The Qatar Africa Business Forum hosted the 20th edition of the Doha Forum in Qatar on March 26th – 27th, 2022. The two-day event themed “Transforming for a New Era” featured several panel discussions on critical themes, including geopolitical alliances and international relations; the financial system and economic development; defense, cybersecurity, and food security; sustainability and climate change.
During the session “Reimagining Business Models in the Post-Pandemic Era,” Okey Enelamah, Chairman, ACA, in a panel with Choguel Kokalla Maïga, Prime Minister, Mali, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder and Executive Director, SoleRebels Phillip Ihenacho, Founder and Partner, Amaya Capital, and Richard Okello Founder, Sango Capital (moderator), explored how business leaders are rethinking urban planning and putting policies in place that may contribute to resilient societies, circular economies, and sustainable urban growth. They also took a critical look at the most significant investment opportunities that exist in Africa.
In response to a question about negative or positive surprises encountered in the evolution of African countries, Okey expressed that in his dealings as a business leader, he has been, on several occasions, pleasantly surprised by the responses of the youth- by way of innovations amongst other things, in the face of adversity and difficulty. On the other hand, he was negatively surprised at how ill-prepared the African continent is for changes happening around it, resulting in a subdued response to the world’s needs across sectors. He cited an example of the low investments made into the energy sector where the continent should ordinarily feature prominently.
He also stressed that post-pandemic, the way forward is a focus on the tech ecosystem and its interface with various sectors to achieve superior growth.