This year's theme

The Stanford Africa Business Club is excited to present the 13th Annual Stanford Africa Business Forum, Driving Growth and Innovation for the next decade.

The forum this year invites all of us to reflect on the promise of doing business in Africa, by analyzing the success of businesses on the continent and exploring the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead.

  • How best can businesses leverage Africa’s riches to catapult the continent into a new phase of economic growth?
  • What continental and global shifts are we seeing and how do these translate into opportunities for businesses?
  • How do businesses navigate the challenges associated with doing business in Africa?
  • What does it take to win in Africa in a post-COVID world?

These questions, and more, are what we aim to address in this year’s forum. Join us as we invite speakers and guests to discuss the challenges and opportunities within the continent as many countries gear up for growth.

This year’s virtual forum will also see a number of content and format refreshes to make the conference even more engaging for attendees and speakers.

  • Keynote Speakers

  • Panels

  • Pitch Competition

  • This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Africa Business Forum. At its inception in 2007, the forum had 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 continuing stability. The first forum was organized by a group of enthusiastic students headed by Wilson Irungu Nyakera and Kwame Ansong-Dwamena. Today Wilson serves as the Principal Secretary for Transport in the Kenyan government, the youngest appointee ever for such a top government position and Kwame is a Software Development Engineer in Test at Microsoft Corporation.

    Speakers from various sectors such as academia, business finance and technology were united to catalyze the broad discussion on the economic boom in Africa and the numerous opportunities for investors on the African continent. Most notable among the speakers in the first conference were Brian Lehren and Nkosana Moyo.

  • Brian founded and served as the executive director of Village Enterprise, an NGO aimed at helping the poor in East Africa start and expand small businesses, which has been able to fund more than 20,000 enterprises. At the time, Nkosana served as the vice president and Chief Operating Officer of the African Development Bank where he took part in the financing of major infrastructure projects in Africa and today heads the Mandela Institute for Development Studies, which he founded.

    Though the theme has changed from year to year, the underlying motivation behind the forum hasn’t changed. The forum has always been aimed at creating awareness of the opportunities on the African continent and bring together Africans and friends of Africa from the continent and the diaspora to engage on the most important issues affecting the continent’s growth. As we enter the second decade of the forum, let us keep in mind the word of Erik Olesund, a Design Leader in the Stanford D-School and a speaker in the 2014 forum about Turning Ideas Into Action: “How do you find out what is really meaningful to the people you want to serve. What is it that they really care about? A great way to get there is to just ask and if there is anything they say that triggers your mind, ask why and be truly curious.”

  • Past Conferences:    2019    2018    2017

TLcom Capital

Since 1999, TLcom has supported tech entrepreneurs in Europe, Israel, the US and Africa across all technology sectors, from semiconductor manufacturing to mobile solutions and services, and at all stages of development, from seed to growth capital. TLcom’s partnership with entrepreneurs goes well beyond the provision of capital to include strategic, operational and financial support in designing and executing superior business models in large markets. Its exit track record across regions include recent transactions in Africa such as the acquisition of Upstream on behalf of private equity group Actis, and the acquisition of Movirtu on behalf of global mobile leader Blackberry

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Stanford Seed

Seed, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, partners with entrepreneurs in emerging markets to build thriving enterprises that transform lives. Seed is a Stanford GSB-led initiative that’s working to end the cycle of global poverty. Seed trains business leaders in developing economies, inspiring Stanford students to become globally engaged leaders, and supporting critical research that can lead to breakthrough solutions.

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McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company helps organizations across the private, public, and social sectors create the Change that Matters most to them. From the C-suite to the front line, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations, embed technology into everything they do, and build enduring capabilities. With exceptional people in 65 countries, we combine global expertise and local insight.

We serve clients at every level of their organization, whether as a trusted advisor to top management or as a hands-on coach for front line employees. Our clients’ needs are constantly changing, so we continually seek new and better ways to serve them. To do this, we are bringing new talent into the firm, acquiring new companies, and developing new capabilities, for example, in design, analytics, and digital. Our firm is designed to operate as one global partnership united by a strong set of values, including a deep commitment to diversity, and making positive social impact through our work. No matter the challenge, we focus on delivering practical and enduring results, and equipping our clients to grow and lead.

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Africa Capital Digest

Africa Capital Digest provides news, information and marketing services to the global alternative investment community. Africa Capital Digest produces & develops digital media and live event products that help investment professionals, their advisors and other organizations selling services to the industry to keep up-to-date on the most important issues facing their industry and industry colleagues. They also provide a forum for key stakeholderse to learn from each other, network and build their businesses.

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Stanford Africa Business Club

The Africa Business Club is the student club for Stanford MBA students interested in business in Africa

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Stanford Graduate School of Business

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (also known as Stanford GSB or the GSB) is the graduate business school of Stanford University.

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Keynote Speakers


Hakeem Belo-Osagie

Chairman, Metis Capital Partners

Hakeem Belo-Osagie is an accomplished Nigerian professional and entrepreneur. He is the Chairman of Metis Capital Partners and FSDH Holding Company which includes among its holdings a merchant bank, an asset management company, a pension fund administration company, and a securities trading company. Hakeem also chairs the Board of Chocolate City Group, a leading entertainment conglomerate in Nigeria and he is the main stakeholder in and Chairman of the Board of Duval Properties Ltd, a real estate company engaged in a mixed use development in Abuja, Nigeria.

A successful entrepreneur and businessman, Mr. Belo-Osagie has been a key player in the Nigerian economy for over three decades through his participation and development of several businesses in the private sector, particularly in energy, finance, and telecommunications.

Omobola Johnson

Senior Partner, TLcom Capital and Former Nigerian Minister of Information Technology

Omobola Johnson is Senior Partner at TLcom Capital. Omobola is currently on the Board of Andela and Kobo360 and she is the Founding Chairperson and Trustee, Women in Management and Business, WIMBIZ.

Prior to joining TLcom, Omobola was Minister of Information Technology, Nigeria from 2011 to 2015, focusing on the launch and execution of the National Broadband Plan, and the support of the Nigerian technology industry. Prior to serving in the Nigerian government, she was Country Managing director at Accenture, working with companies in a variety of industries, transforming them into more competitive and dynamic organizations.


Edwin Macharia

Global Managing Partner, Dalberg Advisors

Edwin Macharia is the Global Managing Partner of Dalberg Advisors, a leading strategy and policy advisory firm with 30 locations across Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Prior to being elected to this role, he served as the firm’s Africa Regional Director. There, he was instrumental in building out the firm’s footprint, talent, and capabilities in Africa.

He has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow. He was also listed by Forbes as one of the 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa in 2015 and as one of the Top 50 Disruptors in Africa in 2020 by The Africa Report.

Fireside Chat Moderators


Nancy Kacungira

Presenter and Reporter / BBC News


Aramide Abe

Founder and CEO / NaijaStartups

SCHEDULE (All times indicated are in PDT)


This year’s forum will occur virtually. Get your tickets here.
Note that tickets will be FREE this year!

Contact Us


For all inquiries related to our forum.