Wednesday, December 27, 2017 03.40PM / Africa 2017
African presidents reached a strong consensus to focus on regional integration,
inclusive growth and youth empowerment in order to achieve continued and
sustained growth on the continent at the Africa 2017 Forum in Sharm El Sheikh,
Egypt. President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi hosted African heads of state
and business leaders including President of the Republic of Guinea Alpha Condé,
President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of
Côte D’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, and President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi
The business and investment Forum titled “Driving investment for inclusive
growth” was convened to increase intra-African investments and cross-border
collaboration. The message sent was that entrepreneurship and private sector
would be the driving force to transform the continent. The Forum was preceded
by a Young Entrepreneurs Day which brought together over 200 young African
entrepreneurs who were meeting investors to pitch their businesses over the two
days of the Forum. Al Sisi highlighted the importance of African youth, saying
they should be the cornerstone of development plans in the continent as
governments strive to promote innovation and technology.
The second edition of the Forum was another clear statement of intent from the
Egyptian President, who, in his opening remarks, highlighted the strong bond
Egypt has with the rest of the continent, saying it has always been a partner
in African development. Putting Africa on the global map and paving the way for
a prosperous future can be achieved by working harder to attract investment and
collaborating more closely.
President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, co-chair of the Young Entrepreneurs Day,
reiterated the need for more urgency: "We cannot afford to waste
opportunities because of unnecessary red tape and associated delays."
Citing the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area in Egypt in 2015, he added
it was important that African leaders drive the institutional reform of the
African Union in order to get the FTA fully operational.
Heba Salama, Director of the COMESA Regional Investment Agency, co-conveners of
the Forum, in an emotional address reminded the young and the leaders in the
room that if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. This did not
go unheeded by the entrepreneurs in the room many of whom had scaled up
businesses that were ripe for take off.
Africa 2017 Forum is held under the high patronage of H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi
on 7th to 9th December 2017 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and is organized by the
Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA
Regional Investment Agency (RIA).
The 2017 edition builds on the success of the inaugural Africa 2016, which saw
participation of 6 Heads of State and more than 1,000 delegates from 45
countries. This year the programme has been enhanced with exclusive
Presidential Roundtables with Africa leaders and CEOs as well as a Young