With Africa and the world facing major challenges during the pandemic, more than 500 ceos from across 37 countries in Africa and beyond met virtually on 6 August to discuss issues affecting the continent’s growth. Svai partnered with Strathmore university business school to host the first session of the CEO dialogue, themed ‘the future of work and the impact of the digital economy on africa’s growth.’
The African continent is a 1.2 billion-person market and is home to the world’s largest free-trade zone. It offers human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and to wipe out poverty in the region, enabling Africans across the continent to live healthier and more prosperous lives.
According to the world bank, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Additionally, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress made over the past decades.
The discussion was spearheaded by a team of expert panellists drawn from different sectors:
- Vincent Ogutu, vice-chancellor designate Strathmore university
- Alan Stoga, chairman of the tallberg foundation
- Cezanne Maherali, head of policy, uber-sub-Saharan Africa
- Bitange Ndemo, associate professor, university of Nairobi
- Antoine Sebera, government chief innovation officer, Rwanda
- James Wambugu for group CEO UAP group
Alan Stoga, chairman of the tallberg foundation, emphasised that Africa has a great, unused potential to grow faster in the future of work. “Africa has a unique opportunity to grow faster than any other region in the future of work, but only if the continent is willing to operate at maximum capacity. there are opportunities for growth everywhere you look in Africa, but the continent is moving very slowly; there is a need to pick up the pace,” he said.
in 2019, 60% of Africa’s population was under 25 years, making it the world’s youngest continent. Africa’s growing youth population offers enormous growth potential. Delegates at the dialogue argued that it was our collective responsibility to ensure that the benefits of development reach every African. The focus should be on education on the continent to put the youth in a better position than the previous generation.
speaking during the session, Vincent Ogutu vice-chancellor designate, Strathmore university, highlighted the education sector as one of the most critical players in the future of work.
The CEO dialogue forum is a joint initiative of the Strathmore university business school through the executive education department and shared value Africa initiative that seeks to connect leaders across Africa and provide a platform for African leaders to deliberate on the issues affecting their economies.
The second session of the CEO dialogue forum is scheduled for 3rd September 2020 with the theme ‘emerging challenges and opportunities for financial markets’. register here to participate