Africa Business Summit charts new heights

Africa is in the spotlight as the world’s next big growth market.
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It now boasts a population of 1.2 billion, $1.4 trillion (£1.08trillion) in consumer spending and six of the 10 top fastest growing economies. It’s also home to 438 companies turning over more than $1 billion each year. Despite this, growing business on the continent is not without its challenges, so how can all the potential be unlocked?

Business leaders, investors, government officials and entrepreneurs gathered at London Business School’s Africa Business Summit to explore how critical obstacles can be overcome and learn what it takes to succeed on the continent.

Keynote addresses in London’s Landmark Hotel on 27 April included Dr Acha Leke, chairman of McKinsey Africa, Peter Moyo, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, and Rwandan Trade and Industry Minister, Soraya Hakuziyaremye. Breakout and panels sessions ranged across manufacturing, agriculture and retail, to ways of unlocking private equity opportunities.

The event incorporated the second ACCEL awards, to celebrate budding entrepreneurs from the region. The winner, Jetstream, makes it easier for African suppliers to physically move their products to buyers in international markets. Co-founder Miishe Addy received the award after her successful pitch, beating off competition from two other finalists and more than 600 applicants.

The Africa Business Summit, now in its 18th year, is produced by students of the LBS Africa Club.