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2021 Africa Business Conference features African Ambassadors and Business Philosophies

  • Date: Thu, Mar 11, 2021

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What can the global business community learn from the lived philosophies of business, society and sustainable development across the continent of Africa? The vibrant partnership with UCD College of Business and Proudly Made in Africa proudly continued with the 2021 Africa Business Conference on February 25, 2021.

Following welcomes and an introduction by Vickki Brennan, CEO of Proudly Made in Africa and Dr Maeve Houlihan, PMIA host at UCD, we were proud to hear from our panel:

● Her Excellency Yolisa Maya, South African Ambassador in Ireland, on the philosophy of Ubuntu: I am because we are: we are because I am. Our humanity is expressed through our humanity to others and others to us.

● His Excellency Eshetu Hordofa, Ethiopian Ambassador in Ireland, on Medemer: The balance between competition and cooperation, striving for synergy and working together for the common interest, in spite of differences.

● Dr. David Nyaluke, UCD-PMIA Fellow in Business and Development, on Ujamaa from a Tanzanian perspective: the idea we are in the service of family and community, and community and family is at our service. We are related as Jamaa, as ndugu of extended family-hood, as people of one community and one nation and one world.

The common thread was a strong focus on the interdependence between business and society, and between us as human beings. The panel discussed how each philosophy has played out in their home country, how it shows up in business, in responses to Covid19, and beyond.

The conference heard about Proudly Made in Africa and about the What the Hack event which focused on Sustainable Development Goal Hacks, and included MSc Supply Chain Management student Nikhil Kumar.

Discussion turned to the field and we heard from Prama Bhardwaj, CEO and founder of Mantis World, a clothing brand specializing in organic cotton fashion production for ladies, men and kids’ wear from Tanzania, in conversation with our wonderful conference MC, Toulwani Akaehomen, CEO, HerGenuinity Afrika. Bhardwaj shared insights on the strong market for values driven products and services, and communicated the tangbible, social and environmental impact of each purchase.

A highlight was the musical talent from Fred Matcha bringing tunes to our conference Zoom.

We would like to thank all participants and we look forward to continuing the conversation.

Did you know?

Since 2012, our students have been learning about the diverse continent of Africa as an emerging market, and the impact of value added sustainable development through the UCD Proudly Made in Africa Fellowship in Business and Development. Hosted at UCD Quinn School, the fellowship works in partnership with module coordinators across the College of Business to plant seeds and start conversations.

This initiative is led by Ireland-based social enterprise, Proudly Made in Africa (PMIA) which promotes trade in value added Africa-made products and education on trade justice and sustainable development through business. If you would like to introduce an African dimension to your module, or for more information, please contact our PMIA fellow and colleague Dr David Nyaluke at

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