Africa’s global economic and strategic importance is rapidly increasing, spurred by more than a decade of unprecedented growth and investment. Reform is driving a more business-friendly investment climate, and with its youthful demographics, growing workforce, rapid urbanization and abundant natural wealth, the continent is well-poised for economic transformation.
Despite this progress major challenges remain. More must be done to accelerate infrastructure development, drive regional integration and trade. To realize Africa’s full potential its young entrepreneurs must be empowered through an enabling environment, underpinned by inclusive and broad-based growth.
Africa 2017 is a unique platform for public-private sector cooperation. It is a Business to Business and Government to Business Forum bringing together policy makers, financiers, leading industrialists and young entrepreneurs in the promotion of Intra-African trade and investment focusing on key strategic sectors.
It is organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency.
The 2017 edition builds on the success of the inaugural Africa 2016, which saw participation from six heads of state and more than 1,000 delegates from 45 countries. This year the program has been enhanced with exclusive Presidential Roundtables with African leaders and CEO’s and a Young Entrepreneurs’ Day.
The three-day Forum will convene more than 1,000 leaders in business and policy from across Africa, as well as a select contingent of global business leaders.
Egypt has embarked on major economic reform and structural transformation program, strongly supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, aimed at fixing structural imbalances, promoting social justice and inclusion, and unlocking private sector investment potential.
With its unique geographical position, its free trade agreements with Africa including the COMESA regional free trade agreement, and the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement between COMESA, EAC and SADC blocks the country is ideally positioned to be a gateway for investors into Africa.
Pillars of the Forum:
The Forum is driven by three major priorities: Investment for Sustainable Development; Job Creation; and Inclusive Growth.
Investment for sustainable development: This segment will look at how to bring about sustainable development, that is investing in a way that is geared for the long term and to deliver solutions that will cater for the challenges of tomorrow. Urbanisation, food security, reliable energy solutions, will all feature in our discussions.
Job creation: Arguably, creating the jobs for the youth bulge is government’s biggest challenge across Africa today. What models are valid today and how do we gear ourselves up in what is being tagged as the fourth industrial revolution.
Inclusive growth: This segment will focus on solutions to ensure that prosperity is shared; that the youth, that the rural areas, that women all partake in the growth story. The entrepreneur segment of the Forum will be key to harnessing the opportunity of Africa’s young talent.
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