Five presidents, 2,000 business leaders to converge in Kigali for CEO forum

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 14 May 2024 at 11:14

Rwanda will from Thursday, May 16 to Friday, May 17, play host to more than 2,000 business leaders from Africa and across the world for the annual Africa CEO Forum.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) will host the event alongside the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.

More than 1,000 CEOs including the top executives of Africa’s largest corporations and 1200 companies with operations in Africa are expected at the event which will draw participants from 75 countries.

Themed “At the table or on the menu?” the forum, to be held at the iconic Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), is expected to challenge attendees to take decisive action for Africa’s future amidst global economic uncertainties.

“We call on our community of leaders shaping the future of Africa to recognise the structural and enduring consequences of the actions they take at this critical time,” President of the Africa CEO Forum, Amir Ben Yahmed, said in March.

“The forum will be a crucible for innovative strategies and partnerships, propelling the continent into the opportunities of tomorrow.”

Yahmed, while commenting about the ongoing preparations for the forum last month, indicated that five Heads of State and several senior government officials from across the continent had confirmed attendance.

"President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), William Ruto (Kenya), and the presidents of Botswana (Mokgweetsi Masisi), Mozambique (Filipe Jacinto Nyusi), and Djibouti (Ismail Omar Guelleh) have confirmed attendance," Yahmed said. "Also, the Prime Ministers of Sao Tome, Cameroon, and Cote D’Voire, among others, have confirmed."

Founded in 2012, the Africa CEO Forum has enabled dialogue between the public and private sector actors on the continent’s most pressing priorities and set its business agenda.

“The Africa CEO Forum offers the opportunity to network with other key companies and catalyse the challenges that we face ourselves as businesses,” Joshua Oigara, the CEO of Stanbic Bank Kenya opines.

The two-day forum will feature more than 60 discussion sessions ranging from presidential keynotes to national investment promotion pitches, and from CEO Talks to closed-door strategic industry roundtables.

Some of the notable business captains expected at the event include Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of IFC, Mesfin Tassew, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, James Mworia, Group CEO & MD of Centum Investment, Sudhir Ruparelia, Chairman of Ruparelia Group, Clare Akamanzi, CEO of NBA Africa, Rostam Aziz, CEO of Taifa Gas, Hardy Pemhiwa, President & CEO of Cassava Technologies or Patricia Poku Diaby, CEO Plot Enterprise Ghana, Karl Olutokun Toriola, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Faith Mukutu, CEO of Zambeef, Diane Karusisi, CEO Bank of Kigali and Patty Karuaihe-Martin, CEO of NamibRe.