AFRICAN BRANDS AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S ANNUAL MEETING OF NEW CHAMPIONS

During our pilot programme, the brands also attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions, where they met successful China-based entrepreneurs and international renowned businesses, as well as leaders in innovation, technology and science. Here, they received valuable advice on how to “scale up” to the next level and be ready for a globalized market.

 

In Dalian, the main aim for the delegation was to make the most of the WEF’s Annual Meeting of New Champions, the foremost global summit on innovation, science and technology, promoting entrepreneurship in the global public interest. The Meeting, which featured a keynote speech from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, presented opportunities for networking with business and other leaders and entrepreneurs from all around the world. As entrepreneurs with global mindsets and commitments to the sustainable growth in their local communities, Africa Reimagined delegates were invited to attend the specialized “Start-Ups” programme – an exclusive practical leadership programme for CEOs of leading companies less than 10 years old, along with many other seasoned and emerging leaders in policy-making, technology, and business. At a special session on June 30th, our delegates met with Prof Klaus Schwab, founder and Chairman of WEF, and received valuable advice from other successful businesses on how to “scale up” their businesses and techniques for expanding into various globalized markets.

The main conference from 1-3rd July had four main tracks, including Fostering Agile Industry Leadership, Achieving Technology Leadership, Sustaining Economic Leadership, and Promoting Responsible Leadership. The delegates attended sessions most relevant to their businesses, including:

  • Future of the China-Africa relationship;
  • Options for sustainable mining;
  • How to reduce the environmental impact of packaging;
  • The future of trade;
  • Opportunities that blockchain presents;
  • New ideas for creating trust, enhancing team diversity and measuring impact/results.

The top industry leaders gave very positive feedback towards Africa Reimagined’s vision and offered meaningful insights and proposed partnerships with AR and the other members of the delegation, especially regarding China market entry and how to attract venture capital (VC) funds. The delegation was invited to consider creating an expo-like space at WEF Africa, and several Young Global Leaders (YGLs) – a cohort of talented leaders under 40 from all around the world – offered to nominate the African CEOs just on this first meeting, demonstrating their credibility and vision.

The main conference from 1-3rd July had four main tracks, including Fostering Agile Industry Leadership, Achieving Technology Leadership, Sustaining Economic Leadership, and Promoting Responsible Leadership. The delegates attended sessions most relevant to their businesses, including:

  • Future of the China-Africa relationship;
  • Options for sustainable mining;
  • How to reduce the environmental impact of packaging;
  • The future of trade;
  • Opportunities that blockchain presents;
  • New ideas for creating trust, enhancing team diversity and measuring impact/results.

The top industry leaders gave very positive feedback towards Africa Reimagined’s vision and offered meaningful insights and proposed partnerships with AR and the other members of the delegation, especially regarding China market entry and how to attract venture capital (VC) funds. The delegation was invited to consider creating an expo-like space at WEF Africa, and several Young Global Leaders (YGLs) – a cohort of talented leaders under 40 from all around the world – offered to nominate the African CEOs just on this first meeting, demonstrating their credibility and vision.

At WEF, a $1-billion Belt and Road Africa Fund was also announced to strengthen the cooperation between business sectors in China and Africa. The fund will be headed by South African businessman and chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, Dr Iqbal Survé. With co-investments in infrastructure, technology, e- commerce, artificial intelligence (AI) and the beneficiation of the resource industry in Africa, it is envisioned to serve as a bridge between African and Chinese businesses. Our delegates had the opportunity to congratulate him on his shared vision for African growth and development, and he congratulated them on their work to change lives in African countries as well.

The WEF Annual Meeting was an incredible opportunity for Africa Reimagined and its partners. The brands got to meet and learn from top leaders in their industries, through several seminars, networking sessions, and presentations. This is just one example of what Africa Reimagined can provide its clients through our “Testing the Market” service. Keep an eye out for more blog posts regarding our pilot programme, including introductions to each of our partner brands! To learn more about Africa Reimagined, take a look through our “What we do”  page.

Keyi (Freddy) Liu

 Research Analyst

Freddy is a research intern in Africa Reimagined. He focuses on Chinese market research and wishes to assist African high-end brands to achieve success in China. He also has interest in international relations. Freddy is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Sena Voncujovi

Research Analyst

Sena Voncujovi is a research and policy analyst at Development Reimagined. Voncujovi specializes in global health issues, Japan-Africa relations, and China-Africa relations. He served as the Editor-in-chief of Peking University’s Africa Think Tank (PATT) during his master’s in International Relations & Politics as a Yenching Scholar. Voncujovi previously advised the Ghanaian government for the 2019 TICAD 7 Conference held in Yokohama. He is the co-founder of Jaspora, Tokyo’s largest community of African diasporan diplomats, changemakers, professionals, students, and business people.

Fikayo Akeredolu

Research Analyst

Fikayo Akeredolu is a finance and research analyst at Development Reimagined. She is studying for a PhD in Politics & International Relations at Oxford. Her research focuses on how African countries can better leverage economic and political power. She has experience in financial products from Bloomberg LP and Thomson Reuters. She is also a Schwarzman Scholar.

Yixin Yu

Research Analyst

Yixin is a Junior Research Analyst and her focus areas is on public-private partnership and entrepreneurship. She has over three years of working experience in both private and public sectors in Ethiopia. She was the China Liaison Officer for project ‘Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa’ at International Trade Centre, where she accumulated rich experience in investment and trade promotion.

Ivory Kairo

Communications Support

Ivory is a Kenyan lawyer with experience in policy research and analysis. She also supports the communications team through liaising with African brands, creating graphic content and other external outputs at AR. Ivory speaks English, Swahili and French

Patrick Anam

Trade Policy Analyst

Patrick is an International Trade Policy and Trade Law Expert with over 5 years of experience. His expertise includes trade law, trade policy analysis and regional integration. He is currently engaged with Development Reimagined as a Senior Trade Analyst, and he applies his Trade Policy expertise to AR’s work. Patrick has previously consulted for the East African Community, UNECA and for the Kenya Ministry of Trade.

Jinyu Chen

Research Analyst | Paris, France

Jinyu is a dual-degree Master’s student at Sciences Po & Peking University.  At Africa Reimagined, Jinyu produces research to foster better mutual understanding between African clients and Chinese consumers. 

 

Jade Scarfe

Communications Support
Jade is a research analyst and communication support at Africa Reimagined. She supports with liaising with African brands, creating content and gathering China market research.

Yike Fu

China-Africa Policy Analyst

Yike Fu is a Policy Analyst and has been responsible for leading numerous areas of work, including on debt analysis in Africa and beyond, and China-Africa trade and investment logistics and analysis. She is the co-author of “African Debt Guide”, in which she challenged the narrative that Africa is in the midst of a new debt crisis by analysing data back to the 1970s and adopting new metrics to present the real story behind the data. She also developed a benchmark to compare the financial distribution of development partners such as the UK, US, Japan, France and China in Africa. Prior to her role at DR she worked at the International Finance Corporation and African Union Representational Mission to the US. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Rosie Wigmore

Project Manager | Beijing, PRC

Rosie is the Project Manager of Africa Reimagined (AR) at Development Reimagined (DR) where she supports high-end African brands with entering the Chinese market by operating services such as trademark protection, Chinese market research, Chinese partnership building, and Africa to China logistical support and import/export services. Rosie has worked with DR for over two years now with proven success in helping high-end African brands navigate the Chinese market. She is extremely passionate about her work because more African brands selling in the Chinese marketplace means African countries can export MORE value-added goods, create MORE jobs and foster MORE innovation in African countries.

Leah Lynch

Deputy Director | Beijing, PRC

Leah Lynch is Deputy Director of Development Reimagined (DR), and head of the China office. Leah has over 10 years of experience in development and has lived in China for over 8 years. Leah has also travelled extensively around Asia and Africa for research. Leah supports the strategic direction of the team across China, with a mission to deliver high quality research on sustainable development and poverty reduction. Leah is also Chair of the Sustainability Forum at the British Chamber of Commerce in China, providing direction on sustainability initiatives for British and Chinese business. Leah has also consulted on various evaluations on UK aid (ICAI) and is a specialist on development cooperation from the UK and China. Leah has also consulted on various UN projects, including providing support to the UN China team during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Prior to DR, Leah was at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, supporting the UN’s portfolio on communication strategies, China’s South- South Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Before UNDP, Leah lived and worked in Kenya developing sustainable water policies for the Kenyan government.

Hannah Ryder

Founder and CEO 

Hannah Ryder is the Founder & CEO of Development Reimagined. A former diplomat and economist with 20 years of experience, named one of 100 most influential Africans in 2021, she is also Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of UAE’s International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Prior to her role at DR, Ms Ryder led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s work with China to help it scale up and improve its cooperation with other developing countries, including in Africa. She has also played various advisory roles for the UN and OECD and co-authored the seminal Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change in 2006.