Milan, March 6th-8th 2018
Enel Foundation, together with its partner SDA Bocconi School of Management, promoted a three-day Forum on Entrepreneurship in Africa addressing trends and entrepreneurial opportunities in the African continent. The event focused on energy, climate change, entrepreneurship, development, demography and migration, all crucial elements in the race to a clean and resilient energy future for Africa.
Matteo di Castelnuovo, Professor at Bocconi University, commented, “Bocconi is very proud to organize, in cooperation with Enel Foundation, its first major conference on Africa. When we first designed the program, our goal was to emphasize some of the challenges but, above all, the tremendous opportunities that have arisen in recent years in the African continent. That is why we decided that entrepreneurship and investments had to be the main theme throughout most of the sessions.”
Carlo Papa, Director of the Enel Foundation and Vice Chair of the UN Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, delivered a speech focused on capacity building in Africa. Ahead of the Forum, the responsible explained that:
“Enel Foundation is co-leading the discussion around the ways to win the race to a clean and resilient energy future for Africa considering the Human factor at the center of the journey from poverty to prosperity in energy deficit regions. We need to have in mind the needs and competences of our fellow Human beings, looking at how we can satisfy the former and nurture the latter, considering electricity a key element for Humanity to thrive.”
High Level Participation
Featuring panel discussions and interactive events open to the public, the Forum provided meaningful insights on how to support the UN SDG 7 and provide energy access to the more than 645 million Africans with no access to electricity. EGP CEO and RES4Africa President, Antonio Cammisecra, delivered a highly anticipated keynote speech focusing on “Investment opportunities in clean technologies”.
High-level representatives from both the private and public sectors were in attendance representing organizations such as the ACRA Foundation; Akbaraly Foundation; Africa-EU Energy Partnership; African Union; COOPI; Dpixel; Enel; Energy Generation; Givewatts; HYBR-Venture Capital for Africa; Impact Investment Scandinavia; Ingressive; LafargeHolcim; Microcred; Moneta Bank; RES4Africa; Quantum Global Group; Turtle Management; UNHCR.
The attending speakers explored relevant topics on African sustainable development, such as the challenges deriving from political instability, the outdated education system, or poor infrastructure. The sessions also reviewed the opportunities provided by supporting the onset of innovation and entrepreneurial investments in Africa. Reports from Bocconi faculty portrayed the positive impact of enterprise networking, specialized training and microfinance policies. An engaging round-table with qualified participants from different African regions provided a comprehensive overview of the African business, investment and development scenarios.
On the last day of the program, startups took the scene for an invitation only “Startup day special focus in Africa”. Almost 30 new companies provided a fascinating portrait of African entrepreneurship: food products, luxury hospitality, environment-friendly farming, green household appliances, socially responsible programs, communication, transport, healthcare and new technologies were part of the mix, tangible proof of the dynamic entrepreneurial African scene.
Click here to access conference materials.