Over 50 best entrepreneurs from Africa are expected to showcase their businesses in a forum slated for this week between the 7-9th of December, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The business and investment forum whose theme is “Driving investment for inclusive growth’, is being organised by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA) with the aim to develop intra African trade.
Speaking ahead of the forum, Dr Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt emphasised on 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 adding that intra-Africa trade remains a valuable component for her country’s economy, despite European and North American markets dominating Egypt’s trade activities.
Heba Salama, head of RIA, highlighted the responsibility of the private sector to devise innovative solutions.
“The private sector can play an important role in filling in the US$93billion infrastructure gap.
Manufacturing is another important sector where private sector support is needed.
McKinsey Global Institute estimates that Africa could double its manufacturing output in 10 years, which could ultimately create between 6 million and 14 million stable jobs and boost African GDP growth,” he said.
Meanwhile, the forum will be hosted by Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and attended by different other African heads of state such as the president of Guinea, Chad, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Comoros ad Somalia.
The first edition of the Forum took place in February 2016.
This time around, the programme has been enhanced to include two exclusive Presidential Roundtables, where these business leaders will openly discuss policy with the African presidents present to help create a more conducive business environment, in addition to immense investment and business opportunities available in the continent.
Youth and entrepreneurs will also play a prominent role.
Egypt in 2015 hosted the signing of the tripartite agreement between the three regional economic communities SADC, COMESA and the EAC, and the Forum has been designed for African business leaders to play a greater role by investing in opportunities throughout the continent.
Those who will hold speeches at the forum include some of Africa’s leading CEOs and policy makers, like Isabel dos Santos, Chairperson of Unitel Angola, Daniel Matjila, CEO, Public Investment Corporation, Dr. Ahmed Heikal, Founder of Qalaa Holdings, Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA, and Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of UNECA.