Sanda Ojiambo, Speaker at Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit
Connectivity is an essential part of doing business in the twenty-first century. It touches every aspect of life – and yet, in 2022, approximately only 40% of the African population has access to the internet (Statista). If a business in Africa is to compete with the rest of the world, it must urgently address this gap – the continent’s economic growth depends on it.
Africa can leapfrog into the digital future and accelerate economic growth by intentionally and consciously providing access for all. Furthermore, Shared Value thinking can drive business solutions to address Africa’s challenges through technology. Done right, digital transformation can create vast opportunities to grow industries and trade, enhance financial inclusion, and ultimately create sustainable economies. It is therefore in the best interest of businesses – not only governments – to intentionally collaborate and invest in the ecosystems it needs not only to survive but to grow.
This landscape has motivated the sixth annual Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit program to focus on the role of connectivity and digital inclusion in Africa’s economic growth and ultimate success. With this in mind, the organizers of the Summit, the Shared Value Africa Initiative and Shift Impact Africa, have partnered with the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSMA) to bring their two flagship events together. In a first for Africa and the global Shared Value community, the 2022 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit will take place alongside the Mobile World Congress Africa (MWC Africa).
The GSMA is a global institution that represents the telco and digital services sectors, and their MWC events bring together key players in these industries, with a primary focus on the mobile communications industry. This alignment will assemble multisectoral players to discuss innovation, technology, inclusion, opportunities, and solutions for Africa’s digital and connectivity challenges. It broadens opportunities for connection and networking to explore collaborations, partnerships, and engagement beyond the scope of either event. The Summit’s program will highlight how Shared Value thinking, technology, and digital inclusion can combine to drive Africa’s economic growth, equality, inclusion, and sustainability.
Says Tiekie Barnard, Founder, and CEO of Shift Impact Africa and Shared Value Africa Initiative, “As we count down to the Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit in October, there is no doubt in my mind that it will be our biggest to date. Creating Shared Value and access for all through technology and connectivity is the solution to a sustainable future for Africa. As a business, it is our responsibility to deliver this to our people.”
Digital technology must act as a catalyst for creating jobs and improving business productivity to the benefit of all of Africa’s citizens. It is key for education, healthcare, financial services, and human empowerment. Digital inclusion not only improves individual outcomes but also promotes productivity and growth. From digital marketing to eCommerce, even the smallest business can leverage connectivity to expand their footprint and reach new markets.
From the beginning, the Summit has demonstrated its commitment to and support of inter-industry collaboration to create ecosystems of the impact that stretch further than any entity could reach alone. The partnership with the MWC Africa amplifies the Summit’s position as a platform to discuss and co-create Shared Value business solutions that drive inclusion and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals while also fostering economic growth and development. It underlines the importance of cross-sector innovation and collaboration in solving continental issues sustainably.
The two events will take place concurrently, with interlocking programs that demonstrate both the future of connectivity and how combining it with the Shared Value mindset can enable economic growth and people-centric sustainability. So far, the Summit is honored to welcome back returning sponsors Abbott and Old Mutual Ltd for the 2022 Summit, as well as a new sponsor Visa.
For those who will gather at the Kigali Convention Centre in October, their ticket will grant them access to both the Summit program and that of MWC Africa for the duration of the Summit. There is also an option to attend the Summit virtually, via Livestream, which includes access to the combined keynote addresses by some of the continent’s business luminaries. Registrations have already opened, and there is no cost to attend. Visit the Summit website, www.AfricaSharedValueSummit.com, to learn more and secure your place.
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