The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Regional Investment Agency are set to host a high-level forum that promotes trade and investment within the continent.
The Forum will be held under the High Patronage of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt on 8-9 December 2018, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The Forum 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 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.
The organisers have confirmed that already five African heads of State had confirmed their participation including the newly elected Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and also President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who has been leading the drive to get 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.
The 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 their 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.
Speaking about 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.”
Echoing this commitment was Heba Salama, COMESA Regional Investment Agency CEO, welcoming this important community to the third edition of the Forum: “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.”