AFRICA: Changing the Narrative

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2020 Africa Investors Conference, Interview Goolam Ballim

Challenges and Opportunities for Africa at the 10th Africa Investors’ Conference

From the Africa Investors Conference, Goolam Ballim, Chief Economist and Head of Research, Standard Bank talks with Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of

Mr. Ballim highlighted the stellar GDP growth that Africa has experienced over the past two decades with surging exports and flourishing trade with BRIC countries. Presently, however, Mr. Ballim believes that the impending economic downturn resulting from COVID-19 will be detrimental to the continent with a potential 4% GDP contraction in 2021.

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The Africa Investors Conference is designed to connect institutional investors to leading policymakers and some of Africa's most successful companies, sharing ideas with a view to finding key opportunities for growth on the continent.

Digital Consumer Trends that will Continue to Dominate Daily Life in Africa

This session explores the many ways in which African consumers have shifted towards digital products and services. The discussion will explore how Africans are shifting towards delivery takeaways with UberEats, how telemedicine has taken a huge leap forward, how distance learning is gaining ground, and how contactless payments are the next big thing in the mobile payment space. To round it all off, the chief operating officer of Silicon Valley’s leading online tech business magazine, TechCrunch, will comment on how these trends dovetail with the digital consumer trends taking hold in the U.S.

Led by Dayo Olopade Author of The Bright Continent, a book on innovation, technology, and opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa


  • Dr Funmi Adewara, Founder/CEO Mobihealth International
  • Ned Desmond, COO, TechCrunch
  • Mark Elliott, Division President, Mastercard, Southern Africa
  • Wambura Kimunyu, CEO, Eneza Education _ Makano Mosidi, Chief Information Office, Standard Bank
  • Ailyssa Pretorius, Regional General Manager, Uber Eats Sub Saharan Africa

Safeguarding Africa’s Food SystemsThrough and Beyond the Crisis

A discussion with experts working with agricultural companies on development strategies, the introduction of technology, and creating sustainable employment opportunities for the continent’s burgeoning youth population. 

How governments/development partners/private sector along the agriculture value chain can respond to COVID-19 and specifically what opportunities the pandemic might provide to rethink our agriculture and food systems.

Moderator Gillian Pais is a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Nairobi Office and leads McKinsey’s Agriculture practice in Africa.


  • Linda Manda is the Global Head Agribusiness, Client Coverage, Corporate and Investment Banking, Standard Bank Group.
  • Kola Masha is the Managing Director of Babban Gona. Babban Gona is an award winning, high impact, financially sustainable and highly scalable social enterprise, part-owned by the farmers we serve.
  • Mezuo Nwuneli is the Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers Ltd., a food and agriculture focused private equity firm which invests in mid-sized agribusinesses.
  • Atsuko Toda is serving as the Director of Agriculture Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development Department at the African Development Bank. The department is responsible for the Bank’s investments in private sector agribusiness companies and development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones across the African Continent. 

What African Business Leaders Need to Know about Social Movements that Have Gained Momentum in 2020

A moderated discussion on how the current crises, health and economic, have focussed a bright light on numerous social issues facing Africans including inequitable access to healthcare, the economic vulnerability of workers, occupational safety and wellbeing, temporary improvements in air and water quality resulting from lockdowns, police brutality and excessive use of force, disparities in access to technology, and more.

Intro Remarks by Sim Tshabalala, Group Chief Executive, SBG and Executive Director, SBSA Standard Bank Group

Special Guest Speaker Jide Zeitlin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Tapestry, Inc. The parent company of luxury brands Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman.

Moderator Kamil Olufowobi, CEO, Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) 100 Under 40


  • Tara Durotoye, Founder & CEO, House of Tara International
  • Vanessa Nakate, Activist, Climate Change
  • Diallo Shabazz, Co-Founder, Birthright AFRICA
  • Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO, MyGrowthFund Venture Capital
  • Phyllis Wakiaga, CEO, Kenya Association of Manufacturers
  • Adebola Williams, Co-Founder & CEO, Red Media Africa

Law and Crisis Management:​ Working with Lawyers to Manage the Challenges of COVID-19

A timely and valuable series produced by in partnership with faculty from Harvard Business School to address this unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis as a result of COVID-19.

Professor David B. Wilkins leads the discussion with top lawyers across Africa while the welcome is delivered by Eric Holder, 82nd Attorney General of the United States.


  • Gerald Abila, Founder and Executive Director, BarefootLaw
  • Dr. Myma Belo Osagie, Co-Founder, Udo Udoma Belo-Osagie
  • Michel Brizoua-Bi, Partner, Bilé-Aka, Brizoua-Bi & Associés
  • Stephen Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom
  • Prof. Vincent O. Nmehielle, SJD, Secretary-General, African Development Bank Group Office of the Secretary-General and General Secretariat
  • Prof. Ruth L. Okediji, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
  • Sandie Okoro, Senior Vice President, and General Counsel, World Bank Group
  • Thandi Orleyn, Chairperson, Legal Resources Trust
  • Dr. Godfred Penn, General Counsel & Director, African Development Bank

Showcasing Brilliant African Innovations Against COVID-19

A pitch competition to showcase and support African entrepreneurs who have developed solutions to support Africa’s fight against the coronavirus.  Entries are evaluated primarily on their impact against the virus and the viability of delivering the product or service. Financial sustainability is of secondary importance. Entrepreneurs will “pitch” their ideas, and will be questioned by a judging panel comprised of a seasoned group of innovation investment experts.

Welcome Address by Professor Tarun Khanna, Harvard Business School

Judges Panel inclues Juliet Ehimuan, Director - West Africa, Google, Andile Ngcaba, Founding Partner and Chairman Convergence Partners, Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital, and Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital Innovations, Standard Bank.

What’s the Real Story Behind Africa’s COVID-19 Figures?

Leading health experts on the frontlines of the pandemic in Africa will answer questions such as: “The numbers are low, but why?”, “Is it a question of access to testing?”, “Is it the climate?”, “Is it the youthful population?” and “Is it a matter of reporting?”

Led by Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of


_Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

_Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

_Professor David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur

Women are Proving to Be Great Leaders During COVID-19. Is this the Pathway to Power?

A timely and valuable series produced by in partnership with faculty from Harvard Business School to address this unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis as a result of COVID-19.

Led by Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of

Panelists include Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Former Deputy President of South Africa, Oby Ezekwesili, Senior Economic Adviser, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative, Former Minister of Education Nigeria, and Former VP Africa Region of World Bank, Anne Juuko, Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank Uganda, Suzan Kereere, Global Head of Merchant Sales & Acquiring, VISA Inc., and Natasha Wang Mwansa, Women Deliver Young Leader.

Crafting Strategy in the Face of Uncertainty

A timely and valuable series produced by in partnership with faculty from Harvard Business School to address this unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis as a result of COVID-19.

Led by Andy Zelleke, Ph.D., Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration.

Panelists include Nolitha Fakude, Chair of the Management Board, South Africa Anglo American, Acha Leke, Senior Partner, Johannesburg, Chairman, McKinsey Africa, Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO of MainOne, and Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.

This Isn’t the West - How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to COVID-19

A timely and valuable series produced by in partnership with faculty from Harvard Business School to address this unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis as a result of COVID-19.

Led by Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman, FSDH Holding Company, and Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration


  • His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
  • President of Ghana _The Honorable Nasir El-Rufai
  • Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria
  • Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor, Yale University
  • Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, Senior Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Co.
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