The two-day 2024 Africa CEO forum bringing together more than 2,500 business leaders and policymakers begun in Kigali on Thursday, May 16, with participants taking stock of what Africa needs so as to secure its place among the "powerful" of the future.

While opening the forum themed "At the table or on the menu? A critical moment to shape a new future for Africa," President Paul Kagame made a rallying call to African business and political leaders to work closely, together, noting that the more the continent is united, the more productive its engagement with partners will become. The forum, happening for the second time in Kigali, comes at a time when Africa faces many paths, challenges, and obstacles to overcome.

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This year's edition marks more than a decade of unparalleled gatherings of Africa's most influential leaders, innovators, and policymakers. The forum, organizers said, is poised to tackle four transformative agenda leadership, digital transformation, continental integration, and financing.

Kenyan President William Ruto, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, and Djiboutian President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, among other leaders, answered the call this year.

But who are the business gurus in attendance?

Besides the Heads of State and Government, the list of business gurus attending this year's Africa CEO Forum is impressive. Chief executives of some of the continent's most powerful and influential companies are gracing the event.

Aliko Dangote, Dangote Group

Among them is Nigeria's business magnate and industrialist Aliko Dangote.

Dangote, 67, is best known as the founder, chairman, and chief executive of the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.

The Group has a presence in 17 African countries and is a market leader in cement on the continent. The Group also recently unveiled the largest petroleum refinery, petrochemical plant, and fertilizer complex in Africa.

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO TotalEnergies

He is expected to speak at the forum on the second day of the forum, alongside Patrick Pouyanne, chairman of the board and chief executive of TotalEnergies. The French engineer has held the position since 2014. Pouayanne is also among the most influential business gurus in Kigali.

Active in about 120 countries, TotalEnergies is a global integrated energy company that produces and markets energies from oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables, and electricity.

Delphine Traoré, CEO of SanlamAllianz

Burkina Faso's Delphine Traoré is a prominent figure in the finance and insurance industry and has played a significant role in the African business landscape. She is the CEO of SanlamAllianz, one of the largest insurance companies on the continent.

While at the helm, Allianz Africa has achieved unprecedented milestones, with the 49-year-old being at the forefront of steering the company's expansion across the continent. Delphine is also a passionate advocate for women's empowerment and financial inclusion, intending to inspire "countless" individuals, especially women who aspire to reach the pinnacle of leadership in the financial and insurance sectors.

Paul Russo, CEO of KCB Group

Paul Russo is the Chief Executive Officer of KCB Group. He is a member of the Boards of KCB Group, KCB Bank Kenya, and BPR Bank Rwanda. Ruso is also a member of the Kenya Bankers Association Governing Council, the banking industry lobbying arm. At KCB, he steers one of the largest banks in the East African region with assets of over $10 billion and a market capitalization of over $1.1 billion.

The Bank has a presence in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi and a representative office in Ethiopia.

It serves over 30 million retail and corporate banking customers primarily through digital channels and over 495 branches. The Bank has a wide network of correspondent relationships with over 200 institutions across the globe.

Kate Kallot

A rising star in the African artificial intelligence landscape, Kate Kallot is the founder of Amini, a Nairobi-based startup that uses satellite imaging and AI to collect and crunch environmental data to understand what's happening at ground level, down to the square meter.

At 32, Kallot recently ranked among Africa's most influential figures in AI, with her company which raised $2 million in early-stage funding among the startup leaders on the continent.

Selim Bora, CEO, SUMMA

Bora is the chief executive at Summa, a global construction company that was recognised as one of the best 250 international construction companies for the past 20 years. The company is also recognized as one of the most successful contractors and investors in Africa.

Within the last 10 years, SUMMA has delivered more than 25 turn-key projects such as airports, hotels, shopping malls, stadiums, universities, hospitals, and roads in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Niger, Rwanda, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau.

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