24 January 2019

Rwanda: Kigali to Host Continental Business Leaders' Summit

Over 1500 business leaders from across the African Continent are set to convene in Kigali in March to discuss African economic integration.

The gathering dubbed, "Africa CEO Forum 2019", is in its 7 edition and brings together business leaders to deliberate around themed issues.

This year's summit will be held on March 25 and 26, according to a statement.

Participants will include leading decision-makers from industry, finance and politics, from more than 70 countries to discuss regional integration along with other key topics for the development of Africa's businesses.

The conference comes at a time when intra-continental trade remains too weak and seeks to have Africa's most influential business leaders raise their voices on changing status quo.

High on agenda of the summit will be implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) a powerful driver for private sector growth and the emergence of new African champions.

Other key subjects at the summit will be: How can we mobilise the private sector around cross-border infrastructure and logistical projects? What insights can be drawn from the East African Community - considered the most successful regional model - given the tense new political waters? What must a united Africa do to better protect its interests and industries?

The summit will feature about forty panel discussions, case studies, testimonies, public-private workshops and thematic working groups to give participants avenues to explore the other major challenges for the development of Africa's private sector.

According to organisers, the meeting will also look into other challenges such as women leaders' access to the boardroom, the growth potential of Africa's tourism industry, banking penetration in the digital age, regional agribusiness markets and the governance of family firms.

Among the prominent names expected to take part in the summit include Philippe Le Houérou, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC; Jim Ovia, Founder and President of Zenith Bank; Nadia Fettah, CEO of Saham Finances; Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines; Ibukun Awosika, President of First Bank of Nigeria.

Others include Christina Foerster, CEO of Brussels Airlines; Abdulsamad Rabiu, Executive Chairman of BUA Group; Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Massmart and Diane Karusisi, CEO of Bank of Kigali among many others.

The Forum is organised by Jeune Afrique Media Group, publisher of Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report, and by Rainbow Unlimited, a Swiss company specialising in the organisation of economic promotion events.

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