Over 200 African business leaders met in Cape Town for GIL 2017: Africa – the Growth, Innovation and Leadership summit

It has been noted that, despite local challenges and global volatility, Africa still presents ample opportunity for growth. The digital sphere continues to shape and disrupt a number of industry sectors and, as a result, organisations are continually striving to improve and implement strategies that not only bring about change, but sustainable long-term growth. This was one of the key messages from Frost & Sullivan’s GIL 2017: Africa – The Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership annual summit attended by over 200 industry leaders on Thursday, 17 August, in Cape Town.

Frost & Sullivan Senior Partner, Dorman Followwill, opened the day’s proceedings and delivered the keynote address on ‘Digital Disruption at the Human Level: Impacts on the Mind, Body, and Soul’ capturing the attention of the audience with his presentation. The discussion focused on leaders of today, whether we are creating those who are open- or closed-minded to the digital transformation that is taking place. “We have around 25 million leaders globally,” noted Followwill. “Of these leaders, only 15% are open to change. Are our leaders of today, including those in government, ignoring or embracing the digital transformational shift that is taking place?”

Highlights of the summit included the ‘360 Degree Digital Disruption across Industries’ Think Tanks, where digital developments and future predictions across a variety of industry sectors were discussed, like:

  • Chemicals Materials and Food: key participant – RCL and SABIC
  • Automotive and Transportation: co-facilitated by Uyilo
  • Public Sector: co-facilitated by City of Cape Town
  • Healthcare: co-facilitated by MediClinic International and Logbox
  • Power and Water sectors: co-facilitated by Kamstrup and LittleSun

Sneha S. Shah, Managing Director for Africa at Thomson Reuters, captivated the audience with her presentation on ‘Opportunity in Crisis: How Africa Benefits from Global Volatility.’ She emphasised that opportunity in Africa is most certainly not dead. Additionally, she noted, as an example, that if Africa were to apply Blockchain to land registry, it could create an immutable, unhackable record of land ownership and transfer. As a result, we would see a significant rise in the middle class.

Dr. Ryan Noach, Deputy CEO of Discovery Health, delivered a fascinating presentation on how Africa’s largest health insurance group is using technology to drive innovation and efficiency. He noted that behaviour change is fundamental to the business model, especially within the healthcare space, and that technology is becoming a very powerful enabler of that behaviour change.

Adrian Gore, Founder and Group Chief Executive of Discovery Limited, and Nelisiwe Masango, Director of Bear Run Investments, were also the recipients of the prestigious 2017 Growth Innovation Leadership awards for the day, presented by Birgitta Cederstrom, Global Commercial Director for the GIL programme at Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan’s 2017 Growth Excellence Awards Banquet followed on from the GIL 2017: Africa day event, celebrating superlative achievements amongst 20 companies who deliver excellence in best practices across a broad spectrum of industries.