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Standard Bank Group
1 July 2020

Africa Investor's Conference 2020

Virtual Africa Investors Conference provides the ideal platform for investors and corporates to discuss investment opportunities on the continent

In line with current world trends, Standard Bank Group has adopted a digital approach to enable African corporate clients and leading policymakers to connect virtually with some of the world’s leading institutional investors.

In partnership with ICBC Standard Bank and Microsoft, Standard Bank hosted its 10th Africa Investors Conference using a specially enhanced Microsoft Teams platform to host over 2500 meetings over 5 days, doubling the number of meetings hosted in 2019. The virtual platform enabled many more African corporates and investors to fully participate in the conference, and policymaker sessions were larger in reach. The number of investors registered for the conference has increased by 78% and African corporate participation increased by 17%.

From 22-26 June 2020 , the conference was hosted against the backdrop of an uncertain environment as the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdowns remain very much to the fore. With the impact of the current crisis in mind, participants  accessed significant opportunities to collaborate and exchange fresh ideas, helping to drive growth on the continent.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic is a major setback for the global economy, Standard Bank Group believes Africa’s long-term prospects remain positive and the opportunities for investors and businesses to promote the development of the continent while also generating healthy returns remains,” says Gert Vogel, Chief Executive, International for Standard Bank Group.

The Africa Investors Conference was first held in 2010 and for the past nine years has been hosted at Standard Bank’s offices in the City of London.

“COVID-19 will have a fundamental impact on Africa, as for the rest of the world, making it more important than ever for Standard Bank and ICBC Standard Bank to stimulate discussions between Africa’s top companies and institutional investors to help identify opportunities and stimulate growth in and across the African continent,” says Mr Vogel.  

Top calibre corporates from across the continent, representing a broad range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, power, transport, mining, construction, chemicals, leisure, telecoms, food and retail, are present. This year we expect over 450 delegates to attend, ranging from government ministers, central bankers, investors and corporates from across numerous African countries. 

“We are excited to partner with Standard Bank on this event,” says Lillian Barnard, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa.  “While this unprecedented time has driven increased demand for digital engagement platforms, we anticipate that this kind of experience is set to shape conferences of this nature for the future.”

This year’s event came ahead of the highly anticipated launch of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will boost intra-African trade and local economies. While the trading bloc’s implementation has been delayed due to COVID-19, its launch is expected to have a transformative impact on African economies.

We had a chance to do an exclusive interview with Goolam Ballim, Chief Economist and Head of Research, Standard Bank Group. We spoke in depth about the economic forecast for the continent as a whole, and with regard to specific regions and sectors. Click here to view.