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.

Reception of partcipants


Technological Revolutions : Get ahead of the curve

In Africa, 84% of companies surveyed for the Africa CEO Barometer CEO Forum/Deloitte consider digital transformation of their business as an essential component of their strategy for the next 12 months. However, just a limited number of them are integrating these innovations into their activities – besides mobile applications. Indeed, only 10% of companies in Africa use Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain or big data. Internal organization, expansion and diversification strategy, new competitors: what are the real impacts of these innovations on companies and the African private sector?


Key points

  • What technologies or innovations will have the greatest impact on the continent?
  • Leapfrogging: what are the best ways to guarantee this technological leap within African companies ?
  • How can women best prepare for and participate in this tech revolution?




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networking break


Making the most of new technologies


Participate in one out of two of the following workshops : 


Artificial intelligence: understanding and implementing it

Benefit from the expertise of Olivier Mégéan, president of to learn how artificial intelligence can open up new opportunities for your company and get your business off the ground. What are the best ways to effectively deploy artificial intelligence ? What investments are required? What prerequisites? This workshop will answer all of these pressing questions.


Future of Work by McKinsey – Are you ready to face technological revolutions?

Take part in this workshop led by McKinsey to best prepare you and your organization to face the challenges brought by technological revolutions. Discussions will enable you to define precisely where you are at and discover if you are ready to make the most of new technologies and build the roadmap to face digital challenges


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networking lunch


Innovation: “leapfrog”, miracle or illusion?

Unreliable infrastructure, limited access to electricity, scarce medical coverage: innovation – such as Mobile Money – offer new and radical solutions to some of Africa’s most critical challenges. But
are new technologies the appropriate response to one of the continent’s greatest challenges: to create, according to the International Labour Organization, 122 million jobs in ten years? Should the priority not rather be to focus on sectors that not only generate employment but are more familiar to African economies, such as tourism, FMCG or manufacturing? Come and share your opinion and debate on this pressing issue for the future of the continent.


  • Sandrine Wamy

    Chief Information Officer, Bolloré Transports and Logistics

  • Oualae Alami

    Vice President, Pfizer Biopharmaceutical Group

  • Emna Kharouf

    Managing Partner, Deloitte ; Leader, Advisory Afrique, Deloitte (Board Member)

  • Valerie Neim

    Managing Director, CCPC Finance

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networking break

CEO Talk

Women on Boards – one woman, one story

While the benefits of having more women on boards are no longer to be proven, women are still struggling to access them and affirm their leadership. In sub-Saharan Africa, women hold only 14% of board seats. Women leaders, board members of large companies and institutions share their experiences: how did they build their profiles as board members and overcome the challenges they faced? How do they see their role and effectiveness in a male-dominated environment ?


  • Lizeka Matshekga

    Divisional Executive: Agro, Infrastructure & New Industries, The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC)

  • Yvonne Ike

    Managing Director, Head of Sub Saharan Africa (Ex-RSA), Bank of America Merrill Lynch

  • Fathia Bennis

    Chief Executive Officer, Maroclear

  • Daphné Mashile- Nkosi

    Executive chairperson, Kalagadi Manganese

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Closing ceremony

closing cocktail