Africa CEO Forum 2023 to help shape Africa’s response to string of global crises


…comes off on June 5-6 June in Abidjan

Is Africa doomed to look on as global crises affect it disproportionately, or can the continent’s private and public sector leaders respond in unison? Attendees will be seeking to answer this very question at the 2023 edition of the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit, to be held on 5 and 6 June in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Against a backdrop of global uncertainty and proliferating crises – this year more than ever before, the need to build self-sustaining, resilient and prosperous African economies will be a priority for those attending Africa’s largest annual private sector gathering.

More than 1,800 business and government leaders are expected to engage in discussions focused on two major challenges facing the continent as it strives to regain its economic sovereignty at a time of crisis and fierce global competition.

The first is a return of the state as a strategic actor in identifying and nurturing the continent’s major growth priorities, so it can capture a greater share of global value chains. The second is the empowerment and scaling of African companies as the primary means of strengthening African economies.

This year’s theme, ‘Navigating the crises – From 300 to 3000: How to deliver the next generation of African champions’, reflects the Africa CEO Forum’s commitment to promoting and helping shape public policies that are conducive to a new and emerging generation of African companies with billion-dollar turnovers. The growth in number and size of African champions is crucial to minimising the impact of foreign crises on the continent’s markets.

To tackle this ambitious objective, the Africa CEO Forum will convene the continent’s key stakeholders who are capable of turning crisis into opportunity for Africa. These business and government leaders will also focus on key topic areas: how to ensure a fair energy transition; the local impact of mining and agribusiness; the need for a unified African voice on major global issues; and how companies can adapt to the inflation crisis. All major sectors will be represented, with several sessions dedicated to women leaders, family businesses and start-ups. Some 50 innovative companies that have collectively raised more than US$1billion dollars are expected.

“The ongoing state of crisis we are facing emphasises the need for an economic climate that is conducive to the emergence of a new generation of African champions. These champions are symbols of resilience and innovation in key sectors – from agri-food to energy, to artificial intelligence.

“From 300 champions today, we believe that this number should be increased to 3,000 to truly transform the continent. Giving voice to a proud and sovereign Africa on the international scene, through the creation of public-private synergies, is once again at the heart of our mission,” said Amir Ben Yahmed, President-Africa CEO Forum and CEO-Jeune Afrique Media Group.

“Africa has the capacity and commitment to emerge stronger from the spate of global economic challenges. Achieving this will require cooperation and collaboration between Africa’s private and public sectors. IFC will continue to champion Africa and help leverage the continent’s strengths to fight climate change, boost food security, and drive sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.  

Following its return to an in-person format in 2022, the Africa CEO Forum 2023 will welcome many special guests. Among those confirmed are: Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire; Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal; Aziz Akhannouch, Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco; and Alain Claude Bilie-By-Nze, Prime Minister of The Republic of Gabon.

Others include Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the IFC (World Bank Group); Claudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI; Portia Derby, CEO of Transnet; Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Massmart Holdings; Delphine Traoré, Regional CEO of Allianz Africa; and Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation.

The rest are Hassanein Hiridjee, CEO of Axian Group; Karim Beguir, CEO of InstaDeep; Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa; Hardy Pemhiwa, CEO of Cassava Technologies; Richard Bielle, Chairman and CEO of CFAO Group; and Jacques Vermeulen, CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, as well as many other decision-makers from all over Africa and around the world.

The Africa CEO Forum brings together CEOs, international investors and African governments throughout the year. Each year, its annual summit – co-hosted with the International Finance Corporation – convenes over 1,800 decision-makers, including 900 CEOs.

Featuring strategic roundtables, expert panel discussions, exclusive interviews with CEOs and high-level working groups, the Africa CEO Forum 2023 will offer innovative sessions that allow participants to put forward solutions which can fast-track the emergence of next-generation African champions. The event’s WebTV – accessible via the Internet and social networks, will provide an opportunity for all Africans who cannot attend the Summit to watch the most important sessions and enjoy other exclusive content.

Founded in 2012, the Africa CEO Forum is the leading platform for CEOs of the largest African and multinational companies, investors, heads of state, ministers and representatives of the main financial institutions active on the continent.

Undoubtedly the place of high-level meetings, experience-sharing and deciphering trends affecting the business world, the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit aims to propose concrete and innovative solutions for moving the continent and its businesses forward. The Africa CEO Forum was created by Jeune Afrique Media Group and is co-hosted by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

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