About AEF 2022
We are excited to announce the 18th Africa Economic Forum, a student-led collaboration between Columbia Business School and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. We look forward to having you join our distinguished speakers and us as we explore the theme — Africa Today & Tomorrow: Accelerating the Growth of an Economic and Cultural Powerhouse.
AEF continues to provide a forum for meaningful engagement and thought-provoking discussions, and this year will be no different. You’ll hear from an impressive lineup of speakers from across the region, and even in these unprecedented times, we expect participants to leave with a renewed sense of hope in Africa’s success and to be inspired to do their part in moving the continent forward.
About Columbia AfriCon
Some would say that Africa is having a moment — but those of us connected to the Continent know that the rest of the world is just catching up.
The theme of this year’s conference, Meeting the Moment, is designed to help us reflect on Africa’s history and our current momentum to build the future. We will celebrate the progress made, and discuss innovative solutions to build the Africa we want.
With our incredible lineup of speakers, we’ll explore how to harness the digital age, Africa’s status as a growing economic powerhouse, and our unique and diverse cultures as assets that will drive the entire Continent forward for years to come.
The time is now to Meet the Moment. Join us on October 28th and 29th in New York City for a conference like no other at the very center of business.
2022 Conference Co-chairs
Founder, African Leadership Group
Fred Swaniker is on a mission to bring better leadership to Africa and the world. He leads the African Leadership Group - an ecosystem of organizations that aims to catalyze a new era of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders for Africa. Over the past 15 years, he has founded and led African Leadership Academy, African Leadership University, African Leadership Network, ALX and The Room — a community of global leaders committed to unlocking opportunities for undiscovered talent, starting in Africa. Collectively, these endeavors aim to transform Africa by developing 3 million African leaders by 2035.
Chair of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility, UN Economic Commission for Africa
Vera Songwe is Chair of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility. Songwe is co-chair of the High-Level Panel on Climate Finance. She was previously Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. She is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Songwe has been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 most influential people in 2020. She recently co-authored a book entitled “ Régional Integration in West Africa: Is There a Role for a Single Currency? “ with Eswar Prasad.
Chairman, Massmart Holdings
Kuseni is the chairman of JSE-listed Massmart Holdings Ltd, a leading African retail group operating over 400 stores in 13 Sub-Saharan countries. He is the Chairman of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd, the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in the southern hemisphere with operations in over 50 countries. He is also the Chairman of The American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa and a member of the board of the Southern Africa-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
Founder & Chairman of Cummings Investments Holdings, Ltd.
Mr. Alexander B. Cummings is a businessman, politician and philanthropist. He is the Founder & Chairman of Cummings Investments Holdings, Ltd., Chairman of the Cummings Africa Foundation and Standard Bearer & Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) in Liberia. Former Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Cummings joined Coca-Cola Company in 1997 where he worked for 19 years until his retirement in 2016.