By Hermoine Macura-Noble
Special to The Times Kuwait
Heads of State, high-ranking government officials and influential business leaders from Africa will convene in Dubai today for the sixth edition of the Global Business Forum Africa, which takes place on October 13-14, 2021, at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dubai Chamber is organizing GBF Africa 2021 in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai under the theme “Transformation Through Trade” to build bridges between the UAE and African business communities and explore untapped trade and investment potential.
“The sixth edition of the Forum will underline the crucial role of cross-border cooperation to discover new business opportunities in Africa, the home of one of the most important emerging markets in the world. Dubai Chamber is keen to continue its efforts to promote building strategic partnerships with the key players in the African business ecosystem. The Chamber is also committed to encouraging and supporting local and national companies to invest in African markets and enhance sustainable economic growth and development,” explained His Excellency Hamad Buamim, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO.
The discussions will involve heads of state and government officials, including His Excellency Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, His Excellency Felix Tshisekedi, President of Congo, and His Excellency Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga, Vice President of Zimbabwe.
They will be joined by the Chief Minister of Jersey and more than 30 ministers and high-ranking African officials, including five ministers from Ghana, four from Angola, six from Ethiopia, two from Uganda, Zimbabwe and Liberia, respectively, along with ministers from Kenya, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Congo and the Kingdom of Lesotho, as well as government officials from Rwanda and Kenya and COMESA Secretary-General.
Since this high-profile event series was launched by Dubai Chamber in 2013, Dubai’s non-oil trade with Africa has surged by over 71 per cent to exceed USD 50 billion in 2020. The sixth edition of the Global Business Forum Africa, set to descend on Expo 2020 Dubai on 13-14 October 2021, comes when UAE-Africa ties are rapidly expanding as the African Continental Free Trade Area, and regional integration efforts gain momentum. Over the last five editions of GBF Africa, the Forum has brought together more than 6,000 participants, 22 African presidents and 120 African ministers, who held more than 1,150 bilateral investment meetings. The high-level forums are the most significant events of their kind in the region – offering an ideal platform to showcase Africa’s economic potential to the world and build cross-border partnerships.
Commenting on the upcoming Forum, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Countries from across the world that are participating in Expo 2020 are eager to widen and deepen their ties with Africa, and GBF Africa will be a crucial forum where the continent can share its plans and achievements, seek investments and solutions to its challenges and forge new relationships across the globe.”
The Forum will also help to facilitate cooperation between business communities in Africa and the UAE to help African companies benefit from Dubai’s experience in building an integrated digital economy rooted in cutting-edge technologies.
“There are several reasons why Africa is emerging as the frontier market of choice in the post-COVID era. First, Africa is projected to see the strongest population growth of any world region in the next 80 years. Meanwhile, a new wave of young, tech-savvy and brand-conscious Africans is expected to boost consumer spending over the coming decades….Secondly, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a landmark agreement creating the world’s largest continental free trade area connecting the continent’s 55 countries, has the potential to transform the continent’s economic prospects,” concludes Buamim.
From market intelligence to business-to-business matching and business set-up support, the Forum also offers valuable resources and assistance to benefit businesses in the UAE and Africa looking to do business beyond borders.
By Hermoine Macura-Noble
The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.