Successful Webinar Series Illustrates the Power of the Publishers’ Network

Tipped as the largest ever gathering of African business leadership with 15,000 registrants,  “Crisis Management for African Business Leaders”, is a five-part webinar series hosted by and the faculty of Harvard Business School.

The webinar comes at a time when large, medium and small businesses across Africa and the world are faced with uncharted territory and obvious anxiety.’s key relationships with the continent’s leading business titles through the Publishers’ Network has been key to engaging the African private sector. The webinar series is sharing management knowledge and inspiring innovative thinking to tackle issues related to the pandemic on African soil.

The Publishers’ Network quickly agreed to support the effort by entering into agreements to publicize the program and to share content from the program on their websites. Because of’s pre-existing relationships with the publishers, the effort to publicize the event to Africa’s business leaders was arranged in a matter of hours and days. Chair and CEO Teresa Clarke said, “The mission of the Publishers’ Network has been the formation of a collective to create sustainability among Africa’s premium publishers. When the pandemic hit, the Network swiftly responded to act as a conduit to bring valuable crisis management content to Africa’s business leadership. We are grateful to our partners in the Network for their swift decision making and widespread support of this effort.” Ventures Africa, APO Group, She Leads Africa, African Leadership Magazine, African Investor, Mail & Guardian, Capital Ethiopia and iAfrica all came on board to spread awareness about the series. 

Harvard Business School faculty members helped develop the program, covering topical issues such as, ‘Leadership in Times of Crisis’, led by Dr. Linda Hill, Professor of Business Administration. Another session, ‘Liquidity – Managing Cash Flow When Revenue & Funding Dry ‘, was led by Kunle Elebute, Chair of KPMG Africa. Last week’s webinar explored uniquely African solutions in, ‘This Isn’t the West – How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to COVID-19’, led by Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. The upcoming webinar, ‘Crafting Strategy in the Face of Uncertainty’ will be led by Dr. Andy Zelleke, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School.  The final webinar in the series will be “Why Do Women Make Such Great Leaders During COVID-19?”.

Participants are treated to insights from a rich selection of speakers including:

  • President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo 
  • Welela Dawit, CFO of GE Africa 
  • Kuseni Dlamini, Chair of Massmart
  • Nolitha Fakude, Chairman of Anglo-American Management Board
  • Jay Ireland, Former President and CEO of GE Africa
  • Acha Leke, Chair of McKinsey & Co. Africa 
  • Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co.
  • Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO of MainOne 
  • Foluso Phillips, Chair of Phillips Consulting
  • Fred Swaniker, Founder & CEO of the African Leadership Group 
  • Admassu Tadesse, President & Chief Executive of Trade and Development Bank 
  • Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive of Standard Bank Group
  • Rob Shuter, President/CEO of MTN Group Lt

The series has attracted registrants from 123 countries – 46 countries in Africa and 77 countries in the rest of the world. The largest representation comes from Nigeria, followed by South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia.

60% of the participants have one of the following titles: CEO, managing director, president, principal, partner, CFO, chair, chief, director, executive director, group head, general manager, or manager. Of the remaining 40%, some of the most common titles are professor, economist, or analyst. 

The largest sectors represented are financial services and professional services, followed by energy and manufacturing. A smaller tier consisted of real estate, health care, agriculture, and tourism & hospitality.