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Finding ways to accelerate transformation in Africa

The Responsible Business Forum will bring more than 400 delegates from government, UN agencies, companies and NGOs to share their vision for an equitable and prosperous future in Africa at a summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, next week, 25-27 June 2018. The Forum will align with the African Union's Agenda 2063, a vision for an integrated and peaceful continent, a vision encompassed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).
© rakchai via 123RF
Three years since the UN’s Global Goals were adopted, the Responsible Business Forum (RBF) on Sustainable Development, Africa 2018, co-organised with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will bring the regional leaders together to find a coherent approach to advancing and accelerating the rate of development, addressing inequalities, improving energy access, food security and new ways to create fair and decent employment.

Senior government officials from South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Egypt and Namibia will provide country perspectives on the 17 SDGs to delegates, representing more than 25 nations, with the aim of scaling up technological and innovative solutions to development challenges.

The forum will give companies a better understanding of the opportunities available in supporting governments to achieve the Goals. 


Highlights on the agenda include the launch of the YAS! Portal and a masterclass for Southern Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurs, the Impact@Africa network, who are responsible for developing new frameworks for impact investment in Africa; and an agenda filled with young speakers and aspiring business leaders to share their perspectives on the continent’s future.

Key speakers include: Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; Rosemary Mbabazi, Minister of Youth, Rwanda; Aisha Abubakar, State Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria; Kornelia Shulunga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Namibia; David Makhura, Premier, Gauteng Provincial Government; Paballo Moloi, actress, South Africa; Nardos Bekele-Thomas, UN Resident Coordinator, South Africa; Lamin Manneh, director, Regional Service Centre for Africa, UNDP; Mfanufikile Motha, head of Enterprise Development, Standard Bank; Angus Kelly, head of Business Sustainability, Africa, Middle East, Syngenta; William Mzimba, chief officer, Vodacom Business; Rita Kimani, co-founder and chief executive officer, FarmDrive; Michele Malejki, global head, Strategic Programs, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP.


Africa is starting to see the rise of e-healthcare solutions, online education solutions and off-grid solutions to energy access. Mobile money systems also continue to thrive, providing financing to the traditionally unbanked, including smallholder farmers and business owners.

These innovations, among many other new technologies, are addressing some of the biggest development challenges to face the continent.

Kenya was one of the first to move on mobile money transfer systems, highlighting Africa’s role as technology generators, not just adopters.

Innovation will be the cornerstone of job creation; jobs that are urgently required to meet the SDG targets for fair and productive work for all, and critical in supporting Africa’s expanding youth population, of which only one in six of nearly 420 million, are currently engaged in wage employment.

This Forum will discuss the innovations that are most crucial for progress on the SDGs. It will also address the barriers to progress, including unemployment and lack of financial capital. It will consider the private sector’s involvement in designing innovative development solutions, supporting policy makers and empowering Africa’s youth to pave the way for the continent’s economic transformation.
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