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AfricaMoney | September 22, 2017

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African Heads of State to meet in Egypt to reinforce their commitment to promoting regional investment and trade

African Heads of State to meet in Egypt to reinforce their commitment to promoting regional investment and trade

On the weekend of the 20th and 21st February Egypt will be hosting Africa 2016, the first international business and investment forum of its kind, an Africa to Africa investment forum aimed at strengthening business ties within Africa, both at a business and presidential level. The programme will have a big focus on boosting intra-Africa trade and investment by developing new and strategic public and private sector alliances.

African leaders expected in Sharm el Sheikh next month for high-level investment and business forum.

On the weekend of the 20th and 21st February Egypt will be hosting Africa 2016, the first international business and investment forum of its kind, an Africa to Africa investment forum aimed at strengthening business ties within Africa, both at a business and presidential level.

The Forum will be opened by the President of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fateh El-Sisi, and a number of African Heads of State are also expected at the forum.

Last June, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, three African regional economic communities, COMESA, SADC and the EAC signed a tripartite agreement creating the biggest free trade area on the continent.

The Africa 2016 Forum aims to reflect on the African opportunity as well as putting to practice the African integration story.

The Forum was initiated, and is spearheaded, by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD), the development arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Dr. Hazem Fahmy, the Secretary General of the EAPD, is confident the Forum will help drive the business agenda: “We are launching what we feel will become an important event to help drive more intra-African investment and trade. The Africa 2016 Forum will help us better understand the African opportunity and will help ensure that policy makers start putting the mechanics in place to make it easier for investors to access our markets.”

This was a sentiment that was also expressed by Heba Salama, who heads COMESA’s Regional Investment Agency: “The aim of the Forum, as well as discussing some of the most pressing issues in Africa today, is to encourage as much B2B interaction. We know that Africa offers the highest rate of return of any region in the world. However, too often, the African private sector is not taking advantage of this opportunity outside of their borders. We aim to change this.”

The programme will have a big focus on boosting intra-Africa trade and investment by developing new and strategic public and private sector alliances.

“Last year, following our Egypt the Future conference, we managed to secure billion of dollars of commitments and investment. Recently, another investor from the Gulf also announced a mullti-billion dollar real estate investment project in the country. The opportunity is very much alive, as much in Egypt as in the rest of Africa, and the time is now,” according to Ashraf Salman, Minister of Investment for Egypt.

 

The structure and format of the forum has been specifically designed to provide opportunities to meet face-to-face with high profile government and business decision-makers. There will also be unrivalled access to high level Egyptian policy makers who will be able to provide first hand insights into opportunities and projects in the country.

Investment promotion agencies from all Africa will also be showcasing both public and private investment opportunities and projects that are seeking partners. Africa 2016 will bring such partners to the table.

“Europe was united through economic collaboration,” added Ambassador Fahmy, “and by creating a competitive edge in strategic sectors, primarily in steel and coal. We as Africans need to get together and collaborate strategically, taking advantage of the huge wealth we have beneath the earth and with our young population and dynamic economies.”

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