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Invest Africa Connect at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2019

From 4th-6th September 2019, Invest Africa was delighted to host a series of Invest Africa Connect events in Cape Town, South Africa, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2019. The 28th World Economic Forum on Africa aimed to tackle these issues by focusing on how to scale up the transformation of regional architecture related to smart institutions, investment, integration, industry and innovation.

In partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Chartered Private Bank and Symbion Power, Invest Africa held 5 events over the 3 days. Kicking off the proceedingsks was our “Future of African Finance” panel, moderated by Mohan Vivekanandan, Group Executive: Origination & Coverage at DBSA and including panellists: Barbara Ann Bernard, Founder at Wincrest Capital, Aubrey Hruby, Co-Founder at Africas Expert Network (AXN) and Rajakumari Jandhyala, Founder & President of YAATRA Ventures. Thank you to DBSA for partnering with Invest Africa on this event.

Over 150 of our members then descending on Invest Africa’s Drinks Receptions, held at the beautiful CIRCA Gallery, to enjoy the fantastic artwork and networking opportunities. We were lucky enough to hear from guest speakers, Razia Khan, Chief Economist, Africa & the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank and Mcebisi Jonas, Trade Envoy to the President of South Africa who gave the audience detailed insights into the future prospects for African markets from both a private and public standpoint. Thank you to Standard Chartered Bank for partnering with us on this event.

“There has to be a sense of regional benefit for industrialisation to work across the continent”. This was how Trudi Makhaya, Economic Advisor to the President of South Africa summed up her views on our Thursday panel session on “Industrialisation & Investment in Africa”, expertly moderated by Invest Africa Chairman Robert Hersov, and with fellow panellists: Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Massmart, Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director, Volkswagen Group, South Africa and Geoffrey White, Chief Executive Officer of Agility. This panel of thought leadres and industry experts discussed the the future of industrialisation for Africa, in light of the ratification of the AfCFTA earlier this year.

Invest Africa then hosted a breakfast briefing on Friday 6th September, looking at “Ethical AI in Africa”. Rachel Alexander, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Omina Technologies, tackled the question, “As countries across the world race to become the world’s next AI superpower, what is in store for Africa and the future of AI?” With $1.6 billion in AI-related investments projected over the next ten years, Rachel was clear on her message, “The ecosystem is ready for exponential growth for AI in Africa”.

Invest Africa’s final event of the series looked at debt financing for the energy and infrastructure sectors in Africa. “Viability over bankability.” This was the resounding message from the panel, examining what measures the energy and infrastructure sectors need to implement for capital markets in Africa to grow. We were lucky enough to welcome a stellar line-up for the discussion: Akinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman and CEO of Genesis Energy HOlding, Brian Dames, CEO of African Rainbow Energy and Power, Mphookolo Makara, Transactor – Infrastructure Finance at Rand Merchant Bank, Jurie Swart, CEO at African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and Samaile Zubairu, President & CEO of the Africa Finance Corporation. Thank you to Natznet Tesfay, Executive Director, Africa at IHS Markit for moderating the panel and to Rand Merchant Bank for partnering with us on this event.

If you would like to find out more about the event, you can download our full programme via the link below. For more information on our IA Connect series of events, please contact