With the coronavirus pandemic, Africa has been hit by easily its biggest external shock since independence. It is still not clear what the fallout will be in terms of the health and economic impact. Nor is it obvious what the world will look like in October, when the FT Africa Summit takes place, in terms of lockdowns and travel restrictions. But the FT is determined to rise to the challenge. We are not only firmly committed to the FT Africa Summit, already a flagship event. But in spite of the crisis – indeed because of it - we are determined to make this year bigger, better and more innovative than ever. This will be the one event on Africa you will need to attend – whether virtually or in person – for an informed discussion about what comes next. You will be in good company, joined by a stellar list of the very top policymakers, business leaders, health experts and entrepreneurs who are helping to shape the continent’s response to the crisis and chart the way forward.
Due to the uncertainty around travel restrictions, we are launching a new format. This year, speakers and delegates will attend where they are able in person at Claridge’s in London on October 11 & 12. But we will also conduct interviews using the video technology with which we have all become familiar in recent months. As one example, we are delighted to announce that Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and recipient of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, will be our keynote speaker and will be interviewed by Roula Khalaf, the FT’s editor. Other panellists will come to London or join the discussion via video link. The audience too will be beamed in from across Africa and the event will be broadcast from the FT’s award-winning ft.com site.
Our speakers will include the finance ministers making tough decisions about how to revive their economies, the health specialists and scientists on the frontline battling the virus and the business people keeping things going and planning for life after Covid-19. The FT can promise the richest and deepest discussion of the themes that will shape events over the next vital years as the great continent of Africa overcomes this crisis and marches forward.