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WASHINGTON, June 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The world’s leading business leaders operating in Africa convened for three days of exclusive talks to strategize on cross-cutting challenges to propel economic growth and alleviate poverty in Africa at the Initiative for Global Development’s Frontier 100 Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that drives poverty reduction by catalyzing business growth and investment in the developing world, with a focus on Africa. The Frontier 100 Forum, an invitation-only biannual event, precedes the World Economic Forum on Africa.
Some 120 CEOs and senior executives from IGD’s Frontier Leader Network of leading African and global companies met from May 31 to June 2, to focus on hot sectors in Africa and discuss topics ranging from impact assessment, overcoming logistics constraints, addressing the African skills gap, and developing a standardized approach to development. More than half of IGD Frontier Leaders hail from the African continent.
“We bring the world’s leading business leaders together in the U.S. and Africa to identify bold, action-oriented business solutions to overcome the bottlenecks to investments in Africa,” said Dr. Mima Nedelcovych, IGD’s President & CEO at the opening session. “In the end, investments help to create an environment for inclusive economic growth to flourish and Africa to prosper.”
Forum attendees were from leading companies such as Microsoft, Dangote Industries, DHL Express, Africa Finance Corporation, Visa, Illovo, General Electric, Logintek, International Green Structures, SeedCo, Maghreb Industries and Pearson, among others. Officials from the African Development Bank and Afriexim Bank also participated in the forum.
A session on assessing the impact of business and investment on local economic and social development drew attention to the fact that impact studies can not only improve a company’s bottom line, but also ensure that local communities are experiencing benefits from businesses in their area.
“Impact studies not only show where businesses are having a positive effect, but also where there can be improvements,” said Cheick Oumar-Sylla, ContourGlobal. An impact study conducted by IGD for ContourGlobal, for example, found that the company had a positive impact in their local community; however more engagement with the government could bolster their impact.
The Forum also featured a “sous l’arbre” discussion on bottlenecks that the private sector faces in operating on the continent.
SOURCE Initiative for Global Development