18 - 19 November 2019


Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
18 - 19 November 2019
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

about the programme

Business confidence is returning to Africa. Impressive entrepreneurs have sprung up across the continent, changing reality on the ground. Forward-thinking policy-makers are implementing solutions to problems that have hindered progress for decades. Both business and government leaders are leveraging digital technologies and working across borders to achieve connectivity and scale. With the right support, Africa has the potential to open a new era of growth and prosperity.

GBF Africa 2019 explores what it will take to make that happen, building on its legacy as the pivotal destination for business, finance and government leaders to identify opportunities and nurture links between Africa and Dubai. At this year’s Forum, we focus on forging the connections that will enable scale up, and explore how our two regions can work together to build powerful and creative partnerships among aspiring young entrepreneurs, established businesses and governments.

gbf africa programme pillars 2019

Collaboration Collaboration explores the role of collaboration –with government, between businesses and with other nations – in facilitating the scale up of entrepreneurial solutions into dynamic economies. Sessions look at the role of the public sector in enabling the growth of start-ups, at the relationship between entrepreneurs and established companies, and at the influence of international business partners. We will ask what drives constructive collaboration, how it can be accelerated and which pitfalls to avoid.

Scaling Start-ups Scaling Startups focuses on what it takes to turn young start-ups into thriving multinational businesses. We explore the eco-system of incubators, accelerators, mentors and funds through the lens of the GBF Mentorship Programme. We look at how governments can encourage start-ups without breeding dependence, and we delve deeper into the stories behind successful start-ups, focusing on how to embrace failure, scale up and maintain momentum.

Game Changer Game Changer focuses on innovative and scalable approaches to Africa’s big challenges, looking at the levers and partnerships that accelerate progress, and ways to address the barriers that prevent it. We explore the challenges for young entrepreneurs in rethinking difficult sectors, from agriculture to energy, and how they are partnering to gain global scale and greater traction.


These interactive side sessions are intended to help delegates grasp both the opportunities and challenges of operating in countries that, under new leadership, are undergoing a transformation in policy towards business. Facilitated by a knowledgeable moderator, they will feature a key government official, an established business leader and a young entrepreneur who will outline the opportunities and, through discussion with the audience, address investors’ concerns.