Lagos Business School will hold the inaugural edition of Africa Business Conference on May 31, 2013.
The conference, organised by the MBA students of the School, aims to bridge the gap between emerging and entrenched business leaders, successful and emerging businesses through a robust information exchange platform, in order to create a thriving future for the continent. The conference, which will henceforth hold annually, will host leading entrepreneurs, investors, regulators and financiers across the continent.
The conference is a timely intervention to position businesses in the continent for emerging opportunities. As Africa gains increasing recognition as the world's next economic frontier, there is more than ever a compelling need for emerging African businesses to be strategically positioned to face the influx of global challengers.
Aliko Dangote, chief executive officer of Dangote Group and the richest black man in the world is the Guest of Honour for the event. He will be delivering a keynote address on the conference theme, "Breeding African Lions: Imperatives for Building Globally Competitive Businesses." Also to deliver a keynote address on the theme is the propagator of 'Africapitalism' and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu.
The conference will attract participants from South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the United States, China, Nigeria and other African countries. Delegates include business executives of fast growing companies, consultants, owners of SMEs and all that are interested in exploring opportunities on the continent. The official media partners for the conference are: BusinessDay, CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa and AllAfrica.com.
There will be five panel sessions which will unearth opportunities along the industries' value chains. The sectors covered this year are: Technology, Power, Agriculture, Real Estate and Retail.
The Technology panel will feature Nigeria's Honourable Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson; General Manager of Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Emmanuel Onyeje; Managing General Partner of EchoVC, Eghosa Omoigui and CEO of Infosoft Nigeria, Pius Okigbo. The panel will be speaking on the theme, "Programming African Software Firms for Greater Profit: Developing Solutions for the Local Consumer."
The Power panel will focus on the theme: "Africa's Energy Challenge: A Private Sector Driven Solution." The panel will host some of the biggest players in Africa's power market such as Nigeria's former Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji; CEO of Africa Finance Corporation, Andrew Alli; the Commissioner, Market Competition and Rates at the Nigerian Electricity regulatory Commission, Eyo Ekpo; President and CEO General Electric Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo; and CEO of Azura West Africa Dr David Ladipo are the panellists.
With population growth and housing shortage on the continent, the Real Estate panel will zoom in on Sub-Sahara Africa focusing on the theme, "Building Down the Housing Deficit: Serving the 30M+ SSA Household." The speakers on the panel include the Honourable Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State, Olatunbosun Jeje,;CEO of First World Communities, Brig-Gen PMO Reis; CEO of Aso Savings & Loans, Hassan Musa Usman and the Head of Real Estate Investment (WA) at Stanbic IBTC, Niyi Adeleye.
The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria Dr Akinwunmi Adesina will be on the Agriculture panel with CEO of Doreo Partners, Kola Masha; Assistant Vice President, Agricultural Finance at FCMB, Kudzai Gumunyu and CEO of SARO Group, Rasheed Sarumi. Theirtalks will revolve round the theme: "Africa Can Feed Africa: A $1 Trillion SME Opportunity."
The Retail panel will address the theme: "The $185billion Consumer: Identifying Opportunities, Leapfrogging Challenges". This session will explore emerging business models in Africa's retail sector. The speakers include the CEO of Unilever Nigeria, Thabo Mabe; General Manager Shoprite Nigeria, Anton Wagenaar; Director of Real Estate at Actis, Michael Chu'di Ejekam and CEO of Konga.com, Sim Shagaya.
The conference chair and co-chairs are Chukwuka Nwagbara, Toyin Sanwo and Chika Ezeani of LBS MBA class of 2013. The conference is sponsored by First City Monument Bank (FCMB).