African Leaders Call for “Partnership not Support”
African Heads of State has called for partnership and not support from global bodies; “we have a clear mandate to work with both public and private enterprises, to ensure the business environment is favourable and attractive to the international business community.
“This effort to draw business leaders into this conversation about public-private sector investment in Africa. This is long overdue and I trust that it will become a regular event during our Summits,” President Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and current Chairman of the African Union has stated.
President Kagame stated this at a forum hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in partnership with Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), for Heads of State from five African countries, at the inaugural Africa Business and Investment Forum, at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The forum was organised on the margins of the African Union (AU) Summit. It served as a high-level platform for U.S. and African private sector engagement, which also discussed diverse issues including Trade and Diversification, Energy, Agribusiness, and Health.
President Kagame’s presentation was made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra through the Communications Section of the Economic Commission on Africa (ECA) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The forum also sought to deepen the on-going 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.
Ms Vera Songwe, ECA Executive Secretary said: “Today’s Africa Business and Investment Forum demonstrated a real commitment by our African leaders that they are focussed on paving the way for private investors in the United States of America and the rest of the international community, to invest in Africa”.
Florie Liser, President and CEO Corporate Council on Africa described the forum as 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.
The forum was also to ensure that business relations between the U.S. and the continent continue to grow.
The business forum was attended by five African leaders including; President Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn; and President Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda.
The rest were; President Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger; President Macky Sall, Senegal; President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya; and President Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique.
Over 150 CEOs and senior executives of key U. S. and African companies, both multinationals and SMEs’ participated in the Forum.