The 6th edition of the Africa Business Conference, hosted by Lagos Business School and facilitated by the Africa Business Club, held at the Honeywell auditorium on Saturday, March 10, 2018. The Africa Business Conference is an annual event where business leaders and policymakers discuss possible strategies that could spur growth in the continent.
Themed Opportunity Realisation in Africa, this year’s conference was an avenue to facilitate interaction between industry regulators and players to identify opportunities within specific industries collectively. It was also a platform for entrepreneurs to connect with development organisations and learn crucial success factors.
Former Vice President of World Bank, Dr Oby Ezekwesili delivered the keynote speech at the event. She spoke extensively about the role of dynamic public policy and leadership in rebuilding Africa, pointing out the significance of good governance in building successful businesses. Highlighting the potential for growth in Africa, Dr Ezekwesili said, “Every 1 percent growth in the economies of South Africa and Nigeria can trigger a 0.5 percent growth in the rest of the continent”.
The conference later broke into panel sessions where participants interacted with leaders in the Finance and Fin-Tech, Technology in Africa, Fashion and Entertainment, Manufacturing and Supply Chain industries.
At the Technology in Africa panel, Seni Sulyman, Country Director at Andela Nigeria, touched on significant improvements in the technology sector in Nigeria. He said, “Technology in Nigeria in the next 15 years will be really advanced. Technological innovation will change the way we do everything and it will cut across every sector, from health to transportation”.
Advancing the conversation, Founder of Cc-Hub, Bosun Tijani said, “For technology to work in Nigeria, you need to look at the entire value chain. The bottleneck you find is where you need to innovate”. He also urged tech entrepreneurs to create products that solve real problems.
One of the participants in the Finance and Fin-Tech panel, Peter Ndukwe said he picked lessons from Zedcrest Capital’s Adedayo Amzat who noted that contrary to popular opinion, financial technology is not the big solution to Africa’s problem but would drive change.
Speaking after the event, second-year MBA student and co-chair, Khalid Oluyade said a feedback mechanism had been put in place that will allow participants share their opinion on the conference and suggest ways of improving subsequent ones.
The conference closed with a networking session where panelists and participants engaged in further interaction over lunch.