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Africa Knowledge Fest 2017
February 22, 2017JDW Atrium & Preston Auditorium – Country Offices in Africa

Join us February 22 in Washington, D.C. and in cities across Africa for the first-ever World Bank Africa Knowledge Fest. Explore our most recent, relevant knowledge products and celebrate some of the most dynamic thinkers on Africa’s development today.

In a world of changing climate and evolving priorities, now, more than ever, reliable data and evidence-based knowledge is needed to empower transformation in Africa.

The World Bank Group has published over 4,000 research titles on Africa’s most pressing regional and national development issues. Our compelling knowledge products reflect Africa’s needs and ambitions—and our own experiences on the ground—to foster innovation and impact in Africa’s development today and into the future.

The World Bank Africa Knowledge Fest brings you our most recent, relevant knowledge products and celebrates some of the most dynamic thinkers on Africa’s development today. Join us in Washington, D.C. or a city near you (event programming may vary by location).

  • Huge selection of cutting-edge research, data and analysis
  • Insightful discussions with leading economists
  • Provocative debate with development experts—vote for the winner!
  • Award for most impactful knowledge product on Africa
  • Live musical performances by Richard Bona in Washington, D.C.

A wide range of materials from across the World Bank will be available to explore and take home:

  • Africa  Chief Economist Office
  • Africa Gender Innovation Lab
  • Agriculture
  • Development Economics Group
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Finance and Markets
  • Governance
  • Health, Nutrition, and Population
  • Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management
  • Open Learning Campus
  • Poverty
  • Social Development
  • Social Protection and Labor
  • Trade and Competitiveness
  • Transport and ICT
  • Urban and Disaster Risk Management
  • Water

The Africa Knowledge Fest is produced by the Africa Region of the World Bank, through a partnership between the Office of the Chief Economist in the Africa Region and the Africa Communications and Partnerships team.

9:00am - 9:30am: Registration (Preston Auditorium)

9:30am - 10:15am: Opening ceremony (Preston Auditorium) – Will be webstreamed

MC : Haleh Bridi, Director, Partnerships and Communications, Africa Region.

  • Keynote Address – Knowledge for Africa’s Development
    Jan Walliser, World Bank Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions
  • The beat of drums herald the start of the Africa Knowledge Fest, with master storyteller Baba Jamal evoking the wisdom of African oral traditions.
  • Africa Knowledge Fest: Sharing Evidence and Analysis to Empower Africa Now
    Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region

10:15am - 11:15am: Network, Browse and Meet the Authors (Atrium)

Head over to the Africa Knowledge Fest book fair to browse the over 200 titles available, and network with fellow participants from the public and private sectors, governments, civil society, and academia. Various authors will be on hand to share their insights and answer your questions. Click here to learn more about the knowledge products that will be presented.

MC: Cesar Calderon, Lead Economist, Africa Chief Economist Office, World Bank

11:15am - 12:45pm:  Panel: The Future of Global Trade and its Impact on Africa (Preston) – Will be webstreamed

  • Panelists:
    • Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region
    • Annabel Gonzalez, World Bank Sr. Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice
    • Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank Research Manager for Trade
    • Maria Kiwanuka, Senior Advisor to the President of Uganda
    • Lemma Senbet, Executive Director for the African Economic Research Consortium
    • Liu Yong, Chief Economist for the Chinese Development Bank
  • Moderator: 
    • Julie Gichuru, TV Host, Africa Leadership Dialogues

12:45pm - 2:00pm: Lunch & Music by Richard Bona (Atrium)

Share a light lunch and live musical performance by celebrated jazz bassist Richard Bona, who blends traditional African rhythms from his childhood in Cameroon with inspiration and influences from around the world for an innovative sound all his own. Enjoy!

2:00pm - 3:00pm: Smackdown Debate - Help or Hindrance: are low-cost private schools helping achieve quality education for all in Africa? (Preston)  – Will be webstreamed
This event is presented in partnership with the World Development Report 2018

Two teams go head-to-head in this debate. Hear them out, cheer them on, and vote for the winner!

  • Team-Pro:
    • Irene Pritzker, President, IDP Foundation
    • Reshma Patel, Executive Director, Impact Network
  • Team-Con:
    • Katie Malouf Bous, Policy Advisor, Oxfam International
    • Prachi Srivastava, Associate Professor, Western University

Moderator : David Evans, Office of the Chief Economist, Africa Region

3:00pm - 4:00pm: Africa Knowledge Fest “Impact Award”  (Preston)

To celebrate the most impactful research and analysis on African development, the Africa Knowledge Fest will award its first-ever “Impact Award.” The top five finalists will present their work in a series of fast-moving ignite sessions. The Audience will select the winners. Come vote!

Paul Romer, The World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President will Chair the session and deliver the awards.

Moderator :

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Happy Hour and music by Richard Bona (Atrium)                     

Enjoy happy hour and additional time to share and network, with live music by Richard Bona!

The Knowledge Fest 2017 will be a regional event. In addition to the activities in Washington D.C., several country offices will organize events with their local partners. We will update this list regularly. 


February 22
Exhibition. Venue: University of Botswana.
Contact: Oarabile Minky Matebejane


February 17
Sharing of Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) results. Venue: World Bank Country Office.

February 20-24
Country Portfolio Performance Review. Venue: tbc.
Contact: Innocent Nsabimana           


February 14
Presentation to PhD students on Computable general Equilibrium Model. Venue: University of Dschang.

February 17
Presentation on World Bank activities in Cameroon and Access to Information policy to the students of Institut des Relations Internationales du Cameroun. Venue: World Bank Country Office.         

Contact: Odilia Renata Hebga

Cote d'Ivoire    

February 22
Conference and photo exhibition. Venue: University Felix Houphouet-Boigny.
Contact: Taleb Ould Sid'ahmed

Congo (Republic of)

February 21-22
Exhibit “Sharing knowledge to revitalize the partnership between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the World Bank”. Venue : Radisson Blu hotel.
Contact : Franck Bitemo


March 28-31
Results / Knowledge Fair / Country Portfolio Performance Review. Venue:  world Bank Country Office.
Contact: Kennedy Fosu


February 23
Exhibition. Venue: National University of Lesotho (tbc).
Contact: Elita Banda


February 28
Exhibition of selected projects’ results outcome/activities/knowledge products. Results videos. Venue: tbc.
Contact: Michael Nyumah Sahr



March 21-22
"Développement de Madagascar, réalités et potentialités." Knowledge fair. Exhibit, panels. Topics: poverty, human capital, governance, energy and agriculture. Venue: World Bank Country Office.
Contact: Diana Styvanley



February 22
Presentation of Malawi Economic Update, Tour of resources available online, Exhibit of Malawi Drought Recovery Project. Venue: Parliament Library.

February 23
Presentation of Malawi Economic Update, Tour of resources available online. Venue: Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

Contact: Zeria N. Banda              


February 27
"Bringing knowledge to Life": presentations, exhibit, panel discussion. Topics: Macroeconomics and fiscal management, Health, Education. Venue: tbc.
Contact: Nada Amin          


February 24
Exhibition and Presentation by Country Economist. Venue: Copperbelt University, Kitwe.
Contact: Carlyn Hambuba

Musician: Richard Bona


Originally from Cameroon, Richard Bona remains true to his roots, with African rhythms reflected in each of his seven albums. Fans call him “The African Sting,” critics call him a pro, but it’s his unique and electrifying style of connecting with his audience that titles him what he really is—a true musician. His seemingly effortless voice, fierce skills on the bass, unique songwriting/arranging expertise and ability to learn just about any instrument simply from watching, position him as a rare African artist to have established an unscalable reputation on an international platform. 

Bona was honored by the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal with the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award. He also received the prestigious SACEM Jazz Award (Grand Prix Jazz SACEM) in 2012 for the Jazz Grand Prize.  Bona has performed on many stages such as the Adelaide International Guitar Festival and with many luminaries such as John Legend for his album, Tiki, which was also nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for “Best Contemporary World Music Album.” In 2016, as he continues to redefine his sound, he has released his latest album “Heritage,” an Afro-Cuban project with the Mandekan Cubano.

Story Teller: Baba Jamal Koram


In African cultures around the world, there are those who tell the stories, keep the culture, and pass on the history, folklore, mannerisms and languages of a people. 

Baba Jamal Koram tells these stories and is the recipient of the National Association of Blackstorytelling (NABS) highest award: The Zora Neale Hurston Award, and the National Storytelling Network's (NSN) Circle of Excellence Oracle Award. He has been featured at the National Storytelling Festivals, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian museums, regional festivals, theaters, museums, outdoor events and schools in Germany and Ghana, Mali, and South Africa.

  • DATE: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
  • TIME: 9:00am - 6pm (EST)
  • PLACE: JDW Atrium & Preston Auditorium – Country Offices in Africa
  • CONTACT: Mapi Buitano