The conference is one of the largest annual conferences held at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) and attracts business leaders, students and professionals with an interest in business in Africa as well as other emerging markets.
The annual Business in Africa Conference is organised by the Cambridge Africa Business Network – a combination of both MBA and MFin students who have a passion for Africa at Cambridge Judge Business School. This is the eighth consecutive year that the conference was held at CJBS.
In recent years, Africa’s growth story has expanded beyond the extractive industries, creating future possibilities in many sectors. For many companies, this is a future worth investing in, but it is not without risks and challenges. On-the-ground knowledge is key to capturing this business potential, as is a nuanced outlook on the specific countries where the best opportunities lie.
This year’s conference theme Growth in Africa: The Opportunities and Challenges Today and into the Future proposed to minimise the rhetoric and showcase the concrete ways in which African business leaders, innovators, and policy makers are responding to the need for sustainable economic development on the continent.
In addition to showcasing the potential for business opportunities in established industries such as infrastructure, energy, finance and agriculture, to name a few, this year’s event leveraged the unique position of Cambridge as Europe’s startup capital to connect with exciting Africa-focused startups and discuss the emerging trends in this sector.
The 2019 Business in Africa Conference was held over one and a half days in April, allowing for more in-depth discussions, thematic panels, and networking possibilities.
Panels across the day covered topics as diverse as ‘Financing Growth Through Disruption’ through to ‘The Digital Continent’.
The closing remarks of the 2019 Business in Africa Conference were delivered by Dr Namukale Chintu, an alumna of Cambridge Judge Business School, and one of the original founders of the Cambridge Africa Business Network. She reflected on how, from humble beginnings, the Cambridge Africa Business Network had grown from strength to strength. She delivered an inspiring closing speech, full of optimism and motivation for those of us in the audience on the verge of embarking on the next step in our careers.
Cambridge MBA Class of 2018 student Rezvan Ahmed was a key member of the organising team and writes about his experience and the discussions across the conference in our recent MBA Stories blog post.