MBA – Welcome to the 16th Annual Wharton Africa Business Forum
The Wharton Africa Business Forum (WABF) is an integral component of the Wharton Global Business Forum, the pre-eminent business school event addressing the major economic, social and political trends affecting Africa, Asia, Europe, India and Latin America. Nearly 1,600 participants from around the world converge at Wharton annually to drive discussions on business issues and developments around the globe.
In its 16th year, WABF is expected to bring together nearly six hundred business leaders, policy makers, investors, professionals, academics, and students with a keen interest in Africa. The theme of the 2008 WABF is:
"Catalyst: Taking Africa from Promise to Power"
This year’s forum will address the urgent issue of what the current generation of Africans can do now in order to participate in Africa’s emergence as a global economic powerhouse, both in the African Diaspora and on the international stage. The 2008 WABF seeks to entice the emerging generation of young Africans who have been incited to action, motivated by the dawn of change, and are ready to act as a catalyst in realizing Africa’s promise.
We can no longer wait. We are intellectually gifted, starved for change, and passionate about becoming the solutions to the challenges Africa continues to face.
We will identify, create, and explore tangible and actionable opportunities through dialogue with captivating keynote speakers, an innovative array of panels, an international career fair, and our pioneering Wharton Africa Business Plan Competition which will provide valuable start-up capital as well as mentorship from esteemed leaders in private equity and venture capital.
We look forward to having you as our guest at the 2008 Wharton Africa Business Forum in Philadelphia, PA. Without the support of our corporate sponsors, partners, and conference participants this event simply would not be possible.
Chioma Duru Co-Chair
David Kakembo Co-Chair
Date: Saturday November 15, 2008
Time: All Day
How to capitalize on the opportunity to incorporate environmentally sound and socially supportive practices in the development process.
This panel will look at environmentally sound and sustainable development trends across the globe and adoption trends in Africa. Additionally, panelists will dissect the economic and social rationale for supporting environmentally sound and sustainable development. The role of facilitators such as governments and development partners is essential to success in this endeavor and will be discussed in detail as well.
Alain Ebobisse, Principal Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation
Prof. John Keenan, Professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Stephen Satterfield, Founder, International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW)
Prof. Joseph S. Sun, Director of Academic Affairs, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania
Curtis Valentine, Senior Program Officer and Governance Specialist, World Vision U.S.
Unleashing the Entrepreneur/ Developing Domestic Markets
Re-defining the role of government in the development and policy-making process in order to become an active agent for economic growth. What can and has been done to encourage the development of domestic and regional markets for trade and commerce? How can unique African attributes be leveraged?
This panel will try to analyze the drivers of success for the African entrepreneur and possible mitigating factors to this success. A case study of a successful entrepreneur will be presented, highlighting the challenges and successes inherent in proceeding down this path. The panel will then focus on analyzing the role of domestic and regional markets for trade and commerce in entrepreneurship. The panel will also discuss the accessibility and viability of various financing sources such as microfinance, debt and equity markets to entrepreneurs.
Toks Abimbola , Founding Partner, Shoreline Energy International
IbukunOluwa Awosika, Founder & Managing Director, The Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd
Doughba H. Caranda-Martin, Founder & CEO – Caranda Fine Foods
Rob Henning, Manager, OTF Group
Judith McHale, Managing Partner – Global Environment Fund / Africa Growth Fund
Investing in Africa: Seizing the Opportunities and Mitigating Risks
An analysis of case studies in actual recent executed transactions on the continent. "Blow by blow" details of successes and challenges from the real-life protagonists.
Over the last few years, the African continent has witnessed unprecedented growth in Private Equity fundraising. The level of activity is however nowhere near other emerging markets like China and India. Some market observers expect a quick relative catch-up of the African Private Equity industry, others are more skeptical and think that the region has a long way to go. This panel will bring together leading investors in the continent to discuss the issues and opportunities of investing in Africa and share their views on the outlook of the industry and what it takes to sustain and exceed its current growth.
Kayode Akinola, VP, Helios Investment Partners
Carolyn Campbell, Managing Director & General Counsel, Emerging Capital Partners
Arjuna Costa, Investment Professional, The Rohatyn Group
Idris Mohammed, Founding Partner, Development Partners International
Vincent Rague, CIO, International Finance Corporation
Credit Markets and Funding Sources
An exploration of the steps being taken to deepen African debt markets and build an African yield curve. What are the opportunities and how should they be exploited?
With the influx of capital to emerging markets, African capital markets have witnessed great developmental strides over the past decade. Equity capital markets were the main beneficiaries of the rising investment inflows into Africa. This is evidenced by Africa’s equity capitalization, which recently surged to over 60 percent of GDP while Debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 12%. In spite of its enormous potential for users and providers of capital, debt capital markets have remained relatively underdeveloped. Recently, the growth of pension assets in most African countries is forcing securities’ issuers to consider debt markets as investors demand more than plain equity investment opportunities. This panel will examine the opportunities for growth and will discuss issues affecting African debt capital markets. The potential effect of the Global Credit Crisis will also be examined. Our panelists, who are respected players in the African capital markets, will provide in-depth insight into these issues.
Abiodun "Abi" Adisa, President and Managing Partner, Oridun Capital Management
Prof. Franklin Allen, Nippon Life Professor of Finance, Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
Kofi Arkaah, Managing Partner, Ark Partners (Ghana) Limited
Sonnie Ayere, CEO, UBA Global Capital Markets
Kevin Colglazier, Chief Investment Officer, Standard Asset Management
Otu Hughes, COO, Oceanic Capital Company Limited
Agriculture and Agribusiness
A look into the exploitation of opportunities in the agricultural space. How can African farmers and entrepreneurs capitalize on the current Agri-boom?
This Panel will explore the current opportunities and challenges of agriculture on the African continent. Key to the discussion will be the implications of augmenting the productivity levels and market access for African farms. Access to capital, improvements of inputs , value chain investments (e.g. transportation, storage facilities) and expanded export opportunities will be discussed in the light of their impact on alleviating poverty in Africa and global food price escalation. Additionally, the panel will cover opportunities for investors to play a critical role in providing much needed capital to the industry and how profits can be achieved by investing in Africa’s Green Revolution.
Marlene Gummo, International Program Manager, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Amanda Hilligas, Director of Trade Competitiveness, Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub
Dawn Hines, Co-Founder & Partner, Aventura Investment Partners
Lloyd Le Page, Manager, Pioneer Sustainable Agriculture and Development, DuPont
What is the appropriate role of new foreign partners such as China, India, Japan, Singapore and the multilateral/supranational organizations in the African development story?
The huge growth potential in different markets in Africa has made the continent an attractive target for global investors. Perhaps most interesting are the investors from Asian countries, who have demonstrated high awareness of Africa’s potential and seek a large number of partnerships. It is important to focus on making these partnerships lucrative to both sides in order to sustain a mutually beneficial relationship. This panel will facilitate a discussion that attempts to identify what needs to be done by governments, individual investors, and entrepreneurs to capitalize on the opportunities available in Africa. It is essential to ensure that these partnerships channel their efforts and funds not only towards financial gain, but also towards the development of Africa.
Magdi Amin, Strategist and Senior Economist, East Asia and Pacific Region, IFC
Lee Cassanelli, Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Thomas C. Gibson, Founder, Small Enterprise Assistance Funds
Cosmas Gitta, Chief, Division for Policy, Special Unit for South-South Cooperation, UNDP
Rob Henning, Manager, OTF Group
Going Home: Afro-politans, Expatriates and the Diasporic Resource
An exploration of how African expatriates have participated in the African renaissance. What are the opportunities and challenges of "going home"? How can Africa leverage this resource? Does the current African renaissance present an opportunity to re-constitute the African family (African-Americans, Caribbeans, Afro-Latinos, etc)? What role can they play?
Africa has entered the 21st century with renewed hope and vigor and is experiencing a period of impressive economic growth and relative stability. The African continent is pulling together to confront challenges and achieve cultural and economic renewal. This special moment in Africa’s history has acted as beacon, beckoning many from the Diaspora home again. Many see natural synergies between the managerial and corporate experience and expertise of those who have spent their time throughout the Diaspora and the plentiful opportunities for commerce and trade on the continent. How have African expatriates and Americans, Europeans, Caribbeans and Latinos of African descent participated in the African renaissance? What challenges and opportunities face folks intent on "going home" and how can Africa best leverage this resource? What opportunities exist for those of us contemplating being a part of the greatest business opportunity for Africans in modern history?
Akinola Ayoola, Group Head of Human Resources, Oando Plc
Tokunbo Chiedu, CEO, Compass Consulting UK Ltd
Pamela Jolly, Founder & CEO, Torch Enterprises
Zemedeneh Negatu, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young Ethiopia
Exploiting the opportunity of 1 billion eyeballs. How can African entrepreneurs capitalize on creating media content for African tastes. Are there opportunities abroad to service the expatriate community?
This Panel will discuss the opportunity to capitalize on the one billion eyeballs across the continent. It will begin by drawing insights on the industry and major developments over the last decade. Recognizing that funding is essential for growth, the panel will discuss what steps the industry is taking to present itself as an attractive and viable investment opportunity to potential investors on the continent and abroad. It will explore how the African media industry is redefining itself within an ever changing business environment, a new generation of consumers and the growing impact of foreign media. It will discuss the areas with the most anticipated growth and examine the opportunities that exist on the horizon. Finally, it will also address how African businesses and entrepreneurs can efficiently utilize the media to increase profitability.
Chantelle Abdul, Executive Producer, The Apprentice Africa
Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman, Silverbird Group
Mark Walton, Executive Vice President for Sponsorship and Corporate Development , The Africa Channel