The scourge of rising prices is expected to headline discussions when business leaders meet at the annual CEO Africa Roundtable conference in Victoria Falls scheduled for early November.
The conference will run from the 2nd to the 5th of November 2022 at Elephant Hills Resorts under the theme “Advancing systemic Leadership and shaping a better future for all.”
The past year has been a difficult one for business leaders in terms of planning due to geo-politics induced-record price movements in major markets such as the US and UK which has adversely affected livelihoods yet in Africa and Zimbabwe in particular, the impact has been more pronounced.
Inflation returned to three digit levels in June this year in Zimbabwe as authorities grappled with both internal and external inflationary pressures.
Speaking to 263Chat-Business, CEO Africa Roundtable executive director, Kipson Gundani said the upcoming conference will provide a platform for CEOs in the region to insulate Africa from external forces while strengthening its value chains.
“We will discuss structural issues such as energy and infrastructure. We will talk about the supply side disruptions, how do we position Africa in the context of the geo-politics of the world such that it is insulated form shocks, We have seen shocks caused by COVID-19 and shocks from the Russian-Ukraine conflict,” said Gundani.
Already, Zimbabwe has cut down its initial growth target for 2022 from 5.5 percent to 4.6 percent due to the impact of inflation.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa will officiate at the conference with Chair of African Union Diaspora African Forum Americas, Dr Arikana Chihombori, co-founder Bitmari Zimbabwe Christopher Mapondera and Executive Director, Advocate Lumumba from Kenya, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute, Chance Kabaghe among key speakers.
The conference will also provide a forum for discussion between the public and private sectors, which has frequently been lacking when the former makes sudden policy announcements that, in most cases, affect company growth.
“There is some semblance of discussions around disputes however what I see is the concept of them and us where the government exists in isolation with the private sector. We do not collectively own the challenges of this country and its always case of a blame game and I would like to implore that as a nation we need to revisit the social contract. We need to understand that we own this country together.” said Gundani.
More than 450 delegates are expected to attend this year’s edition of the CEO ART conference which should also translate into meaningful business deals being signed. Other key areas for discussion will be around crypto-currencies, energy, infrastructure and trade.