In line with current world trends, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe’s parent company, Standard Bank Group has adopted a digital approach to enable African corporate clients and leading policymakers to connect virtually with some of the world’s leading institutional investors.
In partnership with ICBC Standard Bank and Microsoft, Standard Bank is hosting its 10th Africa Investors Conference using a specially enhanced Microsoft Teams platform to host over 2500 meetings over 5 days, doubling the number of meetings hosted in 2019.
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The virtual platform is enabling many more African corporates and investors to fully participate in the conference, and policymaker sessions will be larger in reach.
The number of investors registered for the conference has increased by 78% and African corporate participation increased by 17%.
The conference kicked off on 22 June and ends on 26 June 2020 and is being hosted against the backdrop of an uncertain environment as the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdowns remain very much to the fore.
With the impact of the current crisis in mind, participants will access significant opportunities to collaborate and exchange fresh ideas, helping to drive growth on the continent. Gert Vogel, Chief Executive, International for Standard Bank Group, said:
While the COVID-19 pandemic is a major setback for the global economy, Standard Bank Group believes Africa’s long-term prospects remain positive and the opportunities for investors and businesses to promote the development of the continent while also generating healthy returns remains.
The Africa Investors Conference was first held in 2010 and for the past nine years has been hosted at Standard Bank’s offices in the City of London. Added Vogel:
COVID-19 will have a fundamental impact on Africa, as for the rest of the world, making it more important than ever for Standard Bank and ICBC Standard Bank to stimulate discussions between Africa’s top companies and institutional investors to help identify opportunities and stimulate growth in and across the African continent.
Top calibre corporates from across the continent, representing a broad range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, power, transport, mining, construction, chemicals, leisure, telecoms, food and retail, are present. This year we expect over 450 delegates to attend, ranging from government ministers, central bankers, investors and corporates from across numerous African countries.
Lillian Barnard, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa, said:
We are excited to partner with Standard Bank on this event,” says Lillian Barnard, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa. “While this unprecedented time has driven increased demand for digital engagement platforms, we anticipate that this kind of experience is set to shape conferences of this nature for the future.
This year’s event comes ahead of the highly anticipated launch of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will boost intra-African trade and local economies. While the trading bloc’s implementation has been delayed due to COVID-19, its launch is expected to have a transformative impact on African economies.