Contact Us


To receive the full agenda for The Annual Debate 2017 please complete the opposite form.



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.


Africa: The Next Chapter

As Africa enters a new phase in its development, African governments are facing decisions on how to create an attractive environment for economic growth. Commodity prices, currency fluctuations and political instability have challenged these perceptions and cast doubt in the minds of investors.  

The Annual Debate will focus on how Africa can respond to the challenges posed by global macroeconomic trends. 

Download the agenda here





13:00  WELCOME:

            Lanre Akinola, Editor, African Business (Chair)

            Arnold Ekpe, Honorary President, BCA  


13:15   KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Africa for the 21st century

            Fred Swaniker, Founder, African Leadership University


13:45   DEBATE: Africa: A continent for the 21st century?

             ·      Urbanisation: Economic boon or demographic powderkeg?

             ·      Brexit and Trump: What impact for Africa?

             ·      Governance: Stuck in a start-stop cycle?

             ·      The Youth:  Much talked about, seldom taken seriously?


             Moderator: Patrick Smith, Director of Africa Confidential and Editor of the Africa Report

  Rolake Akinkugbe, Head of Energy and Natural Resources, FBN Capital

            Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria

  Professor Thandika Mkandawire, Professor of African Development, LSE

             Dr. Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa, World Bank

             Sihle Zikalala, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs




15:15   KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Africa's Economic Outlook 2017

             Dr. Yemi Kale, Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria (NBS)


15:35   DEBATE: Finance & Investment: New realities post “Africa Rising”

             ·      Blended finance: Can it unlock the optimal funding solution?

             ·      Private equity: Has the sector already peaked?

             ·      Impact investing: Doing good, but doing well?

             ·      Forex, liquidity, fiscal policy: Who is going to provide the capital to fuel growth?                                                                                         

   Moderator: Jonathan Rosenthal, Africa Editor, The Economist

   Orli Arav, Director of Investments, Soros Economic Development Fund

             Julio Garrido-Mirapeix, Head of International Development Advisory Services, KPMG

             Joshua Oigara, Group CEO, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)

   Babatunde Temitope Soyoye, Managing Partner, Helios Investment Partners LLP 




16:35    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: “Where the future is going to be built…” Understanding Africa’s Tech Sector

             Erik Hersman, CEO, BRCK; Co-Founder, Ushahidi


16:50   DEBATE: Africa’s tech revolution: Separating fact from fiction

            ·      What is the impact of tech innovation on sectors such as energy, entertainment and retail?

  ·      Tech hubs: Are governments enabling innovative ecosystems?

            ·      How are companies trying to encourage connectivity and tackle the issue of the 'last 1,000 miles'?

             ·         How has the sector contributed to realising the African Union’s Agenda 2063 visions for female empowerment?  

             ·         Will FinTech conquer the challenges surrounding Africa’s fledgling e-commerce markets?


             Moderator: Manji Cheto, Vice President, TENEO Intelligence   

             Emeka Afigbo, Strategic Products Partnerships, Facebook (invited)                       

            Chris Baker-Brian, Co-founder and CTO, BBOXX

            Ethel Cofie, Co-founder, Women in Tech Africa, CEO and Founder, Edel Technology

  Professor Bitange Ndemo, Lecturer, University of Nairobi's Business School (invited)


17:45    SUMMARY OF THE DAY: Lanre Akinola, Editor, African Business



              sponsored by ABAX


19:15     GALA DINNER


21:30     CARRIAGES