The SABF is the premier opportunity to inspire relevant ideas for business in Africa. The one-day conference has consistently attracted over 300 attendees in past years to the Stanford Graduate School of Business for dialogue and networking. Throughout its 10 years in session, the Forum has brought exceptional speakers and panelists to the Stanford campus, providing thought-leadership on transformative and disruptive ideas on the continent. These guests from all corners of the continent span diverse industries and sectors within business, government and nonprofit organizations.
The Forum creates a platform for exceptional business leaders, insightful policy makers, pioneering faculty, and motivated students with a shared interest in shaping the future of business in Africa to exchange powerful ideas and build long-lasting relationships. It is a collaborative effort between the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (Stanford Seed), the Africa Business Club, Stanford African Students’ Association and Center for African Studies.
The Africa Business Club is excited to present the 11th Annual Stanford Africa Business Forum, Connecting the Dots: Africa, the Market of the Present and the Future. This year’s Forum will highlight that Africa is a continent ripe with high-potential opportunities and growth, and that there is tremendous pride that comes along with sharing our opportunities and visions for the future with the world. We want the world to take notice and join us in shaping our future. But we want to do it on our terms, controlling the narrative of what it means to do business in Africa in the present and the future. These are our voices, our narratives, our opportunities.
We want to build bridges between Silicon Valley and the young talent, rich natural resources, and novel innovation throughout our dynamic continent. The Forum will serve as a launchpad convening thought-leaders, business titans, changemakers and investors, exchanging diverse perspectives and knowledge about the different markets on the continent. Join us for what promises to be an engaging day exploring this theme through the lenses of entrepreneurship, technology, energy, agriculture, media and entertainment, education, manufacturing and finance with some of the leading thinkers and practitioners from Africa and around the globe.
The Stanford Africa Business Forum was founded in 2007 by Stanford undergraduate students, Irungu Nyakera and Kwame Ansong-Dwamena based on the following premise: “For many years, the economic potential of African nations has been overshadowed by issues of poverty, underdevelopment, corruption, conflict and meager progress. African economies have been known to depend immensely on the social benevolence of foreign nations and institutions. As such, economic relations in Africa have become characterized with all forms of social investment such as aid, grants, charity and debt relief. Interestingly, however, the concept of business and actual investment in Africa, which is often overlooked, may serve as the key to unlocking true solutions to rectify these problems.”
The 2007 forum was based on the theme: Fostering Entrepreneurial Activities in Africa. Its main objective was to portray Africa in a more positive light than that more commonly seen in the media and create awareness of the diverse and burgeoning opportunities, as well as the extraordinary growth that characterized African countries as they capitalized on years of continued stability.
Today Irungu serves as the Principal Secretary for Planning and Statistics under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning in the Kenyan government. He is the youngest appointee ever for such a top government position. Kwame is a Software Development Engineer in Test at Microsoft Corporation.
The Stanford Africa Business Forum aims to be the leading networking platform for professionals, students, and academics from the U.S. West Coast interested in business and innovation in Africa. By inviting thought leaders and industry professionals from the continent, our goal is to stimulate thought and discussions through engaging keynotes, interactive panels and workshops.
Former Chairman | Etisalat
Host | Africa Leadership Dialogues
Managing Director | Quantum Global Research Lab
CEO | KCB Bank Group
CEO and Publisher | Okayplayer and OkayAfrica
1. Deal Pitch - Getting Funded: The Secrets to Nailing the VC PitchFeaturing Guest Judges:
2. Design WorkshopDesign Thinking immersion exercise where interdisciplinary teams tackle challenges facing companies situated in Africa.
1. Technology: The fourth industrial revolution: Adopting a technological approach to solve problems at scale
2. Media and Entertainment: Can media and entertainment be Africa’s next export industry?
3. Education Outcomes: Responsiveness of Higher Education in Africa