Each year the Center for African Studies supports a number of events related to African Entrepreneurship. Through these events and other initiatives, the Center continues to promote entrepreneurship in Africa, supporting engagement and collaboration across Harvard University and on the ground initiatives on the continent.
The Center for African Studies Innagural Hakeem and Myma Belo-Osagie Distinguished African Business and Entrepreneurship Lecture with Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive, Dangote Group took place on October 29, 2015. In conjunction with Harvard Business School’s Africa Business Club, the Center welcomed more than 200 students, faculty, and members of the Greater Boston community. Read more here.
The Center for African Studies is the exclusive academic sponsor for the African Leadership Network (ALN) in 2015. ALN is a membership community of the most dynamic and influential new-generation leaders in Africa. ALN creates and strengthens relationships between these leaders to encourage intra-African trade, investment, and collaboration. It is made up of over 1,500 members and alumni from over 40 countries who represent top leadership in the private sector, government, civil society, and academia. The ALN community includes recognized entrepreneurs, business executives, high-wealth investors, cultural leaders, high-impact social entrepreneurs, and leading government officials. This year’s annual gathering themed “BOUNDARIES Define – Defend – Defy: Exploring the Boundaries of Possibility in Africa” will be held in Morocco from November 3-7, 2015.
In 2015, the Center sponsored the 17th annual Africa Business Conference at Harvard Business School, the largest such conference in the country. The Africa Business Conference’s theme was “A More Inclusive Africa: the pursuit of progress for all,” featuring keynote addresses by Arunma Oteh, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria; Ken Njoroge, CEO of Cellulant; and Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership Network and Africa Advisory Group. The Center for African studies was a key sponsor at this year’s event.
The Center for African Studies continued its support of the Annual Africa Development Conference at Harvard this year. This student-run Conference is designed to offer a platform for the advancement of intellectual and practical debate on Africa’s evolving network of development partners. It aims to enhance partnerships between public and private sector actors that are rebranding and reshaping Africa in the international development arena. The theme of the 2015 conference was “Looking South – Moving Forward: Fostering Development Collaboration Within The Global South,” and featured a keynote address by Mr Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger.
In April 2015, in collaboration with the Africa Development Conference, the first annual Clean Water Ideathon was held, a “hackathon” style competition convened by CleanAcwa, a non-profit co-founded by Sangu Delle, a graduate of Harvard College and currently a joint degree candidate at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. The winning team will present its innovation at CleanAcwa’s Clean Water Summit in Ghana.
The Center for African Studies supported the 2015 Cameroon Trek at Harvard University, in which 22 graduate and professional students from Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, MIT, and others traveled to Cameroon to meet with government and business leaders. With the Center’s support, the Trek group hosted a youth entrepreneurship summit in Douala, bringing together 80 attendees, ranging from students to established business leaders.