2024 Africa Soft Power Summit in Kigali Unites Leaders in Creative, Digital, and Payment Industries

Kigali, Rwanda – The Africa Soft Power Summit has concluded its successful 2024 edition in Kigali, Rwanda after days of impactful conversations and sessions. Held from May 28th to 31st, the summit brought together prominent figures from across Africa and the diaspora under the theme, “Africa Now: Connecting Africa – Shaping the Global Social and Economic Priorities of Our Time.”

The summit featured a series of insightful sessions on topics including women’s leadership, artificial intelligence, tech policy, payments innovation,interoperability, connectivity and digital infrastructure. Discussions emphasized leveraging Africa’s digital, creative, and knowledge economies to ensure that the continent’s thought leadership were properly represented in discussions on the key issues of our time. 

H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda, Former President of Malawi; Honourable Sandrine Umutoni, Minister of State for Youth & Arts, Rwanda; HRH Nnaemeka A. Achebe, Obi of Onitsha; Temi Popoola, CEO, Nigeria Exchange Limited; Uche Ofodile, CEO, MTN Benin; Nana Baffour, Co-Founder, NVH Studios and Executive Chairman, Enda; Michaella Rugwizangoga, Chief Tourism Officer, Rwanda Development Board; Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Executive Chairman & Founder of Africa Prosperity Network were among the array of esteemed speakers that graced the summit. 

While declaring the event open, Carol Abade, Group CEO EXP and Chair of Africa Soft Power, expressed her enthusiasm about the event’s essence. “The Africa Soft Power Project is committed to enabling progress for Africa and Africans. Leveraging the power of collaboration, we are determined to build structures, talents, and institutions that are long-lasting and impactful,” said Abade.

HE. Dr Joyce Banda, Former President of Malawi, while delivering the keynote address disclosed that traditional rulers are significant stakeholders in the actualization of laudable outcomes for Africans. “When I was president, we were able to reduce maternal death by 32 percent and the African Union gave us an award. But I don’t take that credit alone. The traditional leaders in my country are the ones who helped me change the mindset of people at the grassroots” Banda said. 

In 2006, While I was serving as minister of women and children, I championed the passing of the domestic violence bill in Malawi with the help of the Civil society and donors. I strongly believe that leaders are born and African women need to start building themselves an international network” Banda concluded.

Speaking on the role of collaboration in advancing the African narrative, Nana Baffour Co-Founder, NVH Studios, and Executive Chairman, Enda, expressed his unwavering dedication to amplifying the voices of African talent and entrepreneurship, while elevating African brands on the global stage.

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko,  Executive Chairman, Africa Prosperity Network believes that achieving shared prosperity for Africa hinges upon the successful implementation of a single market economy, particularly in the next 5 to 10 years.

The best way to ensure shared prosperity for Africa is by making the single market work, and this can only be achieved if it is owned and driven by Africa’s private sector, particularly SMEs,” stated Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko. “At Africa Prosperity Network, we are committed to galvanizing, mobilizing, and aggregating Africa’s private sector to spearhead integration efforts.” 

Temi Popoola GMD/ CEO, Nigeria Exchange Group spoke on the role of the private sector in advancing gender equality.”At the NGX The NGY’s we are committed to advancing gender equality and we have solidly integrated this principle into our operational framework. We have also reached significant milestones in inspiring capital market stakeholders to embrace gender equality as a core tenet of their practices. This proactive stance signals a stronger push towards establishing gender parity, cultivating a more inclusive and equitable environment within financial markets.” Popoola concluded

Nkiru Balonwu, Founder and Chief Executive of Africa Soft Power, closed out the summit by reaffirming her unwavering commitment towards retelling the narrative about modern Africa on the world stage.  “With the summit, we are ensuring that the continent is part of the wider global conversation around the key intersectional issues of our time. This gathering is more than a summit; it’s a testament to Africa’s growing global influence and innovative spirit”. Balonwu said.

This year’s summit was supported by partners including NVH Studios, Africa Prosperity Network, Sazience, Templars, EXP, ALN Nigeria | Aluko & Oyebode, Sport Nigeria, African Business, BellaNaija, Pulse, Business Insider Africa, UN Office in Rwanda

The summit concluded with the Africa Soft Power Gala and Awards, celebrating innovation on the continent and spotlighting achievements across a broad range of industries and sectors. 

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