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10th Edition of CEO Africa Roundtable kicks off in Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the guest speaker of the conference and is expected to speak on Thursday.

THE CEO Africa Roundtable’s 10th Annual Conference kicked off on Wednesday with several key issues to be discussed under the theme ‘The Future of Africa, Mordenise, Reshape and Grow’.

The annual conference, which will end on Friday, will focus on discussions between government and business around several topical issues. The major issues include building inclusive Al, how AI is reshaping the African business context, and transforming state owned enterprises into African champions, amongst other issues. 

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the guest speaker of the conference and is expected to speak on Thursday.

The conference is being held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

In an interview, CEO Africa Roundtable Media and Communications officer Candice Mwakalyelye said that the conference would be focused on reshaping and growing Zimbabwe and Africa.

“It has a huge impact as His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, is the guest of honour. I mean, if we look at just last year, this year he was gracious enough to be with us again. And the conversations that we had (at last year’s conference) were really forward-thinking conversations,” she said.

“Last year, he got to hear the thoughts of some of the business leaders who were in the room, and they got to hear him as well and kind of come to a place where you can understand how things are being done. Especially, if you are a business leader.”

She noted that the interactions between the delegates and the President would help businesses to make informed decisions while reshaping their businesses for the future.

“It is very important that you understand the context of the landscape you are operating in, so having access to his Excellency, to be able to answer some of these questions, makes such a huge difference, especially for our delegates when we attend,” Mwakalyelye said.

She said this was because it gave insight into what may be boggling their minds as they tried to reshape their businesses and think outside the box.

This comes as the macroeconomic environment is being weighed down by high public debt, volatile currency causing an inflationary environment, capital flight, high taxation, income erosion, corruption, and policy inconsistencies, among other challenges.

“How do you go forward? What are some of the things that you should be taking into consideration? What are the pitfalls of some of the decisions that you’re making as business leaders on the economy at large? So, these conversations then will help them with their better interests,” Mwakalyelye said.

She added that this year’s conference would be focusing on ideas to reshape, modernise, and grow Zimbabwe as well as Africa.

“This year we are taking a deliberate African-wide approach. Our theme this year is ‘The Future of Africa, Modernise, Reshape and Grow’. So, when you look at that, we are looking at moving Africa forward. Not only from a Zimbabwean perspective, but a continent-wide context,” Mwakalyelye said.

“Now, taking into context that we’ve also got chapters in Mozambique, in Malawi, in Botswana, we really are going out of our way to make sure that everybody is speaking to each other. And, we’re all connected and we’re moving forward as a continent.”

She highlighted the major focus during the conference’s deliberations would be on modernising Africa's infrastructure as it was slowly getting old, thus affecting people and businesses.

“I mean, we are looking at modernising our cities. When we look at the landscape itself, across Africa, our cities are fairly aged. And it does affect a lot of things, and especially the quality of life, so that’s one of the areas that we will be talking about,” Mwakalyelye said.

Another issue to be widely discussed during the conference is the impact of Artificial Intelligence in Zimbabwe and Africa, interrogating the preparedness of the continent to embrace it in day-to-day operations.


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