CGI Middle East & Africa

Opening Plenary Session

9:00 -


Connecting People for Growth

The countries of the Middle East and Africa have achieved significant growth over the past several decades, improving living standards and lifting millions out of poverty, with great opportunity to continue this trajectory. Partnerships between and among people, countries, regions, and sectors can help scale this progress to generate even greater growth, drive innovation, and achieve prosperity for all. This panel will bring together business, government, and civil society leaders to discuss how to:

• Connect all actors, including youth and women, to skill-building opportunities and jobs.
• Utilize technology—namely mobile and Internet—to link the 1 billion people who lack access to the basic services they need.
• Foster the development of regional and global supply chains, particularly in the food, energy, and water sectors.


President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative; 42nd President of the United States


Nezha Hayat, Co-founder and President , CFA Maroc
Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chairman, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Phuti Mahanyele, Chief Executive Officer, Shanduka Group (Pty) Ltd
K'naan Warsame 

Breakout Sessions

11:00 -


Achieving Equitable Energy Access

Action Area: The Future of Energy, Food, and Water

In sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of the population lacks access to electricity and relies on biomass products such as wood, charcoal, and dung to cook—resulting in serious health problems that disproportionately affect women and young children. Simultaneously, countries in the Middle East and North Africa without their own energy sources incur energy costs as high as 10 percent of GDP. In response to these challenges, public and private sector stakeholders in both regions are working to adopt more sustainable energy sources. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa are leveraging natural resources for hydro, solar, and wind power, while countries in sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to have 50 percent of their power supplied by renewable energy by 2040. Simultaneously, managing conventional energy resources wisely remains critical. Participants in this session will discuss how to:

• Build cost effective models for producing solar, wind, and hydro power.
• Expand financing options for sustainable energy solutions in order to lower costs and create accessibility for off-the-grid consumers.
• Enhance distribution of clean energy products, such as solar powered lamps and clean cookstoves.


Sameer Hajee, Co-founder and CEO, Nuru Energy


Sherife AbdelMessih, Chief Executive Officer, Future Energy Corporation
Amina Benkhadra, General Director, The National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines
Chaim Motzen, Co-founder, Gigawatt Global
Sivan Ya'ari, Founder and CEO, Innovation Africa


Basic Education: Bridging Access and Quality Gaps

Action Area: Investing in Youth

The countries of the Middle East and Africa have made significant progress in achieving universal primary education over the past several decades, with enrollment rates above 80 percent. However, low completion, high repetition rates, and lack of quality educational opportunities—all of which disproportionately affect girls living in both regions—are inhibiting generations of students in realizing their full potential. Designing and supporting education systems that adequately equip students with the basic skills needed to succeed in today’s knowledge-based societies and economies is key to building, increasing, and sustaining prosperity throughout the Middle East and Africa. Youth are critical to driving positive change in their communities and spurring business growth and innovation. Participants in this session will discuss how to:

• Build places of learning that are safe, healthy, and gender-sensitive to expand access to the regions’ most marginalized populations.
• Train teachers to deliver effective instruction to provide students with fundamental numeracy, literacy, and reasoning skills.
• Develop curricula that provide students with the soft skills needed for them to be engaged citizens and productive workers.


Chinwe Effiong, President and CEO, Junior Achievement (JA) Africa


Aïcha Bah Diallo, Chair, TrustAfrica; Founding Member, Forum for African Women Educationalists
Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun, Chair, General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises
Nkem Khumbah, Executive Curator, Next Einstein Forum


CGI Conversation hosted by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour

The Next Generation

More than half of the citizens of the Middle East and Africa are under 25 years old, the largest “youth bulge” the region has ever experienced. With the right skills and employment opportunities, these young people can harness innovation and entrepreneurship across sectors—and across generations—to build sustainable pathways to prosperity. This panel will bring together business, government, and civil society leaders to discuss how to:

• Equip young people to work across ethnic, religious, and geopolitical divides and launch groundbreaking businesses, NGOs, and social enterprises.
• Connect education systems and the private sector to expand relevant skills training and provide better education-to-employment pipelines.
• Integrate young people into civil society leadership and national decision-making opportunities, particularly rural youth and women.


Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent, CNN


President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman, Clinton Global Initiative; 42nd President of the United States
Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, The Clinton Foundation
Asma Mansour, President and Co-founder, Tunisian Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Kennedy Odede, Founder and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities


Expanding Essential Services through Mobile Technology

Action Area: Building Infrastructure for All

Mobile technology is revolutionizing how all manner of services—including education, health, and finance—are delivered across countries in the Middle East and Africa. In both regions, mobile banking will be used by 80 million people in 2017 compared to 20 million today, bringing access to payment, credit, and saving facilities for the first time to many. While this access has great potential to support business growth and job creation, only 38 percent of those living in sub-Saharan Africa and 53 percent in the Middle East and North Africa own their own phones. And women are still 23 percent less likely than men to own a phone, limiting their ability even further to obtain information and critical services. Participants in this session will discuss how to:

• Increase mobile phone access, particularly to rural communities and women.
• Enhance mobile literacy, especially for women, so that individuals can access essential services through their mobile phones.
• Incentivize mobile service providers to create unique features tailored to the needs of marginalized communities.


Lawrence Yanovitch, President, GSMA Foundation


Rachid Chihani, President, Ericsson Maghreb
Bassim Haidar, Founder and Group CEO, Channel IT Group
Rosemary Mbabazi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and ICT, Republic of Rwanda
Judith Owigar, Operations Director, Akirachix Association

Lunch Plenary Session

13:00 -


Infrastructure Challenges: Cities of the Future

Vast areas of the Middle East and Africa represent the most urbanized parts of the world, with up to 80 percent of people residing in cities. As rapid urbanization is expected to continue over the next 50 years, cities must meet the increasing demand for improved physical and social infrastructure—including housing, health care, energy, and education services. This presents an opportunity for leaders across sectors and industries to work together to implement strategies to create sustainable cities and economic opportunities for the millions living in these urban landscapes. This panel will bring together business, government, and civil society leaders to discuss how to:

• Develop public-private partnerships to plan, finance, and implement infrastructure projects and create jobs.
• Leverage technology to improve the delivery of services to all citizens, including the creation of efficient and sustainable transport, energy, and water networks and long-term housing solutions.
• Engage marginalized populations in the development of cities to promote more inclusive outcomes.


Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, The Clinton Foundation


John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Operation HOPE
Thierry Déau, Chairman and CEO, Meridiam, Chairman, Long Term Infrastructure Investment Association (LTIIA)
Frannie Léautier, Co-founding Partner and Chairperson, Mkoba Private Equity Fund
Bosun Tijani, Chief Executive Officer, Co-creation Hub

Breakout Sessions

14:30 -


Access to Resources and Markets for Smallholder Farmers

Action Area: The Future of Energy, Food, and Water

Enhancing food production is key to the social and economic growth of countries in the Middle East and Africa. Producing more food more effectively can lower food prices for those living in both regions, where 50 percent of all food is imported. In sub-Saharan Africa specifically, agriculture comprises 25 percent of GDP and smallholder farmers—the majority of whom are women—comprise 80 percent of the population. Despite this, malnutrition affects nearly 30 percent of children. Investing in smallholder farmers can serve as an essential component for achieving food security in both the Middle East and Africa.

Participants in this session will discuss how to:

• Expand investment models that provide financing for small agribusinesses and mitigate risk for local banks, investors, and farmers.
• Increase access to technology and irrigation methods to maximize production.
• Improve access to training, land rights, and markets for smallholder farmers, particularly women.


Jackson Kimani, Country Director, Kenya, Clinton Climate Initiative


Essma Ben Hamida, Co-founder and CEO, Enda Inter-arabe
Michael Dickstein, Director of Global Sustainable Development, HEINEKEN
Lina Keyter, Founding Member and Managing Director, South African Agri Academy
Paul Macek, Senior Director, Programs, West Africa, World Cocoa Foundation


Mitigating Risk for Infrastructure Financing

Action Area: Building Infrastructure for All

Leveraging public and private sector resources is key to addressing the significant infrastructure finance gap in the Middle East and Africa, estimated at nearly $200 billion annually for the regions combined. Filling this gap can connect millions of businesses and individuals to key markets and boost economic growth and job creation by substantially reducing the cost of transport, energy procurement, housing, and communications. Yet, 90 percent of existing investments do not address essential services due to the perceived length of time for returns and high risks. Recognizing this unmet demand, a growing number of investors are utilizing investment tools—including risk insurance, loan guarantees, and equity investments—to mitigate liabilities and address financing challenges. Participants in this session will discuss how to:

• Expand public and private sector investment and project finance options to fund social and sustainable infrastructure.
• Identify innovative and successful tools for mitigating risk for borrowers and investors seeking to fund needed infrastructure projects, including coverage for losses resulting from specific political conditions.
• Incorporate key under-sourced areas such as transportation, logistics, utilities, and affordable housing options into broader infrastructure plans.


James Pickup, President and CEO, Middle East Investment Initiative


Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Republic of Seychelles
Boubker Jai, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Attijariwafa Bank
Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager, Bank of Palestine


Pathways to Employment

Action Area: Investing in Youth

With annual GDP growing at an estimated 4.8 percent, economic growth in Middle East and African countries surpassed the global average in the first decade of the 21st century—yet, more than 20 percent of 15 to 24 year olds in the regions are unemployed. For young women in the Middle East, this rate doubles to 40 percent. While employment opportunities exist in some sectors, 40 percent of employers in the regions still cite skills shortages and/or mismatch as impediments to filling these vacancies. Combining academic and practical learning in educational programs while shaping curricula to anticipate employers’ future needs can enable young people to contribute to the economy, furthering overall economic expansion and increasing opportunity and prosperity. Participants in this session will discuss how to:

• Expand partnerships between the private sector educational institutions to design relevant curricula for employment.
• Link apprenticeships and vocational trainings to existing market needs and long-term career opportunities.
• Use technology as a platform to develop marketable skills and provide trainings to improve employability.


Iman Bibars, Regional Director, Ashoka Arab World, Ashoka, Innovators for the Public


Hadeel Ibrahim, Executive Director of Strategy and External Relations, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Layla Madihi, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Education for Employment, Maroc
Emad Rizkalla, Founder and CEO, Bluedrop Performance Learning

Plenary Session

16:30 -


The Food-Energy-Water Nexus

With the total population of the Middle East and Africa expected to grow to 2.8 billion people by 2050, countries in both regions are faced with the challenge of feeding their citizens amid increasing global price volatility. Investments in sustainable agricultural production, better integration with global supply chains, and more innovative access to water and energy can boost production to meet growing demand. This panel will bring together business, government, and civil society leaders to discuss how to:

• Ensure smallholder farmers have access to financing to source their inputs and improve production methods, including sustainable water and energy use.
• Optimize the application of technology across the food, water, and energy value chains, including in production, processing, transport, and marketing.
• Cooperate across borders to create integrated supply chains through infrastructure investments, ensuring access to markets.


Anne Kabagambe, Chief of Staff and Director of Cabinet, African Development Bank


Meagan Fallone, Chief Executive Officer, Barefoot College International
Emma Naluyima, Veterinary Surgeon, Entebbe Animal Care Center; Farmer, Fodder Solutions
Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, ACWA Power
Mostafa Terrab, Chairman and CEO, OCP Group

Special Event

19:30 -


Social Reception & Dinner

As part of the CGI Middle East & Africa Meeting experience, this special evening event will provide an opportunity to network while enjoying live entertainment and a seated dinner.