Digital Economy For Africa

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim led a fire-side conversation with LinkedIn Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner and investor and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, as part of the Digital Economy for Africa event, during the Spring Meetings.

During the discussion, Weiner stressed the role of technology in developing countries, and shared how Linked... view more


An Introduction to the Digital Economy for Africa Spring Meeting 2018 session. Learn what the digital economy means in the context of Africa.


A round table discussion with Jim Yong Kim, Jeff Weiner and Tony Elumelu


Join part two of the round table discussion with Jim Yong Kim, Jeff Weiner, and Tony Elumelu as they discuss the role of technology, re-skilling and online learning in developing talent. Listen as the participants discuss what skills they would recommend young people focus on as they prepare for a future defined by change.


In this bite size video join the first part of the event panel discussion with Bilha Ndirangu,Minister Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Omobola Johnson and Seni Sulyman. Hear from Minister Uzziel Ndagijimana on the role and positioning digital has in Rwanda's economy and future growth. In addition hear from Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful on how Ghana is ensuring the needed infrastructure is in place to deliver on the promises of digital economy and from Omobola Johnson on how to catalyze e-government services, tech and digital entrepreneurship across the continent.


Join panelist as they discuss regional integration and digital technology, the role of the private sector, innovative financing solutions for the digital economy including development finance and collaborative efforts between the public and private sector.


Join the panelist for closing comments and Q&A from the audience.

About the Presenters

Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D. is the President of the World Bank Group. Soon after he became president in July 2012, the organization established two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries. In September 2016, the World Bank Group Board unanimously reappointed Kim to a second five-year term as president, beginning July 2017.

Kim's career has been focused on health, education, and delivering services to the poor. Before joining the World Bank, he served as President of Dartmouth College and held professorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. From 2003-2005, as Director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS Department, he led the "3 by 5" initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment, which helped to expand AIDS treatment in developing countries.

In 1987, Kim co-founded Partners In Health, a non-profit medical organization now working in poor communities on four continents. Trained as a physician and an anthropologist, he has received several awards, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and recognitions such as one of America's "25 Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report, and in 2006 TIME magazine named him as one of its "100 Most Influential People in the World."

Jeff Weiner

CEO, LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn, the world’s largest and most powerful network of professionals. Jeff joined the company in December 2008, and under his leadership, LinkedIn has expanded its global platform to 24 languages and more than 30 offices around the world, grown its membership base from 33 million to more than 546 million members, and increased its revenue from $78 million to more than $4 billion in 2017. Before LinkedIn, Jeff was an executive in residence at Accel Partners and Greylock Partners, where he advised the firms’ consumer technology portfolio companies and evaluated new investment opportunities. Previously, Jeff served as executive vice president of Yahoo!'s Network Division, a business that generated $3 billion in annual revenue with more than 3,000 employees, and was responsible for many of the company’s consumer-facing and industry-leading products. Prior to joining Yahoo! in 2001, Jeff spent more than six years at Warner Bros., where he helped oversee the company’s online efforts and developed the initial business plan for Warner Bros. Online in 1994. Jeff also serves on the board of directors for Intuit Inc.,, and Everfi, in addition to sitting on the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center for Media. He holds a BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Philippe H. Le Houérou

CEO, International Finance Corporation

Philippe Le Houérou is CEO of IFC. Since joining IFC in March 2016, Mr. Le Houérou has led the organization’s efforts to create new markets in difficult environments and redefine development finance by promoting initiatives and reforms to unlock additional private investment. Mr. Le Houérou previously held leadership positions at the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As the World Bank’s Regional Vice President for South Asia from 2013 to 2015, he designed a new regional strategy, restructured the Bank’s regional portfolio, and more than doubled new lending. Earlier, he was Regional Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, where he led the Bank’s effort to mitigate the global economic crisis’s impact on the region. Mr. Le Houérou has held a number of other key positions at the Bank, including Vice President of Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships; Acting Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Director of Finance and Resource Mobilization; Macro-Fiscal Sector Manager; and Resident Representative in Madagascar. Prior to his arrival at IFC, Mr. Le Houérou was Vice President for Policy & Partnerships at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Ph.D in Economics from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

Tony Elumelu

Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation

Tony O. Elumelu is a visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Born, raised and educated in Africa, Mr. Elumelu has been responsible for creating businesses across the continent, in sectors critical to Africa’s economic development. In 2010, he founded Heirs Holdings, an African investment holding company, with investments in financial services, power generation, oil and gas, agribusiness, real estate and hospitality. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropy, dedicated to catalyzing entrepreneurship across Africa. He is Chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA Group Plc, Seadrill Nigeria Ltd and Transcorp Plc — Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate. In his early career, Mr. Elumelu turned the financially distressed Standard Trust Bank (STB) into a top-five financial services player in Nigeria. In 2005, he led the largest merger in the banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa, between STB and United Bank for Africa (UBA). Today, UBA operates in 19 African countries, as well as New York, London and Paris. Mr. Elumelu is the author and leading proponent of “Africapitalism,” an economic philosophy which advocates for the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy, that drive economic prosperity and social wealth. In 2003, the federal government of Nigeria conferred the honor of Member of the Federal Republic on Mr. Elumelu and in 2012 he was named a Commander of the Order of the Niger for his service in promoting private enterprise. He sits on the Presidential Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He played a leading role in the formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria and now serves as its Vice Chairman. He chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centers across Nigeria, and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He presently serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Minister of Communications, Ghana

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was appointed Ghana’s minister of Communication in 2016. She has also been the NPP Member of Parliament for the Ablekuma West Constituency since 2012. Before that she worked for 10 years as an Associate Attorney and was the acting Managing Director of Western Telesystems, and from April 2008 to January 2009, she was the Corporate and External Affairs Director, ZAIN Ghana. In the run-up to the December 7, 2016 elections, she served as the Chairperson for the Social Development Sector Committee – a committee responsible for the development of policy interventions for women, children, persons with disability, the aged and all social intervention policies and programs for the NPP manifesto 2016. She holds a certificate in Government Integrity from the International Law Institute, Washington DC, a Project Management and Planning Certificate from GIMPA, and a Masters in Conflict Peace and Security from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.

Uzziel Ndagijimana

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda

Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana was appointed Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on April 7, 2018. He was previously the Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN). Before joining the MINECOFIN, Dr. Ndagijimana was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Republic of Rwanda from May 2011to July 2014. Dr. Ndagijimana served at different leadership positions as the Vice Rector of the National University of Rwanda from (2007 – 2011), and as the Rector of School of Finance and Banking in Kigali, Rwanda (2002 -2007). Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana is an Economist, holding a PhD in Economics (1998) and a MSc. Economics, with specialization in International Trade. He started his career as a Lecturer at the National University of Rwanda in 1999, Faculty of Economics, Social Sciences, and Management, before he moved to leadership positions of the Government of Rwanda from 2002. He is author of papers in national and international journals. Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana also served in various Boards of Directors and Councils, including the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Rwanda and the Board of Directors of National University of Rwanda. He also served as Chairman of Economic Advisory Council of the President of the Republic of Rwanda.

Omobola Johnson

Honorary Chair, Alliance for Affordable Internet

Omobola Johnson is Senior Partner of TLcom Capital, a venture capital firm with recent focus on deal flow generation, investment and value generation in technology companies in sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining TLcom, Omobola was Minister of Communication Technology, Nigeria from 2011 to 2015, focusing on the launch and execution of the National Broadband Plan, and the support of the Nigerian technology industry, including the pioneering involvement of the government in a local VC fund and a network of start-up incubators. Prior to serving in the Nigerian government, she gained over 25 years of consulting experience with Accenture including five years as Country Managing Director, working with companies in a variety of industries, transforming them into more competitive and dynamic organizations. Omobola serves on the Board of a number of leading Nigerian and multi-national corporations and is the Honorary Chairperson, Alliance for Affordable Internet (Worldwide Web Foundation), a Trustee of the World Economic Forum’s Future of the Internet Initiative and Founding Chairperson and Trustee, Women in Management and Business. Omobola has a Bachelor's in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester; a Master's in Digital Electronics from King's College, London and a Doctorate in Business Administration from the School of Management of Cranfield University. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna award from Cranfield University and the Lagos Business School.

Seni Sulyman

Vice President of Global Operations, Andela

Seni was appointed Andela’s Vice President of Global Operations on April 10, 2018 responsible for overseeing talent recruitment and development, service delivery, and African operations across Lagos, Nairobi and Kampala, driving key decisions and initiatives that affect Andela’s 900+ employees. He is passionate about building an ecosystem of exemplary African businesses and leaders. He has experience advising, launching and operating businesses across a wide range of sectors. Before Andela, Seni built and operated a new business airline connecting Lagos and Port Harcourt. Seni's prior career spans across Konga, HP, CardinalStone, and Bain & Company. He is the founder of AYPAfrica, an organization that provides practical insights to help talented young Africans pursue self-actualization. Seni has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Bilha Ndirangu

Chief Operating Officer, Africa’s Talking

Chief Operating Officer, Africa’s Talking Bilha Ndirangu is the Chief Operating Officer at Africa's Talking (AT), a Pan-African mobile technology company. She oversees the company's operations across six African markets including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Malawi. AT provides technology infrastructure and support to software developers with the aim of building a viable, entrepreneurial technology ecosystem for Africa. Prior to joining AT, Bilha was a senior project manager at Dalberg Global Development advisors in its Nairobi office where she advised varied clients including national governments, multilaterals, foundations and private sector companies. Her projects spanned multiple sectors ranging from technology, agriculture and energy. As the first employee of the Dalberg Nairobi office, she also helped grow the office from one consultant to a team of forty consultants advising clients across Africa. Bilha holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gugulethu Mfuphi

Senior Anchor, CNBC Africa

Gugulethu Mfuphi is a well-versed broadcast journalist, specializing in financial markets, economic data and current affairs issues. She is a regular speaker and moderator for industry analysts, political leaders and C-suite executives from across the African continent. Mfuphi is a Senior Anchor on CNBC Africa and presenter of Kaya FM’s prime time business show, Kaya Bizz. She also serves as a Conference Chair, Panel Discussion Moderator and Program Director, at various industry gatherings that impact the business and investment landscape. She is a regular participant of events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and in Africa, and moderator for high level conferences.