The Africa CEO Roundtable Conference has concluded after two days of deliberations on how to enhance trade and investment on the continent.
Chief executives and captains of industry from domestic, regional and global organisations, alongside heads of government entities, reflected on the existing linkages between the public and private sectors.
The Conference was convened as part of the Spotlight on Africa events organized by the African Union in its participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, focused on the enhancing the role of the Private Sector in leveraging and contributing to the realization of Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Convened under the theme, “Leveraging Agenda 2063 for Private Sector, Trade and Investments Development in Africa”, the CEOs affirmed that Africa is open for business, supported by flagship projects such as the African Continental Tree Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), the African Union Financial Institutions (AUFIs) and the African Passport and Free Movement of People, among other key projects.
Acting Director of the Economic Development, Trade, Industry, Mining and AU Expo 2020 Dubai Deputy Commissioner General, Mr Chiza Charles Chiumya remarked that this forum comes at the opportune time for the African continent in times of post-covid economic rebuilding.
He observed that, “this is our opportunity now, to come together as leaders from our various member states, to collectively make good use of this exciting opportunity to tweak our continental agenda for economic revival and spur industrial innovation that will bring solutions that place women and youth in the forefront.”
Large investments are required to in various sectors including Infrastructure, Banking and Finance, Manufacturing and Agro-processing as well as in Telecommunication and Energy sectors. This offers growing opportunities for the private sector to tap into the gaps and thereby contribute to attaining the goals and objectives of Agenda 2063.
As key players in the socio-economic transformation of the continent, the role of private sector actors cannot therefore be overemphasized. Their involvement in the implementation of Agenda 2063 is critical for inclusive and sustainable development that addresses the core of the needs by the African citizen to eliminate poverty and to better livelihoods.
Dr. Levi Uche Madueke, AU Commissioner General at the Expo, underscored the relevance of the Africa CEOs Roundtable Conference.
He added, “we have organized this CEO Roundtable Conference because we are fully convinced that the Private Sector can effectively contribute to the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063,”
“The current economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term fundamentals, and digital potential have all positioned the region as an attractive investment destination for decades to come” concluded Dr. Madueke.
As the pandemic continues to threaten global economies, disrupt supply chains and overwhelm the continent's debt levels, the conference was an opportunity to deliberate on synergies for the continent to build back better through Public-Private Partnerships.
To demonstrate the role of the private sector, Mr. Rene Awambeng, Director for Client Relations atthe African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), observed the need to back the Political commitment by rallying the public and private sector as well as regional and continental development finance and policy institutions to create the enabling infrastructure, create domestic and regional value chains and accelerate cross-border trade and investments.
He stated, “In addition to providing human and financial resources to the operations of the AfCFTA, the Bank has created a number of initiatives that will eliminate most of the bottlenecks to intra-African trade,”
“Our immediate commitment is to expand access to intra-African trade finance by doubling our funding support from $20 billion disbursed during the last five years to $40 billion during the next five,” he concluded.
At the end of the conference, AU Expo Deputy Commissioner Chiumya praised the support the AU continues to enjoy from the private sector.
“This huge turnout of executives is a compelling show of unity, that the African people enjoy as we look to build towards the sustainability of the continent and believe in the realization of the ideals of shared prosperity as envisaged through the strategic framework detailed in Agenda 2063.”
You can catch-up on the two-day Africa CEOs Roundtable Conference, here: Day one. Day two.
The public, media and all other interested parties can keep up-to-date with the latest out of Dubai as well as get all the necessary information surrounding the AU activities or events by visiting the official AU at Expo 2020 website: https://africaexpo2020dubai.au.int/en
For further information please contact:
Mr. Lunga Kupiso, Public Relations & Media Officer - AU at Expo 2020 | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission Tel: +251 115 517 700 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ms. Faith Adhiambo, Media & Communications Coordinator - AU at Expo 2020 | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission Tel: +251 115 517 700 | E-mail: email@example.com | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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