Oxford Africa Conference, ‘African Transformations: Business and Society’

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The 2014 Oxford Africa Conference, brings together The Oxford Africa Business Conference and the Oxford University Pan-African Conference into a single, in-depth assessment of different facets of this complex and fascinating continent. The event take place on Friday 23rd May and Saturday 24th May 2014 at The Oxford Union and Saїd Business School, University of Oxford.

Africa’s economies are booming, but sustainable growth will depend on the integration of business with other aspects of society, including politics, academia, and culture. How can African governments accelerate infrastructure development to support a range of business sectors? How are mobile technologies providing opportunities both for poverty reduction and new leisure activities for the burgeoning middle class? How does the generation of income, jobs and export earnings balance with the need to promote social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development?

These questions and more will be explored in Africa Transformations: Business and Society, the 2014 Oxford Africa Conference, which for the first time brings together The Oxford Africa Business Conference and the Oxford University Pan-African Conference into a single, in-depth assessment of different facets of this complex and fascinating continent. You are invited to attend.

Day one of the conference, to take place at Saïd Business School, will focus on “Succeeding in Times of Change”; day two, at the Oxford Union, will concentrate on “Celebrating Today’s Africa.” A range of African business leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, artists, writers, and development experts from organisations such as Schulze Global Investments, BBC, McKinsey and Co., Homecoming Revolution, Africa IQ, AgDevCo, L’Oreal, Mara Conservation Fund, will participate in 15 panel discussions on topics including:

  • The Challenge of Peace, Conflict and Stability in Africa
  • Private Equity - Investing at the Frontier
  • African talent: Closing the skills gap
  • Thinking Digital, Delivering Entertainment
  • African Literature – Writing Local in a Global Context
  • Reporting Africa: From Within and From Without
  • Conscience of the People? Art(ists) and Society
  • Governance Trends in Contemporary Africa

Key speakers in the plenary sessions are:
Winnie Byanyima Director, Oxfam International
Bob Collymore CEO, Safaricom
Valentine Rugwabiza Former Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organisation
Hakeem Belo-Osagie Chairman Etisalat Nigeria
Kennedy Bungane CEO Barclays Africa (outside South Africa)
Dr. Admore Kambudzi Head, AU Peace and Conflict Secretariat
Koos Bekker formerly CEO, Naspers

A full list of speakers and further details of the programme can be found on the Conference website.

To register to attend, or to arrange to interview one of the speakers, please contact the press office:
Clare Fisher, Head of Public Relations, Saïd Business School
Mobile: +44 (0)7912 771090; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288968
Email: clare(dot)fisher(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Josie Powell, Press Officer
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to Editors:

Oxford University Africa Society

For over fifty years, this African student-run organisation has served as the hub for debate and discussion regarding Africa at the University of Oxford. It has become one of the most vibrant and influential societies at the University. We foster a sense of community among our members and provide a united voice on issues pertaining to Africa at the University and beyond. OUAS seeks to set the agenda for the future of the continent by providing a platform for African students and others to engage with opportunities and developments in Africa. Above all, it is a community of change agents passionate about Africa.

The Oxford University Africa Society is unique for its diversity and its capacity to influence change. Our members hail from every corner of the continent, and indeed the world. Our members include both graduate and undergraduate students from a wide variety of disciplines. The Society's many events focus on celebrating Africa, considering the future of the continent and helping students find their place in it.

The Oxford Business Network for Africa

The Oxford Business Network for Africa is a student led group created to organise and channel the substantial interest in business in Africa amongst Oxford students, alumni and faculty. The group is run by current MBA students at Saïd Business School (SBS), University of Oxford. Every year, a number of engagements are organised including speaker events, an Africa trek and Strategic Consulting Projects. These projects can be located anywhere in Africa and usually take place over eight weeks during July and August. Projects focus on issues of major importance to the future strategic direction of organisations and benefit from the combined multi-functional skills a truly global MBA class can offer.

Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2013) Saïd is ranked 12th. It is ranked 13th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2013) and 23rd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2014). The MBA is ranked 5th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2012) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 23rd worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2013). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 6th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2013). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2013) and has ranked first in nine of the last ten years in The Times (Sept 2013). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/

The Oxford Union

The Union is the world's most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. The Union is steeped in history. It was founded in 1823 as a forum for discussion and debate, at a time when the free exchange of ideas was a notion foreign to the restrictive University authorities. It soon became the only place for students to discuss political topics whilst at Oxford. Distinguished individuals who have spoken at the Oxford Union include Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa, Malcolm X, the Dalia Lama and Henry Kissinger.


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Josie Powell
University of Oxford
+44 1865288403
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Clare Fisher
University of Oxford
+44 (0)1865 288968
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