Unstoppable Africa, a two-day forum organized by the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI), brought together presidents, governors, business leaders, investors, athletes, United Nations delegates, musicians, and more -- fostering connections and inspiring solutions that promote the private sector's role in propelling sustainable economic growth in Africa.
Occurring during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) week, the exclusive event took place on September 21st and 22nd in New York City. It commenced with a performance by Senegalese guitarist, Baaba Maal, followed by remarks from United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Antonio Guterres. Attendees also witnessed the signing of a digital transformation partnership between Google and the African Development Bank.
Across both days, panel discussions covered topics about reshaping Africa's financial system, the impact AI has on trade in Africa, green growth and climate solutions for the continent, clean energy development, the future of intelligent healthcare in Africa, the role of sports in job creation, African fashion, among others. Additionally, on the first day, influential leaders gathered for a gala dinner at Manhattan's upscale venue, Cipriani 42nd St., providing another opportunity for partnerships to unfold. Prominent leaders attended the gala including Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, Nigerian businessmen, Tony Eleumelu, Abdul Samad Rabiu, and Dr. Umaru Kwairanga, New York Mayor, Eric Adams, among others.
“Events like this are important for Africa because they give people a chance to discuss and share ideas from many different sectors and viewpoints," said Dr. Uzodinma Iweala, the CEO of the Africa Center. "Without that dialog, without that coalescence of different fields and people who are doing different things in different parts of the continent and sectors, we wouldn't be able to move our continent forward.”
Peace Hyde, the creator of the Netflix original TV series, 'Young, Famous & African,' expressed excitement about the promising opportunities emerging from the event. “I've witnessed some incredible deals being struck so I'm excited about what the future holds moving forward and I think it's a privilege to be a part of this," she said.
Panels such as Unleashing Data's Powerhouse for Africa's Digital Transformation, also explored how advanced technologies like AI, blockchain, and ESG investments are shaping a sustainable future. Panelists encouraged young people to join the tech revolution and underscored Africa's demographic significance on the global stage.
"From the data points, one in three people by 2050, who are going to be of working age, are going to be in Africa," said Charles Murito, Google's Sub Saharan Africa, Government Affairs & Public Policy Regional Director. "One in four people in the world by 2050, are going to be in Africa. The numbers speak for itself."
Not only did Unstoppable Africa emphasize Africa's unstoppable trajectory, it affirmed the importance of a collective effort. Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora & Foreign Relations put it best: “Africa is unstoppable, but individually, we can only achieve little. So, such an event on Africa, organized by the UN, organized by passionate people who are passionate about Africa can only be good for our continent as a whole," he said. "So thumbs up and lets keep moving."
Watch AfroVibes' Unstoppable Africa 2023 full recap video below.