The 4th Africa CEO Forum – meeting place for entrepreneurs, decision-makers and financiers from the African private sector – takes place on 21-22 March 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
It is the first time that the event has been held on the continent, in the city where the African Development Bank, a key and historic partner in the Forum, has its headquarters. It is an important choice, as underlined by the founder and President of the Africa CEO Forum, Amir Ben Yahmed. “We have chosen a country and a region that is showing clear signs of robust economic development. The fact that the African Development Bank is based there – our partner since the first edition – was a further contributing factor.”
This year’s Africa CEO Forum will feature the Bank’s five top priorities (the High 5s) which are designed to sharpen the focus of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy. They are: light up and power Africa; feed Africa; industrialise Africa; integrate Africa; improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
“The High 5s are a bold initiative that require a collective effort and collaboration between the African Development Bank and the private sector”, says Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, who will open the ceremony alongside d’Amir Ben Yahmed. “I look forward to working closely with private sector leaders to deliver on the High 5s.” The President of the Bank is convinced that the private sector is a key vector for growth in Africa.
As well as the President of the AfDB, Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, will be present.
The Africa CEO Forum aims to be a marketplace for exchange on the development challenges for African business, within the context of global competition. It is also a place for meeting and networking. It seeks to advance the economic transformation of Africa, establishing the African private sector as the motor of African growth and the creator of added value.
As well as plenary sessions, round-tables and other workshops, the 2016 Forum will see the establishment of ‘Deal Rooms’, offering business people and investors the opportunity to identify new partners and to share the experiences and best practice of their respective sectors.
The theme of this year’s Forum is ‘New Realities, New Priorities’.
The Forum will also present the findings of the Visa Openness Index, a report which was developed in partnership with McKinsey & Company and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Africa.
More than 800 key players from the African private sector and worldwide, of whom 500 are CEOs, have confirmed their attendance at the event, which is organised jointly by Groupe Jeune Afrique, the AfDB and Rainbow Unlimited.
Since its inception in 2012 in Geneva, the Africa CEO Forum has attracted the participation of more than 1300 private sector companies.