Africa: Crystal Ball Africa Conference Set for January

12 December 2018

This year's Crystal Ball Africa Conference to discuss emerging government policies to help businesses in the sub-region to plan in advance has been scheduled for January 9-10 next year.

On the theme, 'Transforming with the transformation', it is an initiative of AB & David Africa, a Pan-African law firm incorporated in Mauritius to serve clients engaged in business and projects in Africa.

The event is expected to be opened by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times about the programme, the Senior Partner of AB & David, David Ofosu-Dorte said the Crystal Ball Conference started about six years ago as a small event but had grown into a big international conference with participants and speakers from across the world.

"The idea came out as a result of the fact that, we realise our clients across the continent always have challenges of being surprised especially by changing policies and legislations and other events which occurred and affected businesses," he said, adding that "so we thought we could help them as much as possible to letting them know upcoming events and policies and let them know in advance what government and policy makers are going to do".

Mr Ofosu-Dorte said businesses needed certainty and ought to know changing government policies so that they could plan towards it.

He said the conference each year collects large of amount of data of some of the major things which would impact businesses in the coming year, to help businesses to be able to forecast.

Mr Ofosu-Dorte, said the conference was expected to be attended by more than 300 participants including business executives and policy makers from all over the world including Ghana, Botswana, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Kenya, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the general public.

"The programme would afford participants the opportunity to get to know the 2019 emerging policies in advance, know the policies that impact on their business or business ideas next year, interact with Africa's top business executives, policy makers and regulators, get to know the issues transforming the Africa business landscape and what is driving transformation," he said.

Particularly, Mr Ofosu-Dorte said the attendees would get the opportunity to listen to Dr Bawumia give insights into the government's policy direction for 2019 and meet financiers looking for businesses and business ideas to finance, and take advantage of the $125 billion available for Africa's industrialisation.

The Senior Partner of AB & David indicated that the conference would have a session for start-ups and innovators to exhibit their businesses and innovations, adding that, "We have introduced this year's Solution Looking for Problem segment where participants could seek for solutions to their business problems and challenges".

He indicated that the conference would also discuss Brexit and its impact on Africa, China Africa Relations, the Continental Free Trade Agreement, and the Single Air Transport Market.

Mr Ofosu-Dorte disclosed that there would be addresses by speakers from Barclays Bank, African Development Bank and a session on Islamic finance.

Furthermore, he said, there would e speakers from Nigeria and Uganda to speak on local content and oil and gas and how Ghana could leverage on her oil and gas resources to develop the country.

Mr Ofosu-Dorte urged businesses to take advantage of the event to strike new business deals and learn about changing government policies for the ensuing year.

Among the sponsors are New Times Corporation, publishers of the Ghanaian Times and the Spectator, a weekly, Konfidant, Association of Ghana Industries, Barclays Bank, Citi FM, Ghana Free Zones Board, VSEM and Tropical Cable and Conductors Limited.

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