Leading African businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu; Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Graca Machel, former first lady of Mozambique and widow of Nelson Mandela; Phillipe le Houerou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation and Tarek Sultan Al Esso, CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board Agility have been slated to co-chair the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa.
The event will be held from 11th-13th May, 2016 for the first time ever in Kigali, Rwanda.
This year’s event themed “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation” will witness regional and global leaders in business, government and civil society convene in the East African country to discuss digital economy, key global and regional challenges, and agree on strategic actions to deliver shared prosperity across the continent.
The president of the African Development Bank, Adesina is an Agricultural economist and immediate past president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.
He will be on the chair alongside a fellow Nigerian, Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Chairman of pan-African investment conglomerates, Heirs Holdings, Transcorp Nigeria and the multinational United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc.
Elumelu is a longstanding stakeholder in WEF, having participated at a high level for several years at the fora in Davos, Switzerland and within Africa.
At an interview on CNBC aired last Friday, Elumelu unveiled his plans for his role as chairman of WEF Africa In Kigali stating that he will draw from his wealth of experience as a serial investor and renowned businessman with stakes in major sectors of Africa’s economic landscape to speak on harnessing the continent’s potential for digital transformation.
“Africa is bursting at the seams with homegrown solutions and digital resources that can power its transformation”, says Mr. Elumelu. “We need to critically examine these solutions and galvanize support for immediate implementation. I am happy that WEF Africa provides a perfect opportunity for business leaders like myself to do this.”
The co chairs will sit on several panels at the forum discussing issues ranging from Energy to transportation as they affect the African economies.
Also attending the WEF Africa this year are 14 Heads of states from across the African continent.