WEF Africa to be chaired by Aliko Dangote, John Rice and other business worthies

WEF Africa to be chaired by Aliko Dangote, John Rice and other business worthies

This year’s World Economic Forum on Africa, to be held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 7 to 9 May, will be co-chaired by seven esteemed personages:

  • Dominic Barton – Global MD of McKinsey & Company
  • Jean-François van Boxmeer – chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Heineken
  • Aliko Dangote – President and CEO of Dangote Group
  • Bineta Diop – President of Femmes Africa Solidarité
  • Jabu A. Mabuza – Chairman of Telkom Group
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal – Chairman of Bharti Enterprises
  • John G. Rice – Vice-chairman of General Electric

As the foremost gathering on the continent, it’s unsurprising that the WEF has the power to draw such luminaries to serve as co-chairs.

Let’s take a brief look at each of the above to provide you with a little more background on the individuals who will be chairing the Abuja conference…

Dominic Barton

Dominic Barton, born in 1962 in Kampala, Uganda, to a missionary father and nurse mother, is the Canadian MD of McKinsey and Company. A husband and father of two, he lives primarily in London.

His list of professional achievements is extensive, including serving on the Canadian PM’s Advisory Committee on Public Service, working as an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and authoring more than 80 article and two books. He has been with McKinsey and Company for 27 years, during which time he led their Korea office (2000-04) and was the Asia Chairman (2004-09). He has been serving as Global MD since 2009.

Jean-François van Boxmeer

Jean-François van Boxmeer is a Belgian businessman renowned for his leadership of Heineken International, the Holland-based beer company established in 1864 that is now the world’s second largest brewer in terms of revenue.

Jean-François started with Heineken in 1984 as a trainee in Amsterdam. Since then he has headed branches in Rwanda, the DRC, Poland and Italy. He has been Chairman and CEO since 2005.

Jean-François believes India and Africa are the two key markets in the world today.

Aliko Dangote

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa and the richest black man in the world, according to Forbes, is a highly esteemed businessman, leader, academic and philanthropist.

Aliko, born in 1957 in Nigeria, studied business in Cairo before returning to Nigeria where he started Dangote Group as a modest trading firm in 1977. Today that company is the largest industrial corporation in West Africa and one of the largest in Africa, with Aliko as its Chairman and CEO.

In 2011, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan awarded Aliko the country’s second highest honour, namely that of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.

Bineta Diop

Bineta Diop is a women of tremendous intellect and influence who has and continues to fight for peace and gender parity, particularly in tumultuous contexts like the DRC, Burundi and South Sudan. In 2011 TIME magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Bineta, born in 1950, is a PhD candidate in International Relations and Diplomacy. She is the founder and executive director of Switzerland-based Femmes Africa Solidarité, which focuses on women-led peace-building projects. She is also, together with Mary Robinson, co-chair for the Civil Society Advisory Group to the UN on Women, Peace and Security.

Jabu A. Mabuza

Jabulane Mabuza is a South African mogul with wide-ranging experience. He serves as director of numerous companies, banks and financial institutions, such as African Renaissance Investments Management (ARIM), Marconi SA, and Southern Sun Hotels.

In November 2012 Jabu took on the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors for Telkom, the South African telecommunications provider operating in over 38 African nations.

Sunil Bharti Mittal

Sunil Mittal is an extremely successful entrepreneur, who began his first company at the age of 18. He is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Bharti Enterprises, which deals in telecoms, agri business, retail, and financial business. The Group subsidiary Bharti Airtel is the world’s fourth largest mobile operator and operates in several African nations.

Born in Punjab, India, in 1957, Sunil is married, has three children, and lives in Delhi. Apart from his business prowess he is also known for his leadership skills and philanthropy, and has won numerous awards, including Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2010 from The Asian Awards.

John G. Rice

John Rice, the 57-year-old American business tycoon, has been with General Electric (GE) since 1978. In 2010 he became Vice-Chairman as well as President and CEO of GE Global Growth and Operations. Just prior to this appointment he served as President and CEO of GE Technology Infrastructure.

John and his wife presently live in Hong Kong. John is a regular speaker at conferences, covering industry events, business, and economics, and also provides frequent media commentary.

The 2014 edition of WEF which kicks off this Wednesday will have salient points as panel discussions. KPMG Africa will be well represented on the floor to cover the sessions; our blog – http://www.blog.kpmgafrica/wef-africa and twitter handle – @KPMGAfrica will be veritable source of WEF details during the event.

David Okwara

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