We are excited to invite you to the 15th annual African Economic Forum (AEF) at Columbia University. We look forward to having you join us and our distinguished speakers while we explore this year’s theme — African Innovation: Leveraging the Present to Shape the Future.

The 2018 theme touches on many timely issues including technology, energy, and the continent’s fast-growing youth population. Our goal for this year’s conference is to examine the potential opportunities and hurdles facing African countries as innovation becomes increasingly central to the economy, development, and policymaking. This year’s conference will provide a lively space to consider the ways in which innovative and transformative ideas can be successfully leveraged to positively shape the future for Africans.

We will be welcoming keynotes Ismail Ahmed, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, and Yinka Adegoke as well as panelists across a range of fields to speak on topics such as Africa in the Arts, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Investment in Africa, Youth Unemployment, Legal, and Energy. The Conference will also feature a Kickoff Mixer hosted by Avant-Garde Network in the evening before the conference, networking events during the conference, and the smash hit Africaine Yacht Party 2018 in the evening following the conference.

By bringing together an expert and diverse range of panelists and keynote speakers, we aim to ensure that AEF continues to provide a forum for meaningful engagement. We anticipate that participants will leave this year’s conference with a renewed sense of what a successful future may look like for Africa and what role they may be able to play in the continent’s development. We look forward to welcoming you to Columbia University’s campus on April 7th.

Please visit our website aefcolumbia.com for more information and to register for the conference ad be sure to use AYIBAAEF2018 to buy your ticket.

We will be covering the event on Instagram so be sure to follow!

Special shout out to the “Arts and Entertainment in the Diaspora” Panel (11:10am-12:30pm), which features our founder.This Panel looks at how Africa’s rich history has often manifested itself in the creative arts. Through literature, music, fashion, and theater, Africans across the continent and throughout the diaspora have managed to share unique stories, experiences, and cultures that combat stereotypes and misconceptions. This panel explores how contemporary expressions of art has influenced the diaspora and a wider global perception of Africa and Africans.

The Panel will be moderated by Fatima Seysa, producer and hostess of Sahara TV’s “Inside the Diaspora” and features:

  • Jocelyn Bioh, (Playwright, Performer, Netflix Staff Writer)
  • Ugo Mozie, (Fashion Editor, Stylist, and Designer)
  • Eyitemi Popo, (Founder, Ayiba Magazine)
  • Poku Spalding, (Founder, The Other Festival and WIE)
  • Duckie Thot, (International Model)