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Business Leaders Discuss the Impact of Business in Africa

Business Leaders Discuss the Impact of Business in Africa | IE

IE Africa Club and Center celebrated the 10th edition of Africa Day.

The IE Africa Club and Africa Center joined forces to celebrate worldwide Africa Day with an array of speakers discussing the theme “Creating a Prosperous Africa: Inclusive Growth & Sustainable Development” at the 10th edition of IE Africa Day.

The panelists included key voices shaping economics and leading transformation like Raphael Ani, Head External Commercialization Telefonica, Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO at Business Leadership South Africa, and Claude Grunitzky, CEO of the Equity Alliance Founder of Trace and True Africa. They touched upon topics like sustainable entrepreneurship as a driver for change, inclusive economic policies increasing participation of economic role players, and government regulations to promote digitalization.

IE Business School students organized the event that has centered on the business impact in the region for the past 10 years. This year, in addition to business leaders from the continent, Africa Club president Praise Dekpoh— a Master in Management student–and fellow organizers secured a partnership with University of Pretoria business school GIBS as a collaborator.

The event’s keynote speaker Khaled Igue, Managing Partner and Africa Chairman of B&A Investment Bankers, talked about creating an economy that will be inclusive for Africa and sustainable development.

“Africa has great potential, we have the natural resources, and the only way to keep the African continent is to create jobs on the continent. And we need to create 10 million jobs per year, and for that, we have to invest a lot in the economy of the continent,” said Igue.

Moderator Paris De L’Etraz , IE head of Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of the Venture Lab, agreed.

“We have to create 10 million jobs, and it is very likely that a lot of those jobs are going to be created by startups,” De L’Etraz said. “Startups are the engine of growth in many of the developed countries today they will be in Africa as well.”

Anish Shivdasani, CEO, and Founder of Giraffe, highlighted how entrepreneurship has shaped Africa’s job market over the past ten years.

“The two key factors that have been shaping the structure of the labor market over the past 10 years in Africa are premature deindustrialization and the fact that Africa’s population growth is growing faster than the size of the workforce,” Shivdasani said.

Africa Day is an annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organization African Unity. The African Unity Organization was created to transform their successful national independence movements into continent-wide liberation and opportunity.

Felicia Appenteng, chair of the Africa Center, said the Africa Center prioritizes African Entrepreneurship.

“Our Social Innovators Retreat and Gurus and Griots programs are designed to identify, nurture and distill leading African entrepreneurship and innovation across the IE community and the world.”

Felicia Appenteng, Chair of the Africa Center

The event was divided into two panels with eight different speakers. The first panel’s topic was tech digitalization and entrepreneurship in accelerating progress and inclusivity, and the second panel’s topics were about the pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental.

Geoffroy Gerard, IE Foundation Director-General, said the foundation always supports the celebration of Africa Day because it reflects IE University’s core values.

“We commit towards enhancing the importance of shared values among the IE Community and the importance to support initiatives led by students to address positive change and tackle important issues in the region, while promoting diversity and cultural enrichment among the student body and stakeholders,” Gerard said.