Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, in conjunction with the Walsh School of Foreign Service African Studies Program, hosted the third annual Georgetown Africa Business Conference, “African Value Chain: Harnessing Local Talent and Opportunity,” on Saturday, Feb. 3.
The conference showcased the growth and impact of the private sector across the African continent and facilitated conversations about opportunities to continue this success with a particular focus on the role of governance in economic growth. Leaders from across the African continent discussed the development of various industries including marketing, entertainment, energy, education, foreign policy, and entrepreneurship.
The event included a keynote presentation from the senate president of Nigeria and panel discussions with prominents guests, including ambassadors and luminaries from several sectors. A reception followed conference proceedings, rounding out the day’s festivities. Attendees included prominent businesses, government officials, nonprofits, and academia interested in learning more about business and governance in Africa.
The primary organizers of the conference were students from across the university. In addition, various diaspora groups and diaspora associations were involved in a number of capacities, particularly the Young African Professionals in the planning of the pitch competition, and Young African MBAs in the pre-conference reception.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the platform that Georgetown Africa Business Conference (GTABC) has become for discourse on business opportunities on my home continent,” said Divine Mutoni (B’18), communications chair of the conference. “The third annual conference focused on how to harness local talent and opportunity, and all the panels represented sectors that play a crucial role in doing so. A conference highlight was the Lightning Round where professionals shared the stories and aspirations of their ventures ranging from Avant Garde Network, New York City’s largest black networking group, to SenEcole, an organization dedicated to promoting science and engineering education in Africa.”
“I’ve received rave reviews regarding the rich discussions and incredible connections that took place,” said Yanique Campbell (SFS-GHD’18), co-chair of the conference. “Guests lauded the high-quality insights from panelists, particularly those with executives from Exxon Mobil, Phillips LLP, the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, and Greenlight Planet who spoke about power, energy, natural resources, and infrastructure, Also, the education panel was a crowd favorite. We are getting a lot of interest for future partnerships, which speaks to the caliber of the content and networking opportunities that the conference affords attendees.”