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Business News of Friday, 26 July 2013

Source: B&FT

All set for Vodafone ABLF Monday

All is set for the 8th edition of the Vodafone African Business Leaders Forum (ABLF) on Monday, July 29 at the plush La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.

This year’s ABLF, under the theme “Setting the Next Agenda for Africa”, is expected to bring together business leaders from across Africa to discuss and debate key issues and challenges in the region.

The Vodafone ABLF, organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT), seeks to develop leadership in Africa by providing a platform for public and private sector leaders to brainstorm and proffer solutions to development issues on the continent.

Speaking at the launch of the event last month, B&FT’s Executive Director Mrs. Edith Dankwa said this year’s ABLF “will highlight the new Africa where people are making efforts to show the bright side of the continent.

“The event will be used to show a continent where the abundant opportunities are being used as a catalyst for growth and development -- an Africa where world-class businesses are being nurtured.”

According to her, the fast-paced growth of economies in the sub-Saharan region makes the time appropriate for the region to focus on developing good leadership, which she said “holds the key to taking the continent to the next level”.

This 8th Vodafone ABLF will feature two plenary sessions with the opening session discussing “African Solutions for African problems: Creating a New Crop of Leaders to Spearhead Africa’s Growth Agenda”.

There have been discussions on how Africa’s transformation could be achieved using home-grown solutions, and this plenary will delve into what the continent needs to do to achieve this.

Also, the panelists in this session will brainstorm on the need to create a dynamic leadership and a new calibre of leaders to lead the socio-economic transformation of the continent.

The opening plenary will be comprised of high-powered dignitaries such as Prof. Kwaku-Atuahene-Gima, Executive Director, CEIBS Africa Programme; Mr. Dolapo Ogundimu, Managing Director, Access Bank; Mr. Mike Nyinaku, CEO, Beige Capital; and Prince Kofi Amoabeng, CEO, UT Bank.

Despite several breakthroughs, many women still remain marginalised and this year’s ABLF will be discussing how women can be brought into the forefront of business leadership in Africa. In the second plenary, panelists will assess several initiatives on the continent that have been pursued in the arena of female empowerment.

Members of this panel will comprise of Ms. Shika Acolatse, Country Director, Enablis Ghana; Ms. Maureen Erekua Odoi, Executive Director, AABN Foundation; and Mr. Emmanuel Doni-Kwame, Managing Director, World Trade Centre, Accra.

In between the two plenary sessions, there will be two break-away sessions which will also discuss some pertinent issues facing the continent. The first session, which will be facilitated by Prof. Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Vice-Rector Pentecost University College, will discuss what it takes to build and nurture world-class business in Africa.

Other facilitators such as Mr. Kimathi Kuenyhia, Managing Partner, Kimathi & Partners and Mr. Kwabena Agyekum, Executive Director, CIMG, will also join in discussing what the continent needs to create a favourable business climate, particularly for start-ups.

The second break-away session will also assess how the numerous talents that abound on the continent can be harnessed for growth. This session will also focus on how Africa can attract its rich human resource from the Diaspora to aid in the continent’s push.

This session will be facilitated by Mr. Albert Osei, CEO, Koko King; Mr. Kofi Bentil, Executive Director, Bentil Consulting, and Mrs. Ellen Hagan, CEO, L’aine Services Ltd.

This year’s ABLF is supported by Vodafone, the headline sponsor; Zenith Bank and ICC, which is partnering the event for the first time.

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