Last Saturday, a small group of students were able to attend a prestigious forum held at the Said Business School, which explored the reality of business in Africa, with the aim of increasing awareness of opportunity across the continent. Trevor Manuel, former South African Cabinet Minister, made an opening speech, which followed by a schedule of lectures and discussion forums. Topics included agriculture, investment, technology, infrastructure and branding, and were addressed by distinguished entrepreneurs and business owners who flew from around the world to attend the event. Speakers included Colin Coleman, Head of Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division for Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenny Ewan, CEO and Founder of WeFarm, and Dolika Banda, a Zambian national with over 25 years of experience in international banking and financial management. Dolika made a particularly inspiring and honest closing speech which expressed the challenges of setting up business in Africa, yet also highlighted the great ambition and aspiration of the continent.
This event allowed students to see the practical applications of subjects such as economics, business, management and politics, and to experience academic debate on a top level. It was particularly pleasing to see some students have the courage to ask questions to the speakers in front of such a large audience.