Change Maker

IGD Spring Frontier 100 Forum To Drive Private Sector Action On Spurring Job Creation And Innovation In Africa

The Spring Frontier 100 Forum, an exclusive, invitation-only event, will draw attention to the role of the private sector in driving solutions and innovation to accelerate sustainable employment to absorb millions of African youth entering the workforce and advance the continent’s growth sectors for inclusive growth.

CEOs and senior executives from IGD’s Frontier Leader network will offer insight on the forum theme, “Driving Sustainable Economies: Private Sector Action to Spur Job Creation and Innovation for Inclusive Growth in Africa”, and put forth business-driven solutions. The Spring Forum follows the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, which ends on May 5, and builds on key themes discussed at the WEF.

The African Development Bank and African Export-Import Bank (Afeximbank) have joined forces with IGD as Collaborating Partners for the Spring Forum to mobilize action on Africa’s economic transformation.

Africa’s fast-growing youth working age population is projected to increase from about 617 million today to 1.6 billion in 2060, cites the African Development Bank. Statistics show that African youth constitutes about 37 percent of the total labor force, but make up about 60 percent of total unemployment.

“The private sector in Africa is the engine of the continent’s growth, generating more than 80 percent of jobs on the continent,” said Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, IGD President & CEO. “The private sector has a real opportunity to shape Africa’s future by fueling job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship, so the youth bulge will become a demographic dividend.”

The two-day forum will open on May 5 from 8:30 – 10:30am, with a special MCC breakfast discussion, “Driving Progress: The MCC Scorecard, Policy Reform, and Private Investment in Africa”. MCC officials will provide first-hand information on how MCC determines country eligibility and assesses policy performance on its scorecard in three categories: Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. U.S. and African public and private sector leaders will outline specific efforts taken by countries to improve performance on the MCC scorecard and entice private investments in rapid-fire presentations.

IDG Frontier Leader Illovo Sugar, Africa’s biggest sugar producer and headquartered in Durban, will welcome attendees, as the host company, to the half-day afternoon session, “Unlocking Opportunities for Youth Job Creation and Entrepreneurship to Address Gaps in Post-Harvest Loss Reductions in Africa”. The session will explore how business investments in technology and skills training can drive innovation and entrepreneurship to tackle post-harvest losses and improve the profitability of farming as a business.

A full-day of forum sessions on May 6, will focus on private sector action to deliver jobs through innovations in skills development, regional growth, and industrialization. KPMG, one of the world’s leading professional services firms, is the lead organizational partner for the panel session on regional growth. The African Technology Foundation, a Silicon Valley-based organization dedicated to reinventing Africa’s technological future, is the organizational partner for the panel session on digital transformation.

The luncheon on May 6, sponsored by the FairPlay Movement, will highlight how illegal dumping has impacted employment in the South Africa poultry industry and proactive solutions to counter the practice and promote trade competitiveness.

The Spring Forum will also host an evening reception and release party on May 5, to kick off the “Making Farming Cool!” podcast series to inspire African young people to explore careers in the agriculture sector. The podcast series is part of IGD’s Africa Investment Rising campaign, a multimedia campaign to amplify the voice of Africa’s private sector leaders and encouraging greater business investment in Africa.

The Frontier 100 Forum sponsors to date include: Dangote Group, Illovo Sugar Group, KPMG, Orrick, Chevron, and Contour Global as Platinum sponsors; UPL, Endeavor Energy and Fair Play Movement as Gold sponsors; and Hollard Business Insurer as Silver sponsor.

Learn more: visit igdleaders frontier-100-forum