The IE Africa Club, one the various student clubs at IE Business school hosted their second annual business forum on the 24th of February at the IE campus in Madrid. The objective of the event was to discuss the challenges of doing business in Africa from the perspective of investors and business leaders and to also promote the investment opportunities there.

The event drew participants from the diplomatic community in Madrid, corporate bodies, professionals, business leaders and members of the IE community

Santiago Íñiguez, Dean of IE Business school, made the opening speech followed by Prof. Gayle Allard, IE Economics professor and member of ALB’s Advisory Board. She delivered a unique Master class session providing real life examples as well as comparative data.
The event then proceeded to presentations from the speakers followed by panel discussions. These were moderated by Prof. John Clendenin, Harvard Business School professor and Faculty Advisor for the Africa club. Speakers in attendance included: Mark Schneiders, CDO at African Development Corporation (ADC), Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodafone (Spain), Dr. Jose Lopez-Gallego, Founder of Tambo African investments, among others.
The coffee break was time for everyone to relax, network and share experiences. It was also a good opportunity to visit the various country stands on display for information materials and gifts.
The Kenyan Ambassador to Spain, HE. Bramwel Waliaula Kisuya who spoke briefly, challenged students to initiate projects on the continent and to be involved in Africa’s emergence as a business hub. This challenge echoes the objective of the Foundation for African Leadership in Business (ALB) and the plans for its fellows during and after their academic year. Dean Santiago Iniguez, restated IE’s support for the Africa club and for its future programmes and initiatives.
To close the event, representatives of various IE supported initiatives in Africa were presented to the audience. Andrew Tarawali, IE student and ALB fellow, had the opportunity to present his fellowship project “Educate Africa” and to talk about other programmes of ALB.
From the feedback received, the program was a success and the audience found the presentations and discussions enjoyable as well as informative. Absence of a skilled work force, investment challenges and the numerous business opportunities on the continent remain one of lingering discussions and we all look forward to the next event.
Written by Funmilayo