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Introducing Driving Business in Africa Virtual Networking Events Series

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By: Shira Petrack

At Empower Africa, we believe that increasing business and trade on the continent is the only path to sustainable economic growth. We also believe that connecting, communicating, and collaborating with trusted individuals and companies is key to commercial success and private sector expansion. 

That’s why Events and Trade Missions are one of the three pillars of our company. (The other two are our Consulting and Project Facilitation Services and the Empower Africa Business Network.) We bring together top business executives, entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, and NGO representatives who believe that the continent’s long term prosperity depends on increasing trade and business. At our events, attendees can discuss specific opportunities, share best practices, and gain expertise on certain sub-sectors and industries. 

Despite being a young company, we have built a wide and global network of trusted and valuable contacts. After hosting several well-attended international in-person events in North America, Europe, and Africa, we were ready to expand our events offerings. Then Covid-19 forced international travel to a standstill, and we needed to rethink our strategy. 

Thankfully, we soon realized that we had received an incredible opportunity. Our network spans across the globe, and the busy schedule of many of our contacts makes attending in-person events a challenge. And while in-person events have certain undeniable advantages, virtual events offer some unique benefits

On October 28th, we hosted our first virtual Driving Business in Africa Virtual Event covering the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA). The event consisted of a panel discussion sandwiched between two hour-long networking sessions. Virtual tables seating two to eight people were arranged across four different themed floors. Attendees could hop from table to table and from level to level from the comfort of their home or office. 

Although we had a strong track record with our in-person gatherings, we were a bit nervous that our guests would not be as keen to attend a virtual event. We should not have been. Guests tuned in from eighteen different countries, representing fourteen diverse industries. Our exclusive event was invite-only, and 41% of the 77 guests were C-suite executives. In the end, we got such great feedback that we decided to turn the Driving Business in Africa Virtual Networking Event into a monthly occurrence!

To keep these events as valuable as possible for all participants, we are only inviting guests from our guest list. However, we are always looking to expand our network, so we have opened applications to join our guest list. Please click here for more information.

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Foreign companies have often viewed Africa as a repository of mineral and agricultural raw materials without considering the continent’s manufacturing potential. This is not just a missed opportunity for companies that could increase their supply chain efficiency and enjoy tax breaks geared towards agriculture processors in many African countries; it also prevents local Africans from reaping the economic benefits of their country’s agricultural commodities

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