CGI Middle East & Africa

 
 
Opening Plenary Session

Connecting People for Growth

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

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

Panelists:

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

Achieving Equitable Energy Access

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

Sameer Hajee, Co-founder and CEO, Nuru Energy

Panelists:

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

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

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

Panelists:

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

 

Expanding Essential Services through Mobile Technology

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

Lawrence Yanovitch, President, GSMA Foundation

Panelists:

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

Infrastructure Challenges: Cities of the Future

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, The Clinton Foundation

Panelists:

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

Access to Resources and Markets for Smallholder Farmers

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

Jackson Kimani, Country Director, Kenya, Clinton Climate Initiative

Panelists:

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

 

Pathways to Employment

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

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

Panelists:

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

The Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Palmeraie Golf Palace

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.

Moderator:

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

Panelists:

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