Columbia University Hosts Top Line-Up of Speakers at the 12th Annual Economic Forum

On April 11th, 2015, Columbia University hosted 34 influential leaders in government and business, who spoke to over 300 attendees at the 12th Annual African Economic Forum in New York. Discussions focused on the economic and infrastructural growth of the African continent—ways to sustain it and make it more inclusive for African populations.

The day’s keynote speakers were:

  • His Excellency Frederick Sumaye, former Prime Minister of Tanzania
  • Mthuli Ncube, Professor of Public Policy at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government
  • Thierry Zomahoun, Founding Executive Director and CEO of African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)
  • Aeneas Chuma, Director of the International Labor Organization

Two new content formats were unveiled during the conference. AEF Talks! An interactive speaker and discussion series, organized into six stimulating discussion topics, saw opinion leaders each deliver a lively 10-minute talk. Discussion topics included: ‘New Models of Investing in Africa’, ‘Entrepreneurship in Africa’, and ‘Commoditizing Art in Africa.’

The AEF Case Challenge saw presentations from selected student teams answering to a real-life African business challenge, posed by corporate partner, Citibank South Africa. Students from Columbia Business School, Berkeley Haas School of Business and Temple University presented to a panel of judges that included Citibank’s CEO for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ade Ayeyemi. Each team presented and defended their ideas, before being judged, with the top prize of $2000 awarded to the team from Berkeley Haas.

A comprehensive list of speakers and discussion topics can be found at

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