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Africa’s top emerging leaders gather in Ethiopia for invitation-only meeting

By Omoh Gabriel
The African Leadership Network (ALN), Tuesday announced a first-of-its kind, invitation-only gathering of Africa’s top emerging leaders.

Chosen from across Africa for their distinguished leadership in the business, government, and non-profit sectors, these young leaders will come together in the spirit of problem solving and action, focusing their combined passion and expertise on addressing the opportunities and challenges facing Africa.

“We will rise beyond our challenges and capture our opportunities only if our continent’s top young leaders come together for the common good of Africa.  Not the usual suspects, but the continent’s new generation of young, dynamic leaders who will shape Africa’s next 25 years,” said Fred Swaniker, African Leadership Network co-founder.  “It is urgent that Africa’s emerging leaders actively collaborate, create, and take action.

ALN will provide the first-ever platform for these emerging leaders to do just that – with a vision no less than the transformation of Africa.”

The key aim of the Network is to collaborate towards addressing the big challenge of our time, which we believe is the challenge of creating prosperity for Africa’s masses” said Acha Leke, McKinsey Director and ALN co_founder.

“Prior generations of African leaders brought us political independence. But we are far from being economically independent. This emerging generation of leaders must be the one that brings prosperity to the continent”.

The historic city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be host to the inaugural gathering and initiation of this premier leadership network, which will run from November 3 -6, 2010.

This year’s gathering is co-chaired by Sim Tshabalala, CEO of Standard Bank South Africa; Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Founder and CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange; and Bill Egbe, President of Coca-Cola South Africa.

Approximately 200 attendees will meet in Addis Ababa to share ideas aimed at answering one central question: “how does Africa become prosperous?” In addition to sharing ideas, members are expected to build concrete partnerships between their countries, companies and organizations, and to further the aim of creating prosperity for Africa.

Some of the network’s distinguished members include Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; Khumo Shuenyane, Head of M&A for MTN, the cellular giant; Ngozi Edozien, Head of West Africa at Actis, one of the largest Private Equity firms in Africa, Amara Konneh, Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs (Liberia);  Alex Okosi, Head of MTV Africa; Titus Gitau, Director of MEA Fertilizers

Sessions will focus on understanding the current landscape of prosperity in Africa, crafting a vision for Africa’s prosperity, outlining practical steps towards prosperity, and how a prosperous Africa can be better managed. Delegates are expected to walk away with practical solutions to be implemented well after the conference.

One prominent speaker on the agenda is Paul Romer, a world-famous economist who will share his ideas of creating “Charter Cities” in Africa as a way of kick-starting development, similar to how China used Hong-Kong to kick-start its development.

The annual three-day gathering will be supplemented by regional gatherings throughout the year, providing continued momentum for collaboration, problem solving and action.

Key sponsors of the inaugural gathering include the MTN Group, Goldman Sachs, the World Bank, TBWA, and Ethiopian Airlines. McKinsey & Company and Insead Business School are serving as Knowledge Partners for the Network, providing research and knowledge for the members.


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