The sixth Harambeans Rome Forum, October 14-17, 2021 assembled members of the Alliance at the Pope’s Summer Residence on the banks of Lake Albano to reaffirm our pledge to “work together as one” to build Africa’s future. There was much to reflect on and celebrate during the 3-day gathering, which was blessed by Cardinal Turkson and attended by Harambeans and the Alliance’s guilds of investors, partners and policy makers.
In her address at Castel Gandolfo, Dr. Flaminia Giovanelli, Harambeans Advisor and retired Under Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Justice and Peace, reiterated the increasing relevance of Harambeans and their role as servant leaders. “A servant leader must contribute to building the common good and a society in which institutions care about basic elements, such as quality education, medical care, essential transport and infrastructure services that allow everyone to participate in the race of life. As Harambeans aspire to become servant leaders, with their innate talents, they also have a responsibility to support their collaborators and facilitate them to improve and succeed. And importantly, to never give up!” said Giovanelli. The exhortation to serve was reinforced by Cardinal Turkson who reminded the Alliance of Jesus’s message in the Gospel of Mark ““If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Harvard Business School Launches Case Study on Harambeans
In a sign of the rapid evolution of the Alliance, Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Anywhere Sikochi, joined Harambeans at the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo to launch an HBS case study on the Alliance titled Harambe: Mobilizing Capital in Africa. Co-authored by Professor Sikochi and HBS affiliates Dilyana Botha and Francesco Tronci, the in-depth case study explores Harambe’s decade-old effort to mobilize social, political, and financial capital to develop Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and lays out the challenges and opportunities ahead as the Alliance seeks to maximize its impact.
Book Launch: Harambean Meditations on African Innovation
The Forum was the launchpad for two new Harambean publications. The first was the second edition of Harambean Way magazine, titled ‘The End of our Beginning’. The magazine showcases the growth and success of numerous Harambean-led ventures, the impact they are having across Africa, and how far the Alliance has come in terms of its presence and growing entrepreneur and investor base in Africa. The publication includes the news that three of Africa’s Unicorns in 2021 were Harambean-founded and run, namely Andela, Flutterwave and Go1. “Our unicorns give us more reasons to be bolder and hopeful for Africa’s future as investors and companies change their focus to include the continent. We are extremely proud of what these Harambeans have achieved, and we have the audacity to believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg – there is much more to come!” said Founder and Chairman of Harambeans, Okendo Lewis-Gayle.
The second was Lewis-Gayle’s second book, Harambean Meditations on African Innovation. The book is a snapshot of the new venture formation process across Africa and shares insights and valuable lessons from the experiences of innovators and investors in the Alliance around three key pillars –talent, product and capital. “We hope that the venture hacks synthesized by these meditations shorten the learning curve of a new generation of African innovators and hope that these insights will accelerate the growth of high-performing teams across Africa,” said Lewis-Gayle.
Harambean Oppenheimer Fellows III
Five Harambeans from the Class of 2021 made the “Romecoming” as the third cohort of Harambean Oppenheimer Fellows. The Fellows have embarked on a 12-month acceleration program where they will meet and learn from serial entrepreneurs and global experts in the Alliance from across the globe. They will also receive support across four key strategic areas – capital, talent, strategic partnerships and leadership to accelerate the growth of their ventures. “Africans are going to create their own economic future and when we meet individuals, such as Harambeans, we know that there is incredible optimism and opportunity. Harambeans have an enormous role to play in bringing businesses back to Africa. We believe they will beat the odds and hope we can be part of that,” said Bridget Fury, Head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies.
Harambeans join Rothschild’s Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican
At the Forum, Meredith Sumpter, CEO of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, officially welcomed the Alliance as the newest member of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, a movement started by Lynn Forester de Rothschild, as a community of influential business and public sector leaders who are working to build a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system. “Our alliance with the Harambeans is a dynamic one in that Harambeans recognize that you cannot be a healthy business enterprise without also being a healthy social enterprise. Harambeans have sent out a pathway towards the future of what a valuable business will be and are creating value every day in the communities in which they operate and serve. There is so much that we can learn from the entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Harambean community to make capitalism the positive, enabling, innovative and catalytic force it was always intended to be,” said Meredith Sumpter, CEO of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism.
“On the embers of a global pandemic and with 3 unicorns in 6 months in our arsenal, it is fitting that our Alliance gathers on the banks of Lake Albano, the birthplace of Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of the City of Rome.” said Mr. Lewis-Gayle, Founder and Chairman of Harmabeans. “For much like the journey of the Eternal City of Rome, which began 2773 years ago, out of a mud hut on the Palatine Hill, what first appeared impossible, gradually became improbable and seems suddenly inevitable. And while this sixth “Romecoming” does not mark the end of our journey, nor even the beginning of the end. It is perhaps, as Winston Churchil would note, “the end of the beginning.”