to receive discount when purchasing tickets.
- Hotel Discounts: We have reserved rooms in the following hotels: Loews Hotel, Residence Inn and Marriott. See logistics page for details
- Sharing Economy: Interested in sharing a hotel room or ride, to and from the Forum, with a conference attendee? Join the facebook group to see who else is looking to share!