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.
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.”
Seed is a Stanford GSB-led initiative that’s working to end the cycle of global poverty.
Seed is training business leaders in developing economies, inspiring Stanford students to b
ecome globally engaged leaders, and supporting critical research that can lead to breakthrough solutions.
Africa Capital Digest is a brand owned and operated by Rowayton Press, LLC, a business-to-business media company registered in the State of Connecticut that provides news, information and marketing services to the global alternative investment community. The company produces and 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, as well as providing forums in which they can learn from each other and network to help build their businesses.
This year’s forum will occur virtually. Get your tickets here.
Note that tickets will be FREE this year!
For all inquiries related to our forum.
The Africa Business Forum At Stanford 2021
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.