Columbia University Presents The 10th Annual African Economic Forum

Africa Ignited: Exploring Ideas, Shaping Outcomes

New York, NY February 2013 – Columbia Business School, Columbia University’s Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, Law School, and Mailman School of Public Health jointly present the 10th Annual African Economic Forum (AEF) to be held at Columbia Business School on March 1st and 2nd, 2013.

Themed “Africa Ignited: Exploring Ideas, Shaping Outcomes”, the 10th Annual African Economic Forum will embrace the momentum achieved during the last decade, and explore business opportunities for attendees in the African marketplace.

Debuting in 2003, AEF has grown from a small student event to the largest Africa-focused event at Columbia, gathering over 400 attendees from across the US. In the last ten years, the forum has hosted some of Africa’s top contemporary business leaders, scholars and decision makers, including: Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Her Excellency Amina S Ali, African Union Representative to the US; Danny Jordan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mark Walton, Executive Vice President of The Africa Channel, and Dr. Jian-Ye Wang, Chief Economist of the China Export-Import Bank.

“This is our 10thanniversary, and we are excited to reach this important milestone” said Eda Henries Toussaint, Co-Chair of the 10th African Economic Forum Committee “In the last decade, Africa as a whole has defied predictions, and now provides the world with the most robust economies and business opportunities. The growth and importance of this conference is a direct reflection of the growing importance of Africa. It remains an honor to bring African leaders to the US audience, and host panel discussions and events that provide a rich learning and networking experience for all involved”.

AEF 2013 boasts an impressive line-up of keynote speakers including:

- Alex Otti – Group Managing Director and CEO, Diamond Bank
Diamond Bank is one of the leading banks in Nigeria renowned for technological innovation.

- Arnold Ekpe - Former Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group
Ecobank Group is the leading pan- African bank with operatives in 32 countries across the continent

- Folorunso Alakija - Executive Vice Chairman, FAMFA Oil
Mrs. Alakija, a former banker and serial entrepreneur, recently surpassed Oprah Winfrey as the richest black woman alive and is a passionate Philanthropist.

In addition to the keynotes, AEF will provide attendees with a variety of engaging and interactive panels exploring topics such as entrepreneurship, real estate, agriculture, mining, healthcare, social media, banking, urbanization, and infrastructure.

The diverse panels, will highlight the array of inspiring projects discussed during the last decade, and analyze their challenges and subsequent solutions on the journey to success.

“After a decade of successful events that have gathered some of the countries brightest students alongside progressive business executives, the focus of this year’s milestone event will be the essential transition from exploring ideas to shaping and creating positive outcomes.” said Freda Yawson, Co-Chair of the 10th African Economic Forum Committee “Attendees can expect an exchange of knowledge and a demonstration of tools to aid success”

Sponsors of AEF 2013 include:

Diamond Sponsor: Diamond Bank

Platinum Sponsors: Arik Air, Computer Warehouse Group, Security Systems & NASPERS

Gold Sponsor: C Moore Media, International Public Relations

Silver Sponsors: Omar Lababidi, Immersion Journeys

Media Partners:, Enovative TV, Applause Africa, Face2Face Africa, Africa Style Daily

AEF 2013 takes place on Friday March 1st - Saturday March 2nd and the forum will culminate with a black tie gala held at Columbia University’s Low Library. The post gala reception will feature musical artist Bez.. The conference agenda can be accessed at

Space is limited and media must register to attend. If you have any questions, related requests and/or would like to attend and cover the conference, please contact Keshia Mark at or Evan Nowell at