Eighth Annual Emerging Markets Forum
Business Powering Africa Forward
Friday, April 13, 2018
EVENT HIGHLIGHTS: At Emerging Markets Forum, Africa Is Rising
For much of the past two decades, the overarching economic theme in sub-Saharan Africa has been “Africa Rising.” That’s still the case, though in 2016, growth in the region was “alarmingly poor,” dragged lower by a sharp slump in commodity prices, former Liberian finance minister Antoinette Monsio Sayeh said April 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
Africa is still unfamiliar to many in the U.S. and misconceptions about it abound. People often fail to appreciate that it is a vast and diverse continent with striking regional differences. Africa includes some of the fastest growing economies in the world with many opportunities for businesses. With the realization that trade, and not aid, is the road to future prosperity, many African countries have undergone major regulatory reforms and instituted business-friendly policies. Although commodities continue to be a significant component of Africa’s economy, many countries have made diversification a priority. Innovations in mobile banking, such as MPESA, are most well-known, but many other innovations and an emerging culture of entrepreneurship hold great promise for Africa. Business visitors to the continent are often struck by the visible presence of China, and the contrasting absence of U.S. businesses. All of which raises the question for U.S. businesses – Is Africa an opportunity already missed?
Against this background, the Smith School’s Center for Global Business will be convening its 8th annual Emerging Markets Forum on the theme of business in Africa. Top level speakers from the business, academic, and policy worlds will discuss the opportunities as well as the challenges of doing business in Africa. Issues to be discussed include: Which countries are reforming and growing fastest? Which sectors are the most promising (now and in the future)? What opportunities have drawn U.S. businesses to Africa? What challenges do they face, and how have they overcome these challenges?
About the Forum
Over the years, this conference series has worked to increase awareness of Emerging Markets, has examined what the rise of new economic powers means for the U.S., and has disseminated information about how U.S. companies can best succeed there.
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