The London School of Economics (LSE) is all set to host its Africa Summit conference on 31 March and 1 April 2017. Held on an annual basis for the past four years, the theme of the 2017 Africa Summit, is “Built for Africa: African Solutions to African Issues.”
Previous editions of the Summit have been attended by African and other heads of state, senior government officials, leading entrepreneurs and researchers from Africa and its diaspora. The Summit is made up of a Research Conference held on day one and a Business Conference held on day two. Together, they act as “A platform to engage and explore cutting edge research and business trends across Africa’s rapidly changing socio-economic environment.”
The Research Conference “Is intended to improve the feedback loop between researchers who produce knowledge and policymakers who rely on policy relevant and timely evidence-based research to make decisions.” Keynote speeches, debates and parallel research sessions are to be held involving speakers from academia, government and practitioners.
The topics of the parallel research sessions include Reinventing Africa’s Educational Systems, Law and Development, Harnessing Africa’s Informal Sector, Inno-Native Design and Security and Justice. In the Inno-Native Design session this author was selected following an international selection process to present a research paper entitled ‘Sustainable Development in South Africa: A Critical Analysis of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP).’ REIPPP has been a successful policy created and implemented by the South African to increase its renewable energy power supplies as well as to stimulate sustainable development in various ways.
The Business Conference “Seeks to expand inclusive solutions as a way to reshape Africa’s poo development trajectory. In particular, Built for Africa will explore both outsourced and insourced ideas that are developed with, for and to a large extent, by Africans.” It cites M-pesa which was developed in Kenya by a locally owned mobile operator as one such example. However, despite examples like M-Pesa it is evident that any African countries still heavily rely on international assistance in various sectors including health, education, security and finance. Ways in which this reliance can be reduced need will be explored in the Africa Summit.
Specific topics that will be focused on during the Business Conference include Rethinking Africa’s Trade Policies, Bridging Africa’s Financing Gap, Improving Africa’s Service Economy and Philanthropy and Inequality. Keynote speakers include a welcome speech made by LSE’s Director Julia Black and others by Isabel dos Santos, a successful Angolan businesswoman and entrepreneur and finally by Nigeria’s Ibukun Awosika, the Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group.
Registration for the Africa Summit 2017 is still open and can be done on the Summit’s website.