By Ebimo Amungo
A conference on Current Business Issues in African countries has ended in New York. Hosted by Nicolais School of Business at Wagner College, the conference examined the impact of Covid 19 on Supply Chains, Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Entrepreneurship in Africa.
Participants, at the conference, which ran between the 7th and 8th of April, 2022, were drawn from all over Africa, America and the New York Metropolitan area. The conference was held in a hybrid format with both on-campus and online participation.
While welcoming participants and declaring the conference open, one of the conference organizers and facilitators, Professor Shani Carter stated that;
“The COVID-19 pandemic has given a renewed sense of urgency of the necessity of focusing on the synergies between Supply Chain, Climate Change, COVID-19, and Sustainable Development as they affect business on the African continent, and how what occurs in one part of the world, affects the whole world.”
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Participants included business leaders, NGO leaders, researchers and students from several African countries, as well as students of Wagner College, who presented papers and discussed the most pressing issues impacting businesses in African countries.
The issues discussed revolved around the reciprocal impact of businesses, government, and society . The devastating impact of Covid 19 pandemic on business activities in Africa was also a reoccurring theme of many of the presentations.
Participants who made it to the conference venue in Staten Island included speakers and presenters from Nigeria, Kenya, and Senegal, while two groups of Wagner College students and their professors gave well researched insights into infrastructural development in Africa and equity investments on some African Stock Exchanges.
This year’s conference was the third iteration of CBIAC. The conference was started following discussions held at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD 14, in Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2016 and the UNCTAD 15 conference in Barbados in October 2021.
On her motivation for advocating for the hosting the conference by Nicolais School of Business at Wagner College, Professor Carter noted that issues relating to business and entrepreneurship in Africa are rarely discussed in an academic setting in America and it is pertinent young American students are made aware of business opportunities in Africa, especially in the light of the vast investments being undertaken by African, Chinese, and emerging market multinational firms on the continent.
More information on the conference can be found at the CBIAC website