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Nigeria’s senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has proposed that the ever growing population of the African continent is an opportunity for business investors, both in Africa and abroad.

bukola saraki

Bukola Saraki delivering the keynote address at the conference

He spoke at the 3rd annual Georgetown Africa Business Conference at Georgetown University.

The population of Africa (currently at 1.3 billion people) is projected to double by 2050.

Saraki said: “Local talent is yearning for partnership and collaboration with talented, capable people such as yourself to realize the hopes of the growing youth population.”

“Naturally, a continent with a fast growing population that enjoy good music, movies, media and content production – and are eager to pay in order to stay abreast of information concerning their social entertainment – would not take long to be a continent to reckon with,” he added.

Saraki

From L-R:
Mr. Adeleke Adegbulugbe, Dr. Scott Taylor, Professor & Director, African Studies program, Georgetown Uni.
H.E (Dr) Bukola Saraki; Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Dr. Poetra Rivoli, Vice Dean, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown Uni

He also noted that economic development must not be something that happens to Africa, but something envisioned and deliberately planned to reflect the African worldview.

The conference brought together over 30 leaders from Africa, as well as 600 entrepreneurs, politicians and students.

Among them were the president of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, with event speakers like the Head, Accelerate TV, Colette Otusheso; Partner, Trans Sahara Investment Corporation, Ngozi Bell; Brand Custodian, Bentley Motors, Stan Mukoro, Founder and President, Tiwaworks, Tiwa Works, Head, Lexcon Consulting, Collins, among others.

Colette, Collins and Tiwa Works

Colette, Collins (one of the hosts) and Tiwa Works

Also in attendance was Temini Ajayi, a Duke University Medical School student who won the Young African Professionals DC Pitch Competition for his app DOKSTA, which provides training for Nigerian medical students. He won $1,000 and a round trip ticket to Nigeria.

DeShuna Spencer, the founder of recently launched African Diaspora streaming platform KweliTV, was also a panelist at the event.

“There were students here, entrepreneurs, people curious about business. I think the main sense of this event was about unity,” Spencer said. “I think there has been a misconception about the stories of Africa – child soldiers, AIDs, Ebola, flies on sick children’s faces. That’s not the whole story.”

Dr. Scott Taylor, director of the African Studies Program at Georgetown, addressed President Donald Trump and said that the conference will continue to be held at the school.

Georgetown

“I wish Donald Trump was here. Indeed, Donald Trump might learn something from all of you,” Taylor told the audience at the conclusion of the conference. “We’re not just waiting around, but instead are seizing opportunities, exploring entrepreneurship… dynamic ideas and rich educational backgrounds. We need to harness that, and we are harnessing that.”

This year’s conference, titled entitled “African Value Chain: Harnessing Local Talent & Opportunity,” was organized by Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and the Walsh School of Foreign Service’s African Studies Program and featured a keynote address by H.E. Bukola Saraki, the president of Nigeria’s senate.

Here are photos of many others who where in attendance:

Bukola Saraki

People at GTABC People at GTABC People at GTABC People at GTABC People at GTABC

Images courtesy: @ijeoma_francisca1, @y.sweetie, @yap_dc, @charlton.global

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