Part of UN General Assembly week, UN Global Compact initiative sparks new strategies for African development and business
United Nations, New York, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed closed the inaugural Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) conference this week, calling on partners in government, industry, and philanthropy to contribute toward a vision of sustainable, equitable growth; and to accelerate business opportunities on the African continent.
“The solidarity we’re looking for in the world will come home to roost, and it will be in Africa. Right now, the leadership and the solutions are coming from the continent,” said Ms. Mohammed.
Under the headline Unstoppable Africa, the two-day GABI launch event brought together business, non-profit, political, media and cultural leaders to create a new growth roadmap and realize the immense, untapped business and investment opportunities offered by the $2.5 trillion African market.
“We must unleash the potential of young people and there is no better way than through entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship creates jobs using the power of innovation, creativity, and technology,” said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in video remarks.
Across more than 40 panels and speeches, thought leaders addressed challenges and opportunities facing African economic development across politics, trade and finance, medicine, fashion, sports, non-profits, arts, and music. Speakers identified technological innovation as a source of recent and potential future growth in sectors ranging from telecom to medicine to finance, noting that the relative lack of existing tech infrastructure is actually an opportunity, making possible a more efficient transition into newer, more modern systems.
Thought leaders and investors explored strategies for unlocking the continent’s financial sector. Discussions included the announcement of the $1 Billion African Women Impact Fund, launched with a $60 million investment by Standard Bank Group. Sport and culture were also a focus, emphasizing that Africa is home to several vibrant, rapidly growing centers of athletic, entertainment, and creative economic output – with rapidly growing audiences and consumers to match.
Organized by the UN Global Compact in partnership with the African Union, UNDP Africa, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa, the Global Africa Business Initiative is supported by Afreximbank, Google, Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard Foundation. Speakers included UN Secretary General António Guterres; Vera Songwe, former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, African Union Commission; H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda; Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City; Strive Masiyiwa, businessman and philanthropist; Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman, Afreximbank; Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO, UN Global Compact; Adam Silver, CEO of the National Basketball Association; Bela Bajaria, Head of Global TV Netflix; Masai Ujiri, Vice Chair and President of the Toronto Raptors; Robert Smith, Vista Equity Partners; Melinda Gates, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; Angélique Kidjo, Grammy Award-winning musician and activist; Omoyemi Akerele, Founder, Style House Files and Lagos Fashion Week; Julie Gichuru, Mastercard Foundation; Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google; Dr. Rajiv Shah, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Antha N. Williams, Bloomberg Philanthropies; Lindeka Dzedze, Executive Head of Institutional Clients, Standard Bank Group; and Dr. Senait Fisseha, Director of Global Programs at Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.
“Africa is unstoppable. Africa is an essential part of global business and a major investment destination. Africa includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies. And Africa has more — much more — to offer,” said UN Secretary-General Guterres António Guterres in opening remarks which can be read in full here.
In the coming months, GABI and the UN Global Compact will continue to provide opportunities for leaders to consider the forward direction of Africa’s growth.
To view a gallery of downloadable photos of the conference, please click here.
A compendium of key quotes from conference speakers can be found here.
About the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI)
Africa has staked its position as the cornerstone of the world’s future. The continent is now positioned to be the most important driver of global business with a $2.5 trillion market opportunity. The Global Africa Business Initiative is designed to highlight opportunities on the continent where every sector of the economy from manufacturing to agriculture to services to finance is on a growth trajectory. The environment is primed for ambitious plays, for an infusion of creative and decisive moves for economic growth and sustainable development. To learn more and register to attend visit www.gabi.biz
About the United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 15,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.
For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at www.unglobalcompact.org
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