The Africa Summit 2021 Report

The Sankalp team embraced the move to a fully virtual platform for the Sankalp Africa Summit 2021. Primed by our first-ever virtual event, the Sankalp Global Summit 2020, we were prepared to leverage the virtual world for all it is worth. We were able to reach a more diverse audience than ever before and broke outside the East Africa limitations that are inherent with in-person events. We had viewership from nearly every country in Africa – for the first time, a truly African Summit.

We know that networking is the most important reason people come to Sankalp, and thanks to newly embraced technology, networking for participants was easier, and more strategic than whom you happened to bump into while standing in the coffee line. A virtual event was not without its challenges and key among them was programming for a global audience spread out across nearly 20 timezones. At our in-person events, we had numerous participants from the United States of America, Canada, and Europe, which prompted us to add late-night programming (Slumber Parties!) targeted at the international investment community and these were very well received.

We extended programming to three days, and filled every minute of it with structured networking opportunities, small group discussions, panels, workshops, deal rooms, and more – who said that virtual events are boring? We had a ton of fun, drank a lot of coffee (and a little champagne!), monitored a lot of internet traffic, managed hundreds of Zoom and Whereby sessions and breakout rooms, and hopefully changed the dynamic of virtual events for the future.

As we look to the future, we know that 1,000+ person physical events are probably not going to be possible any time soon – particularly in emerging markets, where vaccination rates remain low. If you joined us for the Africa Summit 2021, I hope we convinced you that virtual can be just as good as, if not better than, in person! If you didn’t participate this time around, we hope you will at our upcoming events. The Sankalp Global Summit 2021 is scheduled to take place virtually on October 12-14, 2021, and the Sankalp Africa Summit 2022 will take place (mostly) virtually from March 1-3, 2022.

Until we see you again, stay safe and stay healthy!