The Grow Africa Partnership was founded jointly by the African Union (AU), The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2011. Grow Africa works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments. The client wanted to organize a meeting comprising of country sessions with heads of government and ministers showcasing in-country investment opportunities to potential investors and having a dialogue on the investment bottlenecks. To do this they needed a firm that would be able to execute the event within three months. We were contracted by the WEF to work with Grow Africa to manage the design, planning and execution of the event on the margins of the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Durban, South Africa in May 2017.
Our firm designed an alternative approach of the event that focused on six core problems impacting agribusiness investments in Africa. This was instead of the initial format of holding country sessions to showcase in-country investment opportunities to investors. The approach involved designing two thought leadership events as part of WEF for Africa aimed at promoting knowledge sharing, networking, and identification of investment opportunities in African agribusiness and food systems. To ensure success we reached out aggressively to various constituents to ensure their participation. In order to execute the two events efficiently we developed a project management plan involving cross-functional teams based in the United States of America (USA), Geneva, South Africa and Nairobi. We also worked with protocol offices of the Heads of Government from Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, and Kenya. Based on our extensive event management expertise we organized and managed the two events’ logistics, delivery of the program and post-event updates. This included designing the agenda and support materials required, managing all communications and media engagement. We also briefed all key speakers, panelists, and moderators. These included ministers of finance and agriculture in Africa, the teams of the International Finance Corporation’s Vice President for Financial Inclusion, Heads of State, President of IFAD, and top executives from The Coca-Cola Company, DuPont, Heineken, Unilever, USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, JICA and the Rockefeller Foundation on their speaking roles at the Forum.
SIA’s thought leadership expertise convened over 200 high level delegates convened to define actions to accelerate agribusiness investments in Africa
Our thought leadership event management expertise enabled our client to host two high level dialogue platforms that defined priority actions for government leaders, development partners and private sector business to accelerate agribusiness investments in Africa. The meetings were attended by more than 200 delegates including four Heads of State, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development, Head of Africa Union, development partners including International Finance Cooperation, United States Agency for International Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and more than 40 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from international and African multinationals in food and agribusiness such DuPont and Syngenta. We also supported our client to develop two key outputs on the dialogues – a posting on the World Economic blog roll called ‘Agenda’ and a 10-point communique and call to action on the meeting take-ways that can be found here and a web story here.