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panelists | 2021

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Reconstruction: Towards a Greener Future

According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), record  greenhouse gas emissions are putting the world on a path towards catastrophic  warming with deleterious implications for Africa’s development prospects.  

No continent will be struck as severely by the impacts of climate change as Africa.  Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced more frequent and extreme climate events  over the past decades, which have been correlated with falling crop yields and  increasing rates of violent conflict. The risk of drought, heatwaves, crop failures  and human displacement has also been heightened. 

With ninety percent of African countries having ratified the Paris Agreement,  African countries are among the global front runners leading the transition  toward greener and more inclusive economies. They are expected to generate  sustainable economic growth, jobs, and social benefits, as well as protection of  vital natural resources.  

What are some current domestic initiatives pursued in the context of African  countries taking a lead on climate change? Are the current green economy  policies which have been put in place effective? What is the role of the  developed world in aiding Africa’s adaptation to the new realities of climate  change? Do the beliefs of climate justice imply that underdeveloped countries  should be free to pollute to develop? This thought-provoking conversation is  meant to reconcile tensions between development & environmental  degradation, vulnerability & responsibility. 


Professor of Practice,Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

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Africa’s Creative Industry

African culture, creations and arts have for centuries been exported to the rest of the  world without always receiving the due recognition and remuneration. From arts and  crafts to music, dances, literature, fashion, theatre and other creative content, Africa has  contributed far more to the world cultural heritage than is commonly acknowledged.  Notably however, global interest in African creative content has increased substantively  in recent years, from the popularity of “Afro-beats” to sold-out African prints and high grossing Nollywood movies. 

The emergence of a “creative economy” has become a leading component of economic  growth, employment, trade, and innovation, promoting sustainable development in a  globalizing world. Unfortunately, unprecedented events have interrupted the way  creative business is conducted. While the pandemic has deeply affected the creative  industry, the disruption has created unique opportunities for African creatives to  leverage a wider market, both locally and internationally. With the new remote  world, African creatives have had access to an array of new platforms to spread African  soft power. 

This special panel will explore recent trends in the development of the African creative  economy. Emphasis will be put on the response of African creatives to the challenges  brought forth by the pandemic. Panelists will include a mixture of creatives,  entrepreneurs, cultural experts and leading investors who will discuss the current  realities, obstacles, and opportunities to expand Africa’s creative industry and African  “soft power” to the world.

Mr. Kewku Amoako

Founder of Afropolitan Cities


Mr. Damola Adediji

Doctoral researcher at University of Ottawa

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Mr. Eryam Tawi

CEO and co-founder of Leti Arts

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African start-ups and  alternative investments

Entrepreneurship has been a key element of developmental efforts in the continent.  While the number of new enterprises has increased greatly in recent years, a  considerable proportion of start-ups face considerable challenges in accessing capital.  

The lack of access to capital is a prime concern for African startups and small enterprises.  The inefficient flow of funds to the enterprises, coupled with the difficulty of securing  early-stage loans often urge start-ups to explore alternative financing methods. 

This panel examines key debates concerning the hurdles of raising capital. The discussion will explore avenues for strengthening capital markets on the continent as well as alternative financing funnels. Panelists will draw from their own expertise as businesspeople, entrepreneurs, potential investors, and industry experts to offer insight on ways of developing and strengthening financing channels on the continent.

Mr. Jim De Wilde

Venture Capitalist


Mr. Gabriel Curtis


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Mr. Martin Webber


Executive Vice President and Partner, J.E. Austin Associates, Inc

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Mr. Sekun Akintemi


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Healthcare in Africa: Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted the African continent. In many countries,  it delivered a significant blow to the already ailing healthcare system. The current  situation stresses more than ever the need for investment and development of  healthcare infrastructure.


New trends in digital health and the proliferation of healthcare related technologies  have stewarded a considerable number of opportunities on the continent. New  platforms and applications not only facilitate the access to health services, but they also  enable the efficient transfer of information which has been crucial in countering  illnesses.  

This panel will explore the impact of digitalization of health services and potential  opportunities it brings forth. The opportunities will be analyzed in the context of  reconstruction and improvement of healthcare services post-COVID-19.  

The panel will include government officials, industry experts, entrepreneurs and  businesspeople who will draw from their personal experience to offer insight on how  these new technologies and trends can be leveraged to increase access to healthcare  on the continent.

Dr. Collins Oghor


 Co-founder & CEO of Collogh Cares

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Ms. Tolagbe Martins

 Head of Growth & Strategy at Helium Health

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​Mr. Munyaradzi Chakonda


​ Co-founder & CEO of Ubuntu Clinic

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