MBA – 15th Annual Wharton Africa Business Conference: Nov. 9th/10th 2007

15th Annual Wharton Africa Business Conference: Nov. 9th/10th 2007

What: The Wharton Africa Business Conference: AFRICA RISING: The New Dawn of Trade and Investment (MBA student-organized event)

When: Friday, Nov. 9th, 2007 and Saturday Nov. 10th 2007.

Where: The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Jon M. Huntsman Hall and the Hilton Inn at Penn

Who: Scheduled speakers and panelists from Africa and beyond, including:

Keynote Speakers:
· Mandé Sidibé – Chairman, Ecobank
· Yibrah Tesfazghi – President & Corporate Regional Executive for Africa, GE
· Akere Muna – Vice-Chair Transparency International and Member of the African Union Audit Commission

Scheduled Panels:

The Revival of Trade and Private Investment (5 panels)
· Can Trade Blocs lead to the Emergence of competitive African economies in Finished Goods Manufacturing?
· Entrepreneurship – Success stories in African Entrepreneurship
· Capital Markets – Expanding Investors’ Appetite for African Stocks and Bonds
· Venture Capital and Private Equity – Promoting the Development of the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector in Africa
· Competing Globally in Services and Infrastructure by Adapting Proven Technologies

New Era of Public Sector Investment (5 panels)
· McKinsey Case Study : Africa Rising – Building African Lions
· Raw Materials – Managing the Scramble for Africa’s Natural Resources
· Infrastructure Development and Capacity Building – Africa’s Resolve for Substantial Investment in Major Public Projects
· Investing in the Security and the Defense of Africa – New Initiatives, Opportunities and Challenges (USAFRICOM, AU, UN, Mediterranean Union)
· Climate Change: the Imperative of an Environment Friendly Industrialization in Africa

Innovative Initiatives that are changing the Face of Africa (5 panels)
· New Partners for Africa’s Development – New Partnerships in Business and Leadership Development
· International Organizations and Africa – Exploring New Roles for Bretton Woods Institutions (IMF & World Bank)
· Africa’s fast growing film industry – Nollywood (Nigeria) Fespaco and many others
· Business Ethics – Empirical Approach to Promoting Best Practices
· OTF Group Case Study – Enterprise Solutions to Poverty: Role of Products in Prosperity Creation

Why: The rhetoric of ethnic conflicts, AIDS, and poverty in Africa, is gradually being replaced by a new theme of entrepreneurship, investment and globalization. Africa is on the move, making tangible progress on delivering better health, education and growth. Decades of stagnation are giving way to a new era with strong economic expansion registering positive growth annually since 1998. Africa is rising and its economic story is beginning to develop new chapters.

The Wharton Africa Business Forum is designed to educate participants about investment, trade and development on the African continent. It will touch upon a broad spectrum of economic issues as well as issues relating to climate change, transparency and security. Over 500 prominent dignitaries, investors, entrepreneurs, academics, students and other professionals attended this conference last year.

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