Conference draws thousands of CEOs to Mother City
“It’s like the Olympics of business conferences when over 2 500 CEOs from more than 130 countries convene. They were blown away by the showcase, opportunities, and investment that South Africa has to offer.”
Also in attendance was Rwandan President Paul Kagame, while President Cyril Ramaphosa and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah were guest speakers.
Both busy men, “they clearly saw the conference as a priority. Noah flew in for 24 hours just to address the participants, and for the president it was a no-brainer to speak to such a large audience of potential investors,” says Faclier.
Ramaphosa told the delegates: “Africa is the next frontier of global growth. It has vast untapped potential and a huge appetite for investment. We encourage you to explore the opportunities that exist not only in South Africa, but across the continent.”
The day after the conference, Ramaphosa told parliament that the YPO executives “were enthused, saying they wanted to consider investing in South Africa”.
Host city YPO chairperson Paul Berman said the conference offered “a once in a lifetime opportunity to present South Africa to this group of business leaders and to demonstrate, after a period of adverse international publicity, how we are overcoming our challenges. We showed, as our president set out in his state of the nation address in 2018, that we are a nation at one, committed to work, to build, to change and to progress.”