Forgot your password?

Back to login

African leaders call for international partnership
February 14, 2018, 4:07 pm

African Heads of State said they were looking for partnerships, not support from the international business community. Welcoming foreign businesses and investment to the continent, the leaders asserted that they had a clear mandate to work with both public and private enterprises and would ensure a favorable and attractive business and investment environment.

Addressing the inaugural Africa Business and Investment Forum, the Heads of State from five African countries, spoke of their commitment to improving the business climate in their countries to foster foreign direct investments. The forum, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in partnership with Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), was held on 30 January on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The event was opened by Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and ascending Chairman of the African Union. Over 150 CEOs and senior executives of key US and African companies, both multinationals and SMEs, also participated in the Forum, contributing to the ongoing dialogue around Africa to increase opportunities for business partnerships, secure commitments to as well as track the adoption of business-friendly policies, and showcase countries and policies that are contributing to an enabling environment for enhanced African regional and global trade and investment.

In his inaugural address, President Kagame called for drawing business leaders into the conversation about public-private sector partnerships, so as to increase investment, economic opportunity and entrepreneurship on the continent.

Africa is working tirelessly to get policy and legislative conditions right to ease the business environment and attract more foreign direct investment, said Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. He said that as a result of these efforts, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the continent were growing, enabling several African economies to become resilient to various internal and external shocks.

Addressing the forum, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said there was need for more private sector investment in power projects on the continent. "Africa has huge potential for renewable power generation that the private sector should invest in," he said, adding the continent was full of opportunities, not just challenges. For his part, Senegal's President Macky Sall urged African governments to work together with the private sector to deliver low cost renewable energy that can be accessed by all.

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of ECA said: "Africa Business and Investment Forum demonstrated a real commitment by our African leaders that they are focused on paving the way for private investors from the US and the rest of the international community, to invest in Africa."

Florie Liser, President and CEO Corporate Council on Africa [CCA], said, "Today was a great opportunity for UN and AU leadership to hear the voice of international private enterprises and investors who want to do business with Africa, and ensure that business relations between the US and the continent continue to grow. Our CCA members, and guests at the Forum, were hugely encouraged to hear from our continent's leaders that Africa is an attractive destination for investment."

For his part, the outgoing African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki, hailed the ECA and the CCA for organizing the business forum, adding the continent was doing all it could to improve the ease of doing business for the benefit of its people. The forum helped draw focus of international investors to a continent that is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and which will be home to one quarter of the world's consumers by 2030. 

Share your views

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

"Envy comes from wanting something that isn't yours. But grief comes from losing something you've already had."

Photo Gallery