Egypt has announced a number of initiatives aimed at boosting more investment, economic integration and greater cooperation among African states, as President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi calls for urgency in tackling Africa’s needs.
Speaking at the just-concluded African 2018 Forum held in the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, the Egyptian leader outlined to gathered delegates, including African Heads of State and leading business leaders, how Egypt will help tackle some of the issues and constraints holding back investment and economic growth around the continent.
He announced that Egypt will establish a risk insurance fund to encourage Egyptian entrepreneurs to invest in other African countries to benefit from the continent’s massive opportunities.
A guarantee fund dedicated to investing in infrastructure, information technology and high-end digitisation of African economies, was also announced.
“This event emphasises how much importance Egypt accords to theAfrican continent,” he said. “It’s been an important platform to enhance the multilateral framework of African countries. Improving African infrastructure and a clear focus on development will be central to our agenda during our chairmanship of the AU.”
We have another pressing challenge in Africa – that of time. I believe building hope for our people cannot wait any longer. We have to be in a hurry and apply progress in a speedy way in whatever we do.
Egypt takes over the chairmanship of the African Union for the first time at the next AU summit to be held next month – taking over from Rwanda under President Paul Kagame, who at the Presidential Dialogue, during the Young Entrepreneurs Day, called on African leaders to give more support to encourage and boost confidence if youth are to get more involved in Africa’s political and economic trajectories.
“We have to provide the leadership necessary for young people to be free, explore and express themselves. We are not doing them a favour, it is our duty and responsibility,” he said.
And in remarks at the Presidential Panel – Bold Leadership and Collective Commitment –Advancing Intra-African Investments – President Al Sisi also passionately emphasised on the need for urgency.
“We have another pressing challenge in Africa – that of time.People ask me, ‘Why are you in so much of a hurry?’ But we are in a race against time and the needs of our people are so pressing. I believe building hope for our people cannot wait any longer. We have to be in a hurry and apply progress in a speedy way in whatever we do,” he said.
President Al Sisi also announced the creation of the National Academy to Fight Corruption in Egypt under the auspices of the Administrative Control Authority.
But he was also emphatic on the importance of a secure and peaceful Africa: “Security is an investment for Africa,” he said. “If we cannot maintain security and stability, everything we do is impacted negatively…we need peace and security.”
Governance and the fight against corruption are some of the core issues at the centre of the African Union agenda.
We have to provide the leadership necessary for young people to be free, explore and express themselves. We are not doing them a favour, it is our duty and responsibility.
The 2018 Forum, which was premised on the title “Bold Leadership and Collective Commitment – Fast Tracking Intra-African Investments”, also dedicated a day to Empowering Women and held a Young Entrepreneurs Day, giving space and opportunity to voices considered critical in moving Africa’s development agenda forward.
Two hundred and fifty start-ups were invited to take part in Young Entrepreneurs Day. The Forum also brought together over 30 female African creatives in the fashion, design and luxury goods industry for a curated exhibition aimed at giving them exposure to the attending business and investment entrepreneurs and showcase the talent Africa offers in that industry.
The Africa 2018 Forum, held under the patronage of President Al Sisi, was organised by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA).
The 2018 edition built on the success of the previous editions, which have seen the participation of 11 Heads of State and more than 3,000 delegates from 80+ countries and has established itself as the premier business platform to nurture new partnerships, meet investors and fast track business objectives in Africa.