Global Development's Frontier 100 Forum focuses on growth in Africa

The Global Development's Frontier 100 Forum in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 focused on the rapid growth of Africa's private sector and the continent's new role as the home to several leading companies.

The theme for the invitation-only event was “African Business in the World-Class Space."

"Today, Africa’s private sector is poised to become a major force for growth on the continent," Mima Nedelcovych, IGD president and CEO, said.
The forum's keynote speaker was Solomon Asamoah, African Development Bank’s vice president of infrastructure, private sector and regional integration.

"We need more transparency in government decisions. Corruption happens in darkness. Shining a light on it can help end the problem,” Asamoah said.  

Also addressed was the need for better transportation services for imports and exports. Abdu Mukhtar, chief strategist for the Dangote Group, said his company often deals with transportation and logistical glitches in transporting goods by road throughout Africa.

“Africa is a land of several pieces; not all of it is perfect,” Demba Ba, senior adviser of the World Bank’s MENA vice presidency, said.

In addition, many panelists spoke of the need for modern technology on the continent.

"The future of growth is coming from Africa, and it’s mobile,” Stephen Kehoe, senior vice-president and head of global financial inclusion at Visa, said.

Heather Kulp, deputy director of the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI) Foundation, urged companies to share their knowledge with one another.

"What we’re talking about at NDPI is shared value," she said. "How do we create systems where both business and communities benefit?”

Organizations in this Story

Initiative for Global Development

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