The second edition of the annual Africa 2017, a high-level forum offering participants an unparalleled platform for promoting trade and investment within Africa, will take place on December 7-9, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the organisers announced yesterday.
This year’s event will kick-off with a Young Entrepreneurs Day (YED), which will bring together emerging and established entrepreneurs, business mentors, start-up hubs, angel investors and venture capital firms to share ideas, network and help drive further the “business ideas of tomorrow”.
According to the organisers, the Africa 2017 YED has partnered with top incubators, entrepreneurship programmes and venture capital firms.
Organised by Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Regional Investment Agency, the three-day conference will discuss key issues like ploicy reforms to improve business and investment climate, among others.
It will attract business leaders and policy-makers from across Africa and worldwide, including Heads of State, the statement said. The forum will be held under the patronage of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Dr Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, reiterated the African opportunity based on business-minded reforms taking place across the continent.
“The forum seeks to stimulate investments into the continent, and especially cross-border investments. In Egypt, we have undertaken an ambitious economic reform programme, with improving the business environment and overall country competitiveness as the key ingredient,” Nasr said.
This forum reinforces Egypt’s commitment to support and enhance the economic and cultural integration of Africa and to spur investment into what is still one of the fastest growing regions in the world, the statement added.
In 2015, Egypt hosted the Tripartite Summit where a free trade agreement was signed, bringing together three regional economic communities, Southern African Development Community, East African Community and COMESA, effectively creating, with its 26 member states, the largest trading block on the continent.
This ‘borderless economy’ would rank as 15th in the world in terms of GDP.
Commenting on the sustained investor confidence with regards to Africa and the forum, Heba Salama, the COMESA Regional Investment Agency director, said “Africa, and in particular the COMESA region, continues to offer some of the best returns on investment in the world.
“Africa 2017 will be an unparalleled occasion to gather the architects of Africa’s future and drive further the transformative investment projects of tomorrow,” the official added.