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Business of Africa Conference

Over the past 15 years, Africa has ranked as the second-fastest growing region in the world after Southeast Asia, with per capita incomes having grown twice as fast as the global average from 2002 to 2017.   However, when it comes to doing business on the continent, context matters. Understanding the drivers, dividers, diversions, distractions and complexity that make up this continent, is key to building stronger businesses, implementing more effective policies and developing paths to prosperity for our companies and countries. 

This conference sets out to explore, understand and interpret these complexities.


  • Africa's Credit Markets: A Firm Footing for Growth?
  • Reward Versus Risk: The Economics of Doing Business in Africa;
  • Ease of Doing Business: African Continental Free Trade Area (AdCFTA) and the Fall of African Trade Barriers;
  • Africa’s Digital Revolution: Technologies, Trends and the People Driving them;
  • Africa's Potential: The Economic 'Six-Pack' of Long Term Prosperity;
  • China in Africa: Truth and Tall Tales;
  • Reaping the Benefits of Global Value Chains: New Avenues, New Models and New Markets for Africa;
  • FDI Sweet Spots: Gaining Market Access;
  • Assessing, Analysing and Prioritising Markets in Africa;
  • Investing in African Companies: unpacking the success of companies like: SoGB (Côte d 'Ivoire) Attijariwafa Bank and Maroc Telecom (Morocco), Cavertone Offshore Support Group and Dangote Cement (Nigeria), Equity Bank and Safaricom (Kenya) and Lafarge Cements (Zambia), Bank of Kigali (Rwanda) and Umeme (Uganda); and

  • Country Success Case Studies: Lessons from Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya.

In 2018 Rwanda will add to its record of 23 years of economic growth without interruption at an annual average rate of 9.3%. The ease of doing business in Kenya will continue to improve, helping the country add to the 49 places it has gained in the World Bank Ratings since 2014, in moving from 129th place to 80th place. And Ethiopia’s location gives it strategic dominance as a jump-off point in the Horn of Africa, with Ethiopian Airlines connecting to 58 destinations in Africa, and more than 100 cities in five continents globally. 

Speakers confirmed to date:

Sylvia Chahonyo (opening keynote address), head, relationship management, Africa; general manager, South Africa, Moody's Investors Service;

Norman Moyo, group executive Econet;

Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse, chairman, SOFTtribe;

Professor Adrian Saville, director, Centre for African Management and Markets (CAMM), GIBS;

Ronak Gopaldas, director, Signal Risk;

Liepollo Lebohang Pheko, senior research fellow, Trade Collective Think Tank and managing director, Four Rivers Analysts;

Dianna Games, chief executive, Africa @ work, executive director, South Africa-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce;

John Ashbourne, senior emerging markets capitalist, Capital Economics;

Jesmane Boggenpoel, director, African Women Chartered Accountants Investment Holdings and former head of business engagement Africa for WEF;

Schalk Barnard, business development leader Africa, EY;

Lyndsey Duff, country manager, what3words;

Celeste Fauconnier, Africa analyst, Rand Merchant Bank;

Raymond De Villiers, keynote speaker & consultant, The Future of Money and Digital Disruption

Dexter Mahachi, African research specialist; 

Andrew Schultz, frontier markets, Investec Africa Securities; and

Kobus van der Wath (closing address), founder, & Axis Group International and managing director, The Beijing Axis.

Please click here for programme

Discount rate: Receive a 20% discount with group bookings of five or more.

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  • Professor Adrian Saville

    Adrian Saville’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (cum laude), M.Com (cum laude) and PhD (Economics), which he completed at the University of Natal in 1997 and for which he was awarded the Economics Society of South Africa’s Founders Medal.  He is a UNESCO laureate and a matriculant of Linacre College (Oxford).  He has completed programmes in value investing and competitive strategy at New York’s Columbia University and Harvard Business School in Boston.

    In 1994, while completing his doctorate in economics, Adrian formed an investment vehicle which became the forerunner to Cannon Asset Managers which he founded in 1998.  In 2017 Bidvest Financial Services acquired Cannon Asset Managers. Today Adrian serves as Chief Executive at Cannon Asset Managers.

    Adrian has experience in managing all the major asset classes and has successfully combined teaching and business, having lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Pretoria, London School of Business, Kelley School of Business, Rotterdam School of Management and the Estonian Business School.  He has held a Professorship of Economics, Finance & Strategy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) since 2003, where he teaches in the fields of macroeconomics, investment finance and strategy.  Adrian has received the Excellence in Teaching Award at GIBS one ten occasions since 2007.  In 2012 he was nominated for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Business Professor of the Year Award and in 2014 he received the Central and East European Management Development Association award in teaching excellence.  Adrian’s successful career has encompassed consulting widely to government and the corporate world, including serving as an economic consultant to Visa South Africa. He has presented to global audiences in many destinations, including Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Estonia, France, India, Japan, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, United Kington, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe

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