- Founded by Prof. Nanyunja and other partners, the summit aims to facilitate trade among Africans and the world.
- The absence of adequate training that is implementable in the African context is contributing to Africa’s downfall in running successful businesses.
- The Trans Africa Investment Summit will take place on November 9-11, 2023, in Entebbe, Uganda.
Andries Komana, Chairman and Founder of Komaas Group of Companies, South Africa, prior to joining the Women Economic Forum (WEF), had not involved his business in value chains due to a lack of information for 20 years.
He highlights how, soon after joining, his business narrative changed.
“I was fortunately trained in business by my government. However, I was not given an adequate support system and this left me stranded.
It was only after joining the WEF and participating in the first Trans Africa Investment Summit in Kampala, Uganda, last year that my business gained recognition from several African countries,” he says.
The value chain
Prof. Michael Porter from the Harvard Business School describes the value chain as multiple business activities involved in creating a product or performing a service.
The value chain consists of various stages of a product’s lifecycle, from research, development, and sales.
“Value chains help breakdown activities involved in producing a good or service and understanding cost and saving differentiation to optimize profitability and eliminate waste,” he notes.
Having considered this, Prof. Robinah Nanyunja, President of Pilot International and the WEF-Uganda, discloses that most African businesses do not trade among themselves.
She notes that a lot of needs are scattered with Africans importing goods and services that can be provided on the African continent.
“I believe this is so because of limited access to opportunities and platforms where solid collaborations can be initiated so that Africans can invest in other African businesses for the continent’s economic advantage,” she says.
Prof. Nanyunja stresses, “The Trans Africa Investment Summit aims to bring on board business opportunities and financing so that the culture of an import based Africa can change into an export based culture.”
Africa’s business challenges
As a seasoned and trained entrepreneur, Komana agrees that there are no strong business relationships between Africans, adding that Africa needs togetherness as an action plan to facilitate growth.
He further disclosed that the absence of adequate training that is implementable in the African context is contributing to Africa’s downfall in running successful businesses.
Furthermore, young Africans lack justifiable career guidance opportunities that can help change the business world narrative.
“Sadly also, Africa’s business landscape is governed by imported treaties and policies that do not resonate with the continent’s needs. Therefore, we need charters that favor African nations,” he says.
Prof. Nanyunja, on the other hand, explains how even when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is currently influencing Africa’s trade industry, visa restrictions and limited travel connectivity inhibit proper trading and networking operations the summit aims to overcome.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the African Union’s (AU) long-term development strategy for transforming Africa into a global powerhouse.
It is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
As part of its mandate, AfCFTA aims to eliminate trade barriers and boost intra-Africa trade in order to advance trade in value-added productions across all service sectors of the African economy.
“The AfCFTA will contribute to establishing regional value chains in Africa to enable investment and job creation. Its implementation will foster industrialization and investment, thus enhancing Africa’s long-term competitiveness,” the AfCFTA Agreement describes.
Having put in place the Trans Africa Investment Summit from the private sector point of view, Prof. Nanyunja notes that it is good to see that the AfCFTA is also impacting the summit’s facilitation processes.
The Trans Africa Investment Summit, which will take place on November 9-11, 2023, in Entebbe, Uganda, is formulated under the theme Destination Africa: Fostering Development Collaboration between Africa and the Diaspora. Ahead of the summit, you can register here to be part of the participants.
Founded by Prof. Nanyunja and other partners, the summit aims to facilitate trade among Africans and the world by providing a physical networking platform to interface with potential clients and partners and attract investment opportunities for business growth.
“So far, we have built a community of private entrepreneurs and investors where concrete partnerships are on-going and some participants from the first summit have received financing opportunities for their projects,” Prof. Nanyunja explains.
Supporting Prof. Nanyunja’s insight, Komana highlights that all participants from the previous summit have shown satisfaction and contends that the WEF, through initiatives such as the upcoming conference, is a global driver of change.
In this regard, Prof. Nanyunja highlights that this year’s summit, having emerged successfully from the previous summit amid an Ebola outbreak, wishes to boost manufacturing and value additions on the continent.
“This year, the summit will bring together high-level top executives: Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), managers, investors, the business community, government agencies, exporters, and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) from various economic sectors from across Africa, Asia and the world,” she gladly highlights.
The summit, which will bring together 200 African SMEs and the Diaspora, will tap into issues such as the facilitation of the diaspora for cooperation, Investment, Business establishments, Circular economy, recycling, waste to energy, Research and Development, Regional integrations (EAC, SADC, ECOWAS), Opportunities and challenges, as well as Policies and franchises.
It will build on the previous year’s successes by realizing the policy frame facilitating Trans-African trade, Trans-African cross-border and international trade, E-governance and E-commerce, Financial inclusion and digital solutions, Mining and Value addition, Partnerships and trade barriers alongside Agricultural value chains.
“We will also focus on organizing and facilitating women-led business chambers for cross-border trade and the Global Business value Chains, financial inclusion, and digital solutions.
Likewise, human security, peace, and sustainable development, among other areas,” Prof. Nanyunja explains.
Proceedings and speakers
For three days, the summit will be enriched by opening ceremonies by political leaders, sponsors, investors, and co-hosts with keynote speaking sessions on the Renewable Energy Pavilion by the Uganda Solar Energy Association, the Diaspora and Women Entrepreneurship Forum Africa.
Additionally, there will be investment pitching sessions, an award ceremony, a touristic sightseeing, a media session, and a virtual session on Youth Entrepreneurship Forum Africa.
With this, the summit will be graced with the presence of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Republic of Uganda.
Organizers and partners
The Women Economic Forum (WEF) is the main partner of the upcoming Trans Africa Investment Summit. It is the largest universal gathering of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide.
According to their website, it is an associate of All Ladies League (ALL), the largest all-inclusive international women’s assembly and movement addressing the well-being, wealth, and welfare of all businesswomen globally.
The main organizer, Pilot International, is a private sector-driven international development organization that works in partnerships in over 100 countries globally.
It aims to promote global sustainable development through organizing international conferences and expos, among other priorities.
Furthermore, the summit is co-hosted by Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).
OCW facilitates national socio-economic transformation, focusing on raising household incomes and wealth creation through transforming subsistence farmers into commercial farmers.
Scholar Media Africa, a Kenyan-based continental media company, is also a partner for the event.
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Not leaving behind the Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA), a non-profit organization that promotes the growth and development of solar energy businesses, and capacity builds and advocates for self-regulation and supports the Ugandan government in the solar energy sector.