Thursday, October 25, 2012:

Opening Remarks: with Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean, International Business & Finance, The Fletcher School; and Executive Director of Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context and Center for Emerging Market Enterprises

Keynote Address: “Fostering Private Sector Development in West Africa: A Public Sector Perspective,” with Kwesi Botchwey, former Minister of Finance, Republic of Ghana
Introduction by Stephen W. Bosworth, Dean, The Fletcher School

Words from our Conference Partners: “The MasterCard Foundation’s Objectives in Africa,” with Reeta Roy, President and CEO, The MasterCard Foundation

Panel: “National Factors—The Key Emerging African Markets and the Secrets to Their Success”

What countries in sub-Saharan Africa present the most promising cases for growth and opportunity in today’s economy? What distinguishes their experience from those of other countries in the region? Is there a ‘recipe for success’ that integrates human capital development, governance, private sector development and bottom-up enterprise development and financial inclusion that creates ideal conditions? The macro trends underpinning the pivotal transitions of key African markets, and the factors that separate them from their peer countries, will be explored.


  • Steven Block, Professor of International Economics, The Fletcher School
  • Peter Uvin, Academic Dean and Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies, The Fletcher School 


  • Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, Deputy Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund
  • Joseph Kitamirike, CEO, Ugandan Securities Exchange; and the Senior Director, Albright Stonebridge Group
  • Steven Radelet, Chief Economist, U.S. Agency for International Development

Special Session: “Building a Great African Business: A Conversation with Tony
Elumelu,” Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation; and Chairman, Heirs Holdings Limited

Panel: “Global Factors—International Influences and Geopolitical Forces Shaping the Landscape”

Geopolitics. Foreign investment. The “land grab.” Resource scarcity. A growing consumer market. These and many other timely issues are changing Africa’s economic landscape. How will Africa respond to the pressures of these and other external factors, and how will opportunities and risks evolve as a result?


  • Jenny Aker, Assistant Professor of Economics, The Fletcher School and the Department of Economics, Tufts University
  • Peter Walker, Director, Feinstein International Center and Irwin H. Rosenberg Professor of Nutrition & Human Security, Tufts University


  • Deborah Brautigam, Professor and Director, International Development Program, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University
  • Michael Fairbanks, Co-Founder,  SEVEN Fund
  • Anna Locke, Head of Programme, Agricultural Development and Policy, Overseas Development Institute
  • Kingsley Moghalu, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

Reception and Keynote Address: with Deogratias Niyizonkiza, Founder & Director, Village Health Works

Introduction by Peter Uvin. Reception will feature a musical performance by the Agbekor Drum & Dance Society.

Friday, October 26, 2012:

Panel: “Regional Factors—Facilitators and Barriers to Progress”

Regionally-specific issues—namely, public health, education, financial access, demographics, entrepreneurial infrastructure, governance, and transitioning economic activities around agriculture and livestock—are defining the business climate in Africa. At the same time, regional organizations such as ECOWAS, the EAC, the AU are providing the basis for cohesive market development in Africa—which many argue is a prerequisite for successful economic development. But is this the best way forward? While some countries remain mired in conflict and post-conflict states, do they negatively impact the prospects of the high-potential economies discussed in the first session? How are these issues impacting decision-makers and contributing to a change in opportunity and scale in Africa?


  • Alex de Waal, Executive Director and Research Professor, World Peace Foundation, The Fletcher School


  • Kwesi Botchwey, former Minister of Finance, Republic of Ghana
  • Leonce Ndikumana, Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Reid E. Whitlock, President, African School of Finance & Banking, Kigali, Rwanda

Words from our Conference Partners: “Hitachi’s Vision for Africa,” with Minoru Tsukada, President, Hitachi Research Institute

Special Discussion: “Private Sector as a Catalyst for Development,” moderated by Mimi Alemayehou, Executive Vice President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation


  • Wendy Peter Abt, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Jay Ireland, President and CEO, GE Africa
  • Mouhamadou Niang, Manager, Industries & Services Division, Private Sector Department, African Development Bank
  • Ian Solomon, United States Executive Director, World Bank Group
Introduction by Fletcher’s International Development Club and Net Impact Chapter

Panel: “Implications for Business and Social Enterprises”In practical terms, what countries, sectors, and partnerships will yield positive outcomes for both private sector actors and African markets as a whole? How do entrepreneurial support and other forms of financial inclusion hold promise for economic development? How do the national, regional, and global factors explored in this agenda come together to shape the climate for investment and private sector development in Africa? Finally, does the prospect of a positive investment climate in key emerging African economies hold promise for the populations of these countries? Unique country and investment cases, as well as examples and opportunities in enterprise development, energy, telecoms, and agriculture, will be explored.


  • Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean, International Business & Finance, The Fletcher School


  • Patrick Bitature, Founder, Simba Telecom
  • Ann Cotton, Executive Director, Camfed International
  • Anamitra Deb, Senior Manager, Monitor Inclusive Markets, Monitor Group
  • Laila Macharia, Founder, Scion Real

Closing Discussion: led by Bhaskar Chakravorti

Wine and Cheese Reception
Featuring a performance by the Fletcher Ambassachords