All About the ASA Business Conference – with Kwame Owusu (’26)

The annual ASA Business Conference is less than a day away! In Adamian at the Wilder Pavilion, this conference is an excellent way for Bentley students to hear insightful speakers, network with them, and start a conversation about how business runs worldwide. To prepare for the event and discuss what this annual tradition has to offer, I sat down with Kwame Owusu (Finance, ’26) and discussed more about this year’s ASA Conference.

Can you describe ASA for us and what you do for students who might not know about your org?

KO: “The African Student Association (ASA) at Bentley University is a cultural organization founded in 2017 with the goal of promoting, educating, and celebrating African cultures and experiences on campus. ASA strives to create a comfortable and inclusive environment for African current and prospective students at Bentley. We organize events and activities that showcase various aspects of African culture, such as music, food, clothing, education, and empowerment. It also provides spaces for conversations about African culture and experiences. It also aims to foster a sense of community and belonging for Bentley’s African and minority students, aligning with the university’s commitment to equitable educational experiences. Through events like the Annual Gala, African Business Conference, and African Black Market, ASA seeks to establish its presence on campus and connect with students interested in African culture. Overall, ASA provides students with an opportunity to connect with a diverse community, learn about African cultures, and participate in events that promote cultural awareness and appreciation.”

What is the annual ASA Business Conference?

KO: “The Bentley University African Business Conference is a student-run conference that brings together leaders and experts on Africa to discuss the continent’s state and explore opportunities for investment and development. The conference also provides students with the opportunity to network with other students and professionals.”

Every year, the Business Conference has a different theme. How do you decide what theme to cover, and what factors determine it?

KO: “Selecting a theme for the African Business Conference involves thoroughly considering various factors. Central to this decision-making process is the theme’s relevance to current events, trends, and challenges facing Africa, ensuring it resonates with the audience’s interests and sparks curiosity. Additionally, the chosen theme could generate meaningful discussions and insights that contribute to positive change on the continent. Themes encouraging innovative thinking and collaboration with relevant stakeholders are favored, aligning closely with the goals and mission of the African Student Association (ASA) and Bentley University. Ultimately, the theme selection process encompasses brainstorming, research, stakeholder consultations, and careful deliberation to ensure it reflects the conference’s objectives and engages attendees effectively.”

What do you believe is ASA’s main goal for the Business Conference?

KO: “ASA’s main goal for the Business Conference likely revolves around fostering a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges related to investing in Africa among attendees. This could include students, faculty, industry professionals, and other stakeholders. By convening leaders and experts on Africa, ASA aims to facilitate meaningful discussions, share insights, and explore innovative solutions that can drive positive change and development across the continent. Additionally, the conference may serve as a platform for networking, collaboration, and knowledge exchange, connecting individuals who share a common interest in Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development. Overall, the primary objective for the Business Conference is likely to inspire and empower attendees to contribute to Africa’s progress through informed investment decisions, innovative initiatives, and meaningful partnerships.”

Why should a Bentley student attend ASA’s Business Conference?

KO: “Bentley students should attend ASA’s Business Conference for several compelling reasons. Firstly, the conference offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights into the business landscape and investment opportunities in Africa, a region of growing importance in the global economy. By attending, students can deepen their understanding of emerging markets, trends, and challenges in Africa, which can benefit those considering careers in international business, finance, or development. Additionally, the conference provides a platform for networking with industry leaders, experts, and fellow students who share an interest in Africa, offering opportunities to build meaningful connections and explore potential career paths or collaborative ventures. Furthermore, attending the conference demonstrates a commitment to cultural awareness, diversity, and global engagement, qualities highly valued in today’s interconnected world. Overall, ASA’s Business Conference offers Bentley students a unique chance to broaden their horizons, expand their professional networks, and gain valuable insights into the dynamic business landscape of Africa.”

You can register for ASA’s Annual Business Conference on CampusGroups right now! The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, April 6, and is expected to wrap up at 4:00 p.m. See you at the Wilder Pavilion!

By Isabella Ampié
Isabella Ampié