FT Africa Summit 2019
For every problem in Africa, there are people working on solutions. The continent is bursting with innovation, entrepreneurial flair and people trying to solve problems as diverse as bad infrastructure, unbanked citizens and even weak institutions. Companies are inventing new ways of doing business, technologists are dreaming up solutions to African problems and scientists are addressing African-specific issues. Citizens are making palpable efforts to improve their societies, artists are expressing their hopes and frustrations. This conference will place a special emphasis on youth, women, entrepreneurs, scientists and artists and on fresh thinking generally. Africa’s home-made solutions are becoming more relevant as the continent takes its destiny into its own hands.
13-14 October 2019
Claridge’s, 49 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, United Kingdom
Welcome Drinks Reception
Focus on Commodities
Sub-Saharan Africa boasts several major oil producers, including Nigeria, Angola and the Republic of Congo and a number of emerging gas producers including Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana. Developing Africa’s energy endowment is key to increasing prosperity and living standards across the continent. Commodity traders have historically played a key role in Africa, helping to finance state-backed oil producers and the fuel that domestic refiners cannot supply. In this panel, industry experts discuss the outlook for energy in Africa, focusing on the challenges and opportunities in this dynamic and fast-changing market.
Opening Keynote Address
Geopolitics and Africa
For centuries Africa has been seen as a continent to exploit. Even today, many commentators tend to look at Africa as a battleground on which superpower rivalries – increasingly those of China and the US – are playing out. This year, Donald Trump, the US president, more than doubled the budget of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to $60bn with an explicit aim of combating what some in Washington describe as China’s “predatory” action on the continent. This panel will examine the true nature of those rivalries and, more importantly, seek to flip the debate. What do African countries want – and what do they not want – from their overseas investors and partners? How are they seeking to forge an international policy on their own terms?
Interview with a Leading Figure
Science and Healthcare: Africa’s Solutions
The world often fails to acknowledge the important innovations coming out of Africa. African scientists are conducting groundbreaking medical research and more money is being invested in basic research. This panel will look in more detail at some of the science coming out of Africa, including contributions from some of those doing the most inspiring work.
Case Study Presentation
Afternoon Keynote Address
Start-ups and Africa’s digital revolution
Entrepreneurs in Africa have long been aware of the potential of technology, including mobile and AI, to solve numerous problems in the real economy. The tech ecosystems in Nairobi and Lagos are already attracting international capital, but there is a flourishing startup culture all over the continent from Luanda to Cape Town to Cameroon’s Silicon River in Yaounde. The flotation of Jumia this year has brought increased attention to Africa’s digital potential. In short, awareness of the power of technology, as well as its potential pitfalls in terms of loss of privacy and abuse of social media, has never been greater in Africa. The panel will gather practitioners, thinkers and investors to thrash out the issues.
Finance & Governance
Conversation with a Leading Business Figure
Closing Keynote Address
Close of Summit