Asante Africa Foundation Launches Thought Leadership Series

Asante Africa Foundation launches Intersection thought leadership series

October 23, 2014

First of its Kind Event Brings Together Diverse Audiences Focused on Success In Africa

Asante Africa Foundation has announced that the inaugural event of its Thought Leadership Series, “The Intersection of Sustainable Investment and Philanthropy in Africa,” will take place on November 13, 2014, hosted by SAP in Palo Alto, CA. This first event of a series is aimed at highlighting the broad range of economic and social opportunities present in Africa. “There have been similar events in Silicon Valley,” said Erna Grasz, founder and CEO of Asante Africa Foundation, “but this series is unique in bringing together sectors that don’t routinely work together to discuss emerging opportunities in Africa.”

Jake Bright, Whitehead Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and contributor to “This is Africa,” a publication of the Financial Times Ltd., and Dayo Olupade, Yale World Fellow and best-selling author of The Bright Continent, will be keynote speakers.

A panel of experts will engage with Silicon Valley thought leaders, venture capitalists, social investors, entrepreneurs, change-makers, companies working in, or wanting to work in East Africa, community foundations and prominent African guests, to discuss initiatives that will catalyze the vast potential in African economies.

Dayo Olupade

The Bright Continent invites the world to reimagine Africa’s difficulties as opportunities to innovate,” said Olupade. “Whether you’re an engineer or an environmentalist, a public health expert, a venture capitalist or a curious bystander, the Asante Africa event will be an exciting forum to celebrate and explore Africa’s bright future.”

The event is timely, as SAP recently announced plans to invest up to US$500 million to dramatically grow its business on the continent. “In Africa, we plan to engage and invest in even more markets while helping build the appropriate talent base for the IT industry,” said Robert Enslin, SAP executive board member and global sales chief.

Africa is rapidly transforming from a continent in need to a continent of opportunity, and investors worldwide are taking notice, with private capital flows to Africa skyrocketing. Yet despite impressive rates of return, the United States lags behind Europe, BRIC and the Middle East in Foreign-Direct Investment (FDI), with only 4% of African trade. Deep-pocketed multinationals are staking claims in Africa more aggressively than ever. Entrepreneurial fever continues to rise while stakeholders examine how they will benefit from this continent of emerging opportunities.

Jake Bright

“The old line in Africa between business and development is fading. Africa’s socio-economic challenges are increasingly going to become commercial ventures, with partnerships between businesses and altruistic organizations,” noted Bright. “Tech will be an integral part to nearly all solutions, as will Africa’s youth, given Africa’s tech movement is heavily driven by its youth.”

The panel, moderated by Mark Yolton, Vice President of Digital Strategy at Cisco, includes Eghosa Omoigui, Founder and General Managing Partner of EchoVC Partners, Zia Yusuf, CEO of Streetline, Inc., Tarisai Garande, Vice President of the Africa Technology Foundation, and Gathii Kanyi, Kenya Country Manager with Asante Africa Foundation.

For more information on the panel, please see our event flyer at

Information Contacts:

Paru Yusuf, Board Chair Monica Hahn, Board Member, Marketing Lead

(925) 367–5586 (415) 302–0006

About Asante Africa Foundation:

Asante Africa Foundation believes in the power of knowledge as the catalyst that will empower the next generation of change agents. We provide African youth in deeply rural areas of East Africa with access to high quality education and the tools to apply their knowledge beyond the classroom, creating opportunities to transform Africa and the world. Asante Africa Foundation is a 501© 3 non-profit organization with global headquarters in the U.S.A. To learn more or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit us at or email


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