Business Leaders Share Ideas On Solving Africa’s Biggest Social Challenges

Array ( [0] => 6 ) News,

Many of the continent’s top decision-makers to converge at Kigali Summit

JOHANNESBURG – MARCH 2020 Business leaders from across Africa will seek solutions to some of the continent’s most challenging social issues at the Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit in Kigali, Rwanda on 4 – 5 June 2020.

The Summit, which will draw leaders from some of Africa’s biggest companies as well as decision-makers from government and civil society, provides a platform for business to collaborate on social upliftment of the continent, as well as to share insights about the most effective ways for companies to solve social challenges as a core part of their business operations.

The decision to hold the 2020 Summit in Rwanda gives delegates an opportunity to learn from the economic and social developments in the country over the last two decades, with the summit’s content aligned with selected priority areas of Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).

“The solution-seeking sessions enable attendees delegates to discuss specific regional challenges and collectively contribute and suggest possible solutions,” says Shared Value Africa Initiative CEO Tiekie Barnard. “This provides a significant opportunity for delegates to learn and form networks across the continent.”

These sessions will be managed by alumni of the African Leadership University (ALU), with ALU faculty members will participating in the Solution Seeking Sessions and the presentations at the Summit. African Leadership Group founder Fred Swaniker will also give a keynote address at the Summit.

The solution-seeking sessions allow some of the greatest minds in Africa to grapple with complex issues:

  • How does Africa connect across borders to make the continent the global tourist destination?
  • What is required for Africa to become the world’s food basket?
  • How do we continue to improve Africa’s health care capabilities?
  • What is the real societal benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area?
  • How do we build Africa’s Shared Value ecosystems?
  • How do we grow the benefits of the continent’s Public-Private Partnerships?

“The Shared Value business model, developed by Harvard Business School’s Prof Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, is practised by an increasing number of businesses across the world,” says Shared Value Africa Initiative Founder and CEO Tiekie Barnard. “This provides opportunities to build business initiatives around solving social problems at scale, contributing to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on the continent.”

The Summit has become a platform for Africa’s business thought leaders to exchange insights and share their experiences implementing the Shared Value business model in the diverse African context. The event connects speakers from industries ranging from telecommunications to healthcare, manufacturing and mining.

Discussions enable participants new to Shared Value thinking to learn how to embed shared value into core strategy of the business, and how to develop shared value opportunities to address social and environmental issues.

As well as the solution-seeking sessions, the Summit will also feature African leaders sharing how their businesses create economic value and value for society, as well as presentations from various industry sectors.

Sponsorship for the Summit is provided by Abbott, KCB Group and Old Mutual Ltd, KCB Group.

“The 2020 Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit in Kigali is a great opportunity for us to exchange ideas and insights on how business can make a unique impact, especially in health,” said Jenna Daugherty, divisional vice president, Global Citizenship and Sustainability, Abbott. “We’re looking forward to sharing updates on our shared value collaboration with the government of Rwanda and the non-profit organization Society for Family Health Rwanda to help bring accessible, affordable and enhanced quality health services to rural communities in Rwanda.”

The Summit, which took place 23-24 May 2019 in Nairobi, was attended by more than 350 business executives per day over two days, with more than 18 countries represented.

The Summit also aims to encourage business to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on the continent. “As with previous years, the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be a theme throughout at the Summit as a guide to the business leaders to demonstrate how business can contribute to achieving the goals and to addressing e social challenges, a core part of their operations” says Barnard.

Tickets and further information are available at

About Shared Value Africa Initiative:

The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI), is a pan-African organisation and the custodian of the global Shared Value movement on our continent. The SVAI is the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative started by economists Prof Michael Porter and Mark Kramer from Harvard Business School. Prof Porter is a current member of the Rwandan Presidential Advisory Council.

The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) brings businesses and business communities from across Africa together with a common purpose: build ecosystems to drive the growth of the African economy; shift Africa from being the poorest continent to become the most economically viable; and bring about change at scale to the benefit not only business but also society and the environment. Its main objective is to build one of Africa’s most powerful business networks. The SVAI enables people to partner with and learn from others to sustainably create both economic and societal value through their Shared Value strategy, as well as how to motivate others to make the shift to Shared Value, further influencing change at scale.

Since its inception, the SVAI has been working to establish a strong footprint across the continent, beginning in South Africa. As East Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies on the globe, the SVAI believes that this region has the potential to catalyse a business revolution across the continent. Successful economies, such as Kenya (hosts of the 2019 Summit) and Rwanda, influence and motivate others to follow in their footsteps – and, by becoming Shared Value hubs, can influence positive change on our continent.