Each year, Columbia University's Business School and School of International and Public Affairs come together for the annual Africa Economic Forum (AEF). This year marks the university's 18th conference scheduled for Friday, April 22nd and Saturday, April 23rd. The event takes place at the new Manhattanville campus and will be the first AEF in-person conference after a 3-year virtual format due to the pandemic.
With the theme – “Africa today and tomorrow: accelerating the growth of an economic and cultural powerhouse,” the event aims to bring together national and international guests to discuss solutions, tailored strategies, and explore untapped opportunities needed to meet Africa’s 21st century economic needs. Event topics include fintech, private equity, youth empowerment, healthcare, the entertainment industry, and others.
“What makes AEF unique is the quality and diversity of top talent it brings together to foster productive dialogue about the future of Africa," said Brighton Kaoma, the Youth Programs Global Director for the United Nation's Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a speaker on the Youth Empowerment panel. "There's no place I'd rather be than among a group of committed leaders who care about building partnerships for Africa’s shared prosperity.”
Abdul Karim, the founder and CEO of the Afrochella festival and a speaker on the music and entertainment panel, said the only way to continue the progress made in support of creatives on the continent is to continue discovering areas for improvements while highlighting the progress achieved so far. "I look forward to a robust discussion alongside legendary industry players like Juls and Asa," he said.
This year's keynote speakers include Ralph Mupita, the President and CEO of MTN Group, Jeffrey D. Sachs, a widely recognized economics professor with a passion for sustainable development growth, and Edward Effah, the Board Chairman of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Limited. The goal of the annual two-day event is to help attendees developed their business capacity, enlarged their professional network, and conceived a renewed sense of hope and commitment toward the growth and development of Africa.