Business Leaders to Convene in Egypt for Africa Forum as Stakeholders Move to Boost Trade and Investment across the Continent

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Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency are preparing to host Africa 2018, a high-level forum offering participants a platform for promoting trade and investment within the continent.

The event has established itself as the premier business platform to nurture new partnerships, meet investors and fast-track business objectives in Africa.

The Forum will be held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt on 8th and 9th December, 2018 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

It will be the biggest business-to-business and government-to-business gathering bringing together leading policy makers with captains of industry, financiers, major industrialists and young entrepreneurs from across Africa and beyond.

This year’s edition of the affair takes place against an important backdrop with Egypt taking over the chairmanship of the African Union in 2019, making it a platform to help shape private sector priorities for the coming year.

The theme for this year; ‘Bold Leadership and Collective Commitment: Advancing Intra-African Investments’ reflects the need for policy makers and the private sector to collaborate more closely and take tough decisions to advance and fast-track development across the continent.

Five African heads of State have confirmed their participation, including the newly elected Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who has been leading the drive to get a commitment from other African heads of State to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

This year, the Forum will have a day focusing on the role of women in helping them define the continental priorities in a gathering called Women Empowering Africa.

It has emerged that the event’s organisers will convene women driving change across the continent and give them a platform to get together and agree on clear action points to ensure they have a stronger voice and more significant presence at the decision making table, as much in government as in the boardroom. A communiqué will be presented to the heads of state present highlighting their priority concerns and aspirations.

Building on last year’s success, the organisers will be hosting a sideline event dubbed Young Entrepreneurs Day (YED), offering the continent’s rising stars the opportunity to meet a diverse set of investors as well as to hone their skills in some workshops tailored by specialist consultancies and leaders in their field.

Commenting on the Forum, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, reiterated her country’s commitment to working towards a unified vision for promoting economic co-operation among African nations.

“The Forum aims to improve intra-African trade and investment for the benefit for all citizens on this continent. Egypt’s comprehensive socio-economic reform programme to transform our country continues to progress alongside efforts to advancing Africa’s sustainable development through greater cross-border business among our nations,” she explained.

Echoing this commitment was Heba Salama, COMESA Regional Investment Agency CEO.

“COMESA, now consisting of 21 countries following the admission of Tunisia and Somalia this year, continues to play a lead role in advancing Africa’s economic integration. As one of the most influential regional economic communities in Africa, we have a pivotal role to play in engaging with business leaders and investors,” Salama concluded.

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