Innovation and technology: new horizons for Africa ?


Despite obvious progress in research and innovation in Africa over the past 15 years, substantive efforts are still needed to obtain game-changing results in this area. In most African countries, R&D spending remains below 0.5% of GDP, compared to 2.2% in Singapore or 4.3% in South Korea. Increasing investments in scientific research is essential to accelerate growth and address the continent’s numerous challenges in agriculture, health, energy and finance, among other areas.

For its second edition, the Women in Business Annual Leadership Meeting will convene more than 250 African female leaders around this pressing issue. Participants will discuss the impact of disruptive technologies on the business world, as well as the most effective ways to strengthen women’s influence in this area. Indeed women account for 30% of the number of professionals in science-related fields and only hold 11% of leadership roles in new technologies.




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Investing in innovation and new technologies to transform African economies  

African tech companies have raised more than 680 million dollars in 2018. In parallel , R&D spending remain limited: they represent less than 0.5% of the GDP, for less than 500 researchers for one million inhabitants. However, many challenges could be solved through increased investment in the field: better access electricity and financial services, building sustainable infrastructure, improve agricultural productivity. Researchers and leaders will discuss what best strategy could help revert  the situation and place women at the centre of scientific debates and research.


Key points:

  • What levers will enable the continent to initiate a fourth industrial revolution?
  • Infrastructure deficit, lack of public investments: what are the main challenges for digital development in Africa?
  • Gendered innovations: what solutions can be found to address the lack of integration of gender-specific data into the products and services of new technologies?




  • Nathalie Munyampenda

    Managing Director, Next Einstein Forum

  • Salwa Toko

    President of the National Digital Council and Founder and President of BECOMTECH

  • Aminata Ndiaye

    Vice President of Marketing, Digital & Customer Experience, Orange Middle East and Africa

  • Brenda Mbathi

    Chief Executif Officer, East Africa, GE

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Participate in two out of four of the following workshops to be more assertive in your leadership, join company boards, contribute to the improvement of your company’s governance practices, orbecome role models for the younger generation.


Workshop 1:  Finding your voice as a leader (workshop delivered both in french and in english)

During an interactive, entertaining and practical workshop, participants will unleash their vocal personality. Specific exercises to work on their voices, posture and gaze will allow them to acquire techniques to highlight their assets, get rid of several difficulties in order to communicate with strength and relief. With 20 years of professional experience in the arts and communication fields, Virginie Servaes accompanies executives, officials and artists who wish to take care of their voices.


Workshop 2 – What powerful women must know to become role models for future generations (in english)

Role models have an influence on shaping and influencing younger generations, especially when it comes to women. According to a recent study, the under-representation of women in the field of new technologies is mainly due to the fact that role models in this sector are often male. During this workshop, reveal yourself as a role model to have a greater impact on the women around you and help strengthen the leaders of tomorrow.  


Workshop 3: Get African Women on Board (in partnership with KPMG)

Bridging the gender gap in boardrooms is not simply a matter of social justice. Studies have consistently shown the direct correlation between increased gender representation on corporate boards and improved financial performance. “Get African Women on Board” is the first certified training designed specifically for top women executives to reinforce their boardroom expertise. Participate in this tailored workshop to acquire the tools for board-qualification, and understand the responsibilities that define the role.


Workshop 4 : Getting things done: let’s bring the gender diversity charter to life

Initiated by the Africa CEO Forum and supported by top African women leaders, the Gender diversity charter aims to build a more equitable African economic ecosystem between genders across all types of structures and positions. The purpose of the discussions during this workshop led by Deloitte will be to identify specific tools and means  to enable an efficient implementation of the Charter.


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Repetition of the same series of workshops in order for the participants to take part  in 2 out of the 4 proposed workshops.

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