Former Nigerian president will give opening speech at conference organised by scholar.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the twice-former president of Nigeria and one of Africa’s most well-known elder statesmen, is to give the opening keynote address at the first conference of a new network which aims to bring together students, entrepreneurs and business people who are passionate about business in Africa.
The Cambridge Africa Business Network conference, which takes place on 28 April, is organised by Gates Cambridge scholar Queen Nworisara Quinn  along with three other students at the Judge Business School, Mobolaji Adewumi, Namukale Chintu and Steve Hamm. The conference theme is entitled ‘Unlocking Value in Frontier Africa’ and will explore how Sub-Saharan African countries are quickly becoming the world’s next frontier markets for business and investment.
Chief Obasanjo played a key role in ending the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970, was imprisoned under the military dictatorship of Sani Abacha in the 1990s and was president in the 1970s and most recently from 1999 to 2007. He has since acted as a UN Special Envoy to broker peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region as well as serving on a range of African development and political bodies.
He is currently acting as senior advisor to New World Capital Limited, an advisory firm that aims to provide investors with access to Africa both through direct investments and a private-equity fund.
Another high-level speaker at the conference is Dr Guy Scott, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia.
Other speakers include Razia Khan, Head of Research at Standard Chartered, Gavin McGillivray, Head of Private Sector Department at the Department for International Development, Wadzanai Madziva, Head of Business Development at Google Africa, Karima Ola, Managing Director of the African Development Corporation, and Zain Latif, Principal at TLG Capital.
Issues which will be discussed include how the BRICs are reshaping business and value in Africa and innovation, ICT and the rise of the consumer class.
The CABN is an alumni- and student-led initiative to promote networking and dialogue about business, investment and entrepreneurship in Africa in Cambridge. It will incorporate both practitioner and academic perspectives, with the aim of ultimately contributing towards private sector development and economic growth on the continent.
Queen, who is doing a PhD in management Studies at the University of Cambridge, says the broader objectives of the network are to create linkages with African universities in order to promote business education, entrepreneurship and innovation; cultivate new networks between investors including those in Cambridge’s Silicon Fen and African-based entrepreneurs and managers; and promote best practice in business leadership in Africa.
The full conference programme can be found at the CABN website here.
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