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.

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

Research Analyst | Oxford, UK
Jade supports Africa Reimagined’s market research and brand communications to support brands during the early stages of their entry and enhance understanding of the opportunities of Chinese market.

Yike Fu

Africa Finance and Data Consultant | Hangzhou, PRC
 
Yike Fu is a skilled analyst with two years of qualitative and quantitative research experience in international development. Yike specializes in African Development and China – Africa relations with proven ability to provide diverse support to international organizations, non-profit, and non-governmental actors.

Rosie Wigmore

Project Manager | Beijing, PRC

Rosie is the Project Manager of the Africa Reimagined program. Rosie seeks new opportunities to ensure African businesses thrive in the Chinese market through market and trade research, partnership building and her diverse networks across China and Africa. Rosie operates all of Africa Reimagined’s services and supports Africa Reimagined’s clients with their entry and expansion in the Chinese market. She has over three years of experience working in the Africa-China relations space both in China and in Sierra Leone. She has in-depth knowledge of both the Chinese market and African markets, as well as the Africa-China trade relationship, which she uses to facilitate African value-added exports to China.

 

Leah Lynch

Deputy Director | Beijing, PRC
Leah is the Deputy Director of Africa Reimagined and Development Reimagined. She is also the co-chair of the sustainability forum for the British Chamber of Commerce, working with both British and Chinese businesses. She has in-depth knowledge of the landscape that brands face when entering the Chinese market. 


Leah has vast experience working with African businesses and managed the Beijing leg of our pilot market entry programme.  Previously, Leah worked at UNDP China on  South-South cooperation, and the Belt and Road Initiative. She also lived and worked in Kenya developing sustainable water policies for the government.

Hannah Ryder

Founder and CEO | Beijing, PRC

Africa Reimagined is led by our founder and CEO Hannah Muthoni Ryder, a former diplomat and economist by training. She is the CEO of Development Reimagined.

Her goal for Africa Reimagined as Development Reimagined’s first flagship project is to empower African brands through entering the growing Chinese market. In doing so, value-added products can be created and manufactured in the African continent. This will contribute towards breaking the poverty cycle through providing jobs, reliable incomes, and overall, fostering sustainable development