The topics included intra-African trade and investment, better protection of Africa's interests and industries, mobilization of the private sector around cross-border infrastructure and logistical projects, public-private workshops and case studies.
It is very timely for the participants to discuss how to make the most out of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, among other important issues, said Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the opening ceremony, as the free trade area needs only one more country's ratification for entering into force.
The full involvement of the African business community is critical to keeping implementation of the "historic agreement" on track, said Kagame.
Africa needs 1.7 million new jobs every month and the continent needs to develop a striving private sector enabled by free trade opportunities, according to Philippe Le Houerou, CEO of International Finance Corporation.
Economic integration is an economic opportunity and a vital necessity, which can not happen without the private sector, said Amir Ben Yahmed, President of the forum. Country leaders include Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, according to the forum's program.