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Past Event

The Game Has Changed: The New Landscape for Innovation and Business in Africa

Past Event

Introduction and Bipartisan Congressional Perspectives on the Significance of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

During his visit to Africa last year, President Obama announced that his administration would host the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit as part of an ongoing campaign to open a new chapter in America’s relationship with the region. For years, U.S. engagement in Africa has emphasized poverty reduction, foreign aid and addressing catastrophes, like the tragic spread of HIV/AIDS. While critically important, these priorities have not fully kept pace with dramatic changes occurring across the region, as Africa today has emerged as one of the world’s premier destinations for cutting-edge innovation and inspiring entrepreneurship. This upcoming summit presents an unparalleled opportunity for the U.S. government and people to recalibrate their approach to this rapidly changing region.

On August 4, the Brookings Institution convened a high-level forum of entrepreneurs and leaders in business, government, civil society and the media. The event explored priorities for U.S.-Africa policy; business strategies for economic growth and development; innovation; governance; and shifting perceptions of Africa in the eyes of the rest of the world.



Session 1: Introductory Remarks

Bipartisan Congressional Perspectives on the Significance of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Coffee Break

Charting a New Economic Future: Opportunities, Entrepreneurs, and Consumers Changing a Region


Mo Ibrahim

Founder and Chair - Mo Ibrahim Foundation


Session 2: Connecting a Continent: Linking Places, People and Markets


Jay Ireland

Former CEO - GE Africa

Former Chair - President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa


Strive Masiyiwa

Founder and Executive Chairman - Econet Wireless International

Coffee Break

A Changing Dynamic: Africa’s Image and U.S. Perceptions in the 21st Century


William Wallis

Writer and Former Editor, African Affairs - Financial Times



Founder of the Akon Lighting Africa


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