Forum in Ethiopia to reflect on investing in Africans

The third Africa Business Forum on Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity takes place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the margins of the 33rd Ordinary Summit of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

Expected at the Forum are African Heads of State and private sector who aim to agree on innovative ideas for financing sustainable development on the Continent and address some of the key issues that have an impact on People, Planet and Prosperity. Discussions will also aim at touching on the partnerships needed between African private and public sectors to implement the 2030 Agenda (SDGs) and Agenda 2063.

The key areas for discussions – energy, health and technology- will tackle some of the most complex development challenges facing the Continent and the important role the private sector plays in bridging the gaps in finding innovative financing solutions to address them.

The energy section of the discussions will examine the shift towards a ‘sustainable energy mix and production’, for spurring economic growth while paying attention to the need to address climate change.
Experts will look at the question of meeting energy access targets and the need to match the fast-growing electricity demand across Africa.

The role of natural gas as a cleaner baseload power to support a renewable energy-driven transition has become a major issue of debate, given the lack of natural gas in the energy mix in nearly 40 African countries, according to the statement from the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). “Furthermore, meeting energy access targets are extremely urgent in the face of Africa’s infrastructure deficits, market development, regional interconnection, transition planning and requisite investment facilitation, all which need due attention, if the continent is to embark on a sustainable energy path,” it said.

The roundtable on innovative finance and health will address the issue of pharmaceutical drugs, which are needed to counter the high burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases across Africa, as well as the strain which the cost of medicines put on both the public and on consumer budgets. The meeting will discuss how to leverage the AfCFTA for continental pharmaceutical production, pooled procurement and harmonized regulatory frameworks. If implemented, the cost of medicines and medical equipment can be made more affordable and accessible.