The world’s largest gathering of the African private sector, Africa CEO Forum 2018, has kicked off in Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire.
The event which started on Monday, March 26 will run until Tuesday, March 27, 2018, with an award ceremony.
With its chosen theme, “African Champions: Powering Competitiveness”, the AFRICA CEO FORUM 2018 aims to enable its participants to formulate action plans for the transformation of the continent’s large companies.
The forum is expected to have more than 1,200 key figures and decision makers from industry, finance, and politics from 60 countries in attendance.
Wale Tinubu, group chief executive, Oando PLC alongside other executives from the company; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Abudulsalam Rabiu, chairman and chief executive officer, BUA Group; Akinwunmi Adesina, President, Africa Development Bank and Akin Dawodu, chief executive officer, Citi Nigeria and Nigerian participants who are expected to share their experiences and the Nigerian perspective at the two-day event.
Leaders of economies including George Weah, President, Liberia; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President, Zimbabwe; Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana will be speaking at the ‘Doing Business’ in their specific countries sessions designed to give deeper insights into doing business in the various countries they govern.
In his open remarks, the Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government is ready to eliminate all forms of investment restrictions and open for business as Zimbabwe is ready to contribute to food security in Africa.
“We stand ready to share our knowledge. Zimbabwe is now open for business as its strategies to build a new and prosperous country. Together we can build our great continent. Let us be listening presidents.
“We would like to take a place in the family of nations. I invite you to come invest in Zimbabwe, we would like to increase gender equality in leadership positions. My government will strive to eliminate all investment restrictions.”
“There is an increasing need to expand our ICT infrastructure to adapt to the world today.
“Our country can contribute to food security on our continent,” Mnangagwa concluded.
Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaian president, in his welcome speech, said Africa is home to the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment.
“With Africa’s population set to reach 2 billion in 20 years time, there are many opportunities to bring prosperity to our continent through hard work and innovation. We have the youngest, most vibrant population of any of the regions of the world.”
In its sixth consecutive year, the Forum will also award African executives whose strategies and performance have contributed most to the momentum of Africa’s growth over the past year.
The shortlisted top executives for the Africa CEO award are Jim Ovia founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc and Abdulsamad Rabiu, Founder and Chairman, BUA Group.
Others are James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank, Mohamed El-Kettani, CEO, Attijariwafa Bank, Kate Kanyi Tometi Fotso, CEO, Telcar Cocoa, Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman, Econet Group and Nadia Fettah, MD, Saham Finances.