Current Date: 28 May, 2024

Harvard Africa Business Conference 2024

Overview of the Harvard Africa Business Conference 

The 26th Annual Harvard Africa Business Conference held in February 2024 took place on the 16th and 17th at Harvard Business School. 

The conference featured a variety of keynote addresses, over 25 panel discussions on specific sectors, a New Venture Competition, networking events, and a celebratory soiree. 

The theme for the 26th annual conference was "Africa Forward: Competing in a Global Era”

The Business Conference Agenda Highlights 

Day 1 (Friday, February 16, 2024)

  • Prospective Student Events: Informative sessions, welcome remarks, class visits, and campus tours.
  • Keynote Addresses: Insights from industry leaders on Africa’s opportunities.
  • Networking Events: Connect with other attendees and VIPs.
  • New Venture Competition (NVC) Finalist Reveal: Ten finalists pitch their ideas for funding.

Day 2 (Saturday, February 17, 2024)

  • Over 25 panel sessions covering various industries and topics.
  • Career Fair: Explore career opportunities.
  • NVC Awards & Presentations: Winners receive up to $55,000 in prize money.
  • Soiree: An evening celebration to conclude the event.

Notable Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

The 26th edition of the Harvard Africa Business Conference featured a diverse lineup of speakers, moderators, and panelists from across the world with 25 engaging panel sessions and additional keynote sessions. 

Here are few speakers, moderators and panelists and highlights from their sessions:

Jeremy Awori

CEO of Ecobank Group, highlighted the challenges and progress in Africa’s financial sector, focusing on the critical need to reduce capital costs and improve credit accessibility to boost the continent’s competitiveness.

Fola Fagbule

Deputy Director at AFC, delivered a keynote on “One Africa, One Market,” discussing the AfCFTA’s role in making Africa a global trade powerhouse by creating a market with a 1.3 billion population and a $3.4 trillion GDP. 

He emphasized the private sector’s role in leveraging this agreement for Africa’s economic transformation and global competitiveness.

Malikat Rufai, 

A seasoned Foreign Service Officer, spoke on the panel “Leveraging the Diaspora” at the Harvard Africa Business Conference. 

She discussed the economic impact of African cultural movements on the global stage, focusing on their influence on diaspora relations and potential to drive engagement and investment in Africa.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Renowned writer and speaker, addressed the Harvard Africa Business Conference on “Redefining the African Narrative.” 

She explored the social and economic evolution of African nations and their global impact, focusing on innovation, cultural influence, and gender equality.

Mayowa Kuyoro

A partner at McKinsey Nigeria, led a fireside chat on “Reimagining the Africa Growth Story,” discussing Africa’s economic potential and strategies for leveraging its human capital and natural resources to revitalize growth and enhance global welfare.

Mamello Selamolela

A BCG partner and former Vodacom executive, discussed Africa’s digital transformation at the Harvard Africa Business Conference. 

She highlighted the continent’s growing online presence and the role of digital infrastructure in spurring innovation and economic progress.

Abdul Karim Abdullah

CEO of CMG and AfroFuture Fest founder, spoke on leveraging the African diaspora to elevate Africa’s cultural presence globally. 

He discussed the economic impact of cultural events and strategies to strengthen diaspora engagement and investment in Africa.

Fatima Daif

Co-Chair of the African Business Club (ABC) Conference and MBA candidate at Harvard, moderated a session on Africa’s debt challenges. 

The discussion centered on the continent’s $1.8 trillion debt, its impact on healthcare spending, and the roles of public and private sectors in overcoming this financial hurdle.

The Harvard Business School Africa Business Club (HBS-ABC) 

This is a student-led group established in 1997 to support African students and promote business opportunities in Africa. It’s one of HBS’s most active clubs with over 1,000 members.

HBS Africa Business Conference Leadership - 2024

The 26th Annual Harvard Africa Business Conference in 2024 is organized by three MBA students committed to advancing African business interests at Harvard. The conference leadership includes:

  • Phoebe Prah, Co-Chair
  • Junaid Belo-Osagie, Co-Chair
  • Fatima Daif, Co-Chair and Moderator

Participant's Testimonial

Takunda Ndoro from the Tuck School of Business described the conference as an extravaganza that had something for everyone, emphasizing its impact and inclusivity

In summary, the Harvard Africa Business Conference serves as a platform for dialogue, networking, and innovation, driving Africa forward in the global business landscape. Visit Harvard Africa Business for updates for the next conference for 2025.

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Micheal Animasaun

Micheal Animasaun

Michael Animasaun is an accomplished SEO expert and writer with an interest in cryptocurrency and its impact on finance and investment. He has a diverse background in writing, having covered topics such as sports, fashion, and history. This wide range of interests is reflected in the unique perspective he brings to his work. Michael is a passionate researcher who values knowledge and is always eager to learn more.