The Africa 2017 forum will take place between the 7th and the 9th of December, at the Sharm El Sheikh bech resort in Egypt, where over 100 speakers and 1,500 delegates are set to discuss regional integration and job creation in Africa as Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi prepares to host six Head Of States and some of the continent’s leading CEOs.
Alpha Condé, the President of Guinea and current chair of the African Union (AU), will be joining the discussion, as well as the Presidents of Chad, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros and Somalia. The Vice President of Nigeria is also expected as is the Prime Minister of Mozambique.
The business and investment meeting, whose theme is ‘driving investment for inclusive growth’, has been convened to increase intra African investments and cross border collaboration.
It comes at a time when a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute, a research organisation, estimates that Africa could double its manufacturing output in 10 years. The Institute states that this could ultimately create between 6 million and 14 million stable jobs and boost the continent’s GDP growth.
Egypt hosted the signing of a tripartite agreement between the three regional economic communities Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC) in 2015.
Following the deal, the Forum has been designed for African business leaders to play a greater role by investing in opportunities throughout the continent.
The first edition of the Forum took place in February 2016. This year, more than 50 of the continent’s brightest and most promising entrepreneurs have been invited to showcase their businesses and will be presenting them to investors.
The Forum is being organised by Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA).
Speaking ahead of the Forum, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt stressed the importance of greater intra-Africa collaboration.
“Intra-Africa trade is a valuable component of Africa’s and Egypt’s economic growth strategy,” she said.
“For Egypt’s growth strategy, Intra-Africa trade remains a valuable component. Despite European and North American markets dominating Egypt’s trade activities, we have proximity to African markets as well as trade agreements with African nations. The markets where Egypt has seen an increase in its trade include North Africa, specifically Morocco, East Africa, specifically Kenya, South Africa and Sudan,” she added.
“The private sector can play an important role in filling in the $93 billion infrastructure gap. Manufacturing is another important sector where private sector support is needed,” said Heba Salama, Head of the RIA.