Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) and Shift Impact Africa have partnered with the GSM Association (GSMA), a global institution that represents the telco and digital service sectors, to bring together the sixth annual Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit and the Mobile World Congress Africa (MWCA).

Both events will take place alongside each other at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, between 25 and 26 October 2022. His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, will be joined by several other heads of state, will deliver the opening keynote.

Other speakers include, Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC); Mark Kramer, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School and Co-Founder of the Shared Value Initiative; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, Co-Chair of the AfroChampions Initiative; Jeremy Awori, CEO of Absa Kenya; Maria Cristina Papetti, Head of Global Sustainability, Infrastructure and Networks at Enel Group; and Lacina Koné, Director-General and CEO of Smart Africa.

This partnership with GSMA heralds a first for Africa and the global Shared Value community. The event will gather major players across sectors to explore innovation, technology, and collaboration opportunities to find solutions for the digital inclusion challenges that Africa face.

Both in-person events will feature programmes that will examine where the future of connectivity on the African continent is heading. “We are co-creating the global future on the African continent and this gathering in Kigali in October is possibly one of the most important conventions of leadership and executives since the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015,” says Tiekie Barnard, SVAI CEO and Founder. “The connection between social progress and business success is increasingly clear, and companies must team up with governments, NGOs and yes, even competitors, to fully capture the economic benefits of creating shared value as a collective.”

The Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit’s unifying theme ‘One Africa, One Voice’ underscores this need for organisations to work together across borders and industries to benefit all Africans in a sustainable way. Business and other leaders will delve into questions such as the role of technology to address climate risks in a just way; how business can accelerate digital inclusion in Africa, particularly for disproportionately affected groups such as rural populations and women; how we ensure that digital connectivity and shared value become the drivers of Africa’s growth, as well as the role of shared value thinking and digital innovation to boost intra-Africa Trade.

“The African Union’s 2020-2030 Digital Transformation Strategy aspires to universal digital access and a single pan-African digital market by 2030. Achieving this would create a profound impact on the continent. For instance, the World Bank estimates that a 10% increase in mobile internet penetration could translate to a 2.5% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) on the African continent,” says Barnard.

“When Africa wins, the world wins, and now more than ever, it has become imperative to develop meaningful and effective partnerships for development between the public and private sectors.  This Summit creates a unique opportunity and platform where leadership, as a collective, can discuss and provide input and solutions on how we can accelerate Africa’s growth through affordable, and accessible connectivity for all.”

Technology holds the power to evermore change Africa’s future and address many of the continent’s systemic challenges. Yet the digital divide across Africa remains stark. Fewer than one-third of Africans have access to broadband connectivity. Of the 25 least-connected countries in the world, 21 are located in Africa. Three hundred million Africans live more than 50 kilometres from a fibre or cable broadband connection. At just 36%, Africa’s internet penetration compares poorly with the 62.5% global average, according to Statista’s latest global internet penetration rate.

The Summit will host experts from across the industry for two days of networking, learning and collaboration. Sponsors include Abbott, Absa Bank Kenya, Old Mutual, Visa and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
All registered delegates will have full access to both events for the duration of the Summit. There is also an option to attend the Summit virtually, via livestream, which includes access to the combined keynote addresses by some of the continent’s business luminaries.

Registrations have already opened, and there is no cost to attend.