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5 Lavington Street
London, SE1
United Kingdom

The Business Council for Africa and Invest Africa’s flagship event, The Annual Debate 2018 returns 24th April for its forth edition. It has established itself as an important platform for everyone interested in and committed to African business.

The Annual Debate 2018 Programme

The Annual Debate 2018 Programme



The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

08:00   Registration

09.00   Welcome and Opening Remarks

Lanre Akinola, Editor, African Business (Chair of Proceedings)

Arnold Ekpe, Honorary President, Business Council for Africa  

Rob Hersov, Chairman and Founder, Invest Africa

09:30   Global Economic Overview

Presented by: Alexandre Tavazzi, Global Strategist, Pictet and Company

09:45   Debate: Africa's Role in the Global Economy

Rt. Hon Mark Simmonds, Chairman, Invest Africa - BCA Advisory Board (Moderator)

Carl Fergusson, Executive Director, Colas

Christopher Marks, Managing Director and Head of Emerging Markets, MUFG

Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman, Fairfax Africa Fund

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission on Africa (invited)

10:45  Interview: What Next for Africa's Businesses

Lanre Akinola, Editor, Africa Business

Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Group (invited)

11:15   Break

11:45   Keynote: Building New Trade Partnerships in Africa

Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, UK Department for International Trade

12:00   Debate: Inclusive Financing in Africa

Nicholas Norbrook, Editor, The Africa Report (Moderator)           

Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank Nigeria

Ana Hadjuka-Shields, Chief Executive Officer, Africa GreenCo

Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, 4G Capital

Philippe Valahu, Exeuctive Director, Private Infrastructure Development Group

13:00   Lunch

14:00   Keynote: Building New Trade Partnerships in Africa

Presented by: Atiku Abubakar, Former Vice President of Nigeria

14:15   Debate: Driving Africa's Industrialisation: Now or Never

Jean Craven, Co-Founder and CIO, Barak Fund (Moderator)

Richard Abadie, Global Infrastructure Leader & PwC UK Relationship Partner with PwC Africa, PwC

Tonye Cole, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sahara Group

Gareth Penny, Non-Executive Chairman, Norilsk Nickel

Venkataramani Srivathsan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Africa & Middle East, Olam

Geoffrey White, Chief Executive Officer, Agility Africa

15:15   Debate: The Digital Dividend: Leveraging the Power of ICT

Moderator: Moody's Investor Services

Souleymane Ba, Partner, Helios Investment Partners

Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Manager, Africa, Access and Connectivity, Facebook

Hal Hess, President, Latin America and EMEA, American Tower Corporation (invited)

Natalie Jabangwe-Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Ecocash

Rob Withagen, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Asoko Insight

Sung Yoon, CEO & President, Samsung Electronics Africa (invited)

16:10   Break

16:30   Debate: Entrepreneurship in Africa: Beyond the Hype

Manji Cheto, Business Development Manager - Africa, London Stock Exchange Group (Moderator)

Grant Brooke, Chief Executive Officer, Twiga Foods

Joel Jackson,Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Mobius Motors

James Mworia, Chief Executive Officer, Centum Investments

Ada Osakwe, Chief Executive Officer, Agrolay Ventures              

17:30   Closing Remarks

Lanre Akinola, Editor, African Business

Joe Egan, President, The Law Society

Karen Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Invest Africa - Business Council Africa

17:45   Drinks Reception 

19:00   Gala Dinner


Harriet Baldwin MP, Minister of State for Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and DFID

Guest Speaker

Rt. Hon The Lord Boateng PC DL, Baron Boateng of Akyem and Wembley

21:00   Carriages