YPO Innovation Week Launches Across Africa

Annual Event Connects Global Leaders of the World’s Most Innovative Companies

27 April 2017 – YPO, the world’s premier network of chief executives, today announced the launch of Innovation Week across Africa. Through a series of more than 50 events around the world, the second annual YPO Innovation Week will connect 24,000 YPO members in more than 130 countries through a series of events focused on innovation and entrepreneurship.

In four regions throughout Africa, including Ghana, Tanzania, Johannesburg and Durban, YPO will bring together the world’s most dynamic innovators for a chance to connect, challenge conventional thinking and gain actionable, applicable insight. YPO Innovation Week is the world’s largest and most impactful global innovation initiative, and throughout Africa, the world’s most innovative companies will share their inspiration and insights with African leaders.

YPO Innovation Week in Africa

Africa is a leading innovator in technology, pioneering mobile technology to increase financial access to medical care, and e-learning platforms providing access to quality education. Africa is also sparking innovations in cybersecurity, ecological sustainability, communications and more.

In recognition of how innovation can be employed to overcome many of the continent’s challenges, improve lifestyles and grow the economy, YPO Africa is hosting a variety of events with industry leaders, agents of change, technologists and start-up visionaries from a cross-section of African industries, open to YPO members only.

“YPO’s global network of young chief executives are interested in, and actively involved with, innovative solutions that can positively impact their businesses,” noted YPO Innovation Week Africa Chair and co-CEO of Integ8IT Rob Sussman. “The valuable insight, key connections and respected expertise provided during YPO Innovation Week will leave African leaders inspired, with the tools to infuse innovation in their companies and communities.”

Leading Innovation – Accra, Ghana; 11-13 May 2017

The first YPO Innovation Week event in Ghana will offer a creative journey by the “Team from Nowhere,” a leader in building innovative cultures. This three-day event will be led by CEO, Dr. Nick Udall, former Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, Andy Kitt, a Group Director of Nowhere, and Janet Goldblatt, of Nowhere Africa and YPO Pan Africa Chapter.

The Making of an Innovator – Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; 11 May 2017

Tanzania will host an impressive line-up of innovators who will discuss the importance of disruption and innovation for business success, as well as reveal what it takes to be a true innovator.

Event speakers include:

  • Albany James, Marketing Manager at EasyBuyAfrica.com, a hassle free online retailer
  • Forbes 30under30 list 2016, Edwin Bruno, CEO of Smart Codes, a digital services agency
  • Rose Funja, MD of Agrinfo, linking smallholders to finance
  • Sameer Hirji, Executive Director of Selcom Tanzania, a fintech innovator
  • Xavier Helgesen, CEO of Off-Grid Electric, providing affordable, pre-paid solar energy
  • Dr. Gordon Carver, Silverleaf Academy, innovating in education
  • Award-winner Lilian Makoi, Founder of Jamii Arica Health, micro-health insurance

Live to Innovate – Johannesburg, South Africa; 11 May 2017

David Garrison, Chief Navigator of Garrison Growth, adviser to CEOs and former mobile technology pioneer, will discuss Authentically Curious Leadership. David points out that today’s workforce is the best educated ever, yet ideas about management are largely based on concepts created for industrial factories in the late 1800s. This session explores what it means to be authentically curious as a leader to leverage members of the organization and get them as involved in success as shareholders and the CEO.

The Story Behind Hirsch’s Success – Durban, South Africa; 10 May 2017

Hirsch’s is a household name in South Africa and is a true entrepreneurial success story and family business. Since its inception in 1979, it has grown into a chain of mega appliance and home furnishing stores in KZN, Cape Town and Gauteng. Having reached the R1 billion milestone in 2012, five years later, Hirsch’s anticipate achieving R2 billion in turnover by the end of 2017.

Founders Allan and Margaret Hirsch and son, MD and YPO member Richard Hirsch, will share their story.

For more information, on the larger, international events visit the YPO Innovation Week website.



The premier leadership organization of chief executives in the world.

YPO is the global platform for chief executives to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders to inspire business, personal, family and community impact.

Today, YPO empowers more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries, diversified among industries and types of businesses. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ more than 15 million people and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues.

Leadership. Learning. Lifelong. For more information, visit YPO.org.


Note: While the events are member-only, the media is invited to contact YPO to arrange post-event interviews.


Angela Mers is the global PR and Media Manager at YPO and has worked for the organization since 2007. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science.