The devastation of COVID-19, the identification of new variants and the lack of vaccines have dampened the positive outlook we have all had for the Africa continent. These factors, coupled with unrest in countries such as South Africa and eSwatini, and with more than seven national presidential elections across the continent that seldom run peacefully, do not bode well for economic recovery. In fact, Africa is the only global continent where political violence increased in 2020, in comparison to 2019. Statistics support the impression that conflict on the continent is getting worse, not better.
On the upside, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) officially started operating on January 1st, 2021 and, by all accounts, it can be life changing for many Africans – if we work together. But the Free Trade Area is only one building block on the continent’s road to sustainable economic recovery and prosperity.
If we are to create a more equitable society, business across all industry sectors must come together with society and collectively interrogate how Africa can achieve the future we all want – particularly in this Decade of Action towards realisation of Agenda 2030 and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The theme for the 2021 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit (8-9 November 2021) that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, is One Africa One Voice. It reflects what is needed from government, business and society to make a success of the AfCFTA, as well as work together towards Africa’s economic recovery.
Building on the record-breaking success of the summit hosted in 2020, a collective of business leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs will be sharing the virtual stage to address key topics on Africa’s transformation and what it will take to achieve this.
The focus areas for the 2021 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and include:
This year, the Shared Value business management concept celebrates 10 years since the now-famous Creating Shared Value article was first published in the Harvard Business Review. The concept was created and developed by renowned academics and economists Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer from Harvard Business School.
In line with this, one of this year’s highlights at the end of Day 1 will be a live link-up to the start of the global Shared Value Leadership Summit in the USA, as part of the10 year celebrations. The 2021 Summit will also close off with an insightful address by Prof. Mark Kramer, who will be sharing his views on the important part Shared Value has to play in the economic recovery of Africa.
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