The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), is to host its annual Transformers Summit in Dakar, Senegal this December, organised in partnership with the Government of Senegal.

The Transformers Summit, which previously took place in Cambridge, UK, in 2018, gathers entrepreneurs and innovators together with private and public sectors to drive importance of innovative solutions for rapidly growing cities and communities. The IsDB will also showcase over 30 of the most promising innovations and sustainable businesses which are going to receive funding as part of the Transform Fund, established by IsDB in 2016. 

The Transformers Summit 2019 will be inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, IsDB President, H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, and Mr. Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Government of Senegal. Other honourable guests include Youssou N’Dour, artists and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Forest Whitaker, and Founder of The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative.

Senegal is the first IsDB member country to host the event, and this year’s edition will explore themes relevant to the country, as well as West African region and beyond.

Panel sessions will cover the following topics within the wider theme of future of smart cities including:

  • Climate Change: How climate change is impacting urbanization and housing in growing cities
  • Transport and public spaces: How can we better connect the world’s cities and communities
  • Education: How can we provide education for all and inspire the ever-growing youth population
  • Health: How can we improve health of the city-dwellers

Highlighting the importance of the Transformers Summit, President of the IsDB Group, H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, said: “Transformers Summit is an initiative born out of the Islamic Development Bank’s commitment to science, technology and innovation-led solutions to world’s most pressing problems. This year I am delighted to gather so many inspirational and influential voices in Dakar, a city with a rich history and unlimited potential. With Africa’s urban population expected to nearly triple by 2050, to 1.34 billion, the conversations driving our progress on sustainable cities are more important than ever.”

Echoing this sentiment, Mr. Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Government of Senegal, said: “We are delighted to be the first IsDB member country to host the Transformers Summit, and celebrate the innovation that is helping us to rapidly improve our cities. Our work with the Islamic Development Bank includes some of the most impressive projects and focuses on implementing science and technology in order to build stronger and more resilient environment for our communities. We look forward to welcoming everyone in our country and showing the world some of the latest ideas originating from our region.”

In the week leading up to the Transformers Summit will be the Transformers Academy – a week of experiential and practical sessions throughout the week that will bolster key business skills of those receiving funding from the IsDB. Also participating in this year’s Transformers Academy are 15 Senegalese students selected by the Government of Senegal.

Prospective delegates for this year’s Transformers Summit can register their interest here.