On February 4, 2017, the Georgetown McDonough School of Business and the Walsh School of Foreign Service’s African Studies Program hosted the second annual Georgetown Africa Business Conference, titled A Time for Ownership: The Future of Business and Governance in Africa. Branded as #GTABC, the conference brings together over thirty sector leaders across Africa to speak about the development of various industries, serving to showcase the growth and impact of a wide range of sectors across the continent.
#GTABC is a student-led initiative with goals to facilitate discussion about the role of governance in economic growth in Africa. More than 300 people attended from various businesses, governments, nonprofits and academia interested in learning more about business and governance in Africa.
The conference hosted several panels covering topics such as private equity, banking, women in business, diaspora and startups, tourism, education, healthcare, energy, and many more. Organizers welcomed panelists from notable groups, such as World Bank, Proctor & Gamble, and the African Development Bank.
One of the co-chairs, Sadibou Sylla (MSFS ’17), worked hard to make this second conference as successful as the first. Volunteer Raquel King (MSFS ’17) cited his admirable leadership, patience, and professionalism when speaking of the goals of the conference: “There were times when things did not go as planned, but [Sylla] kept us focused on the end goal of hosting an outstanding conference for our attendees.”
Hailing from Senegal as the 2015 MSFS Africa Scholarship recipient, Sylla organized the conference in a way that “solidified [the] conference’s reputation for next year and provided a platform for his successor,” King mentioned. MSFS awards a scholarship to talented students from sub-Saharan Africa to pursue a two-year, full-time graduate degree in international affairs in an effort to expand Georgetown’s global network in Africa. As a youth sports activist, experienced math teacher, and NGO founder, Sylla has continued to demonstrate his merit through his contributions to #GTABC.