Business community across Africa showcases continent’s potential

by MMC
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During a discussion at the Egyptian Investment Forum during the fifth day of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), speakers highlighted opportunities for increased trade between Egypt and other parts of the Africa, the head of the African Affairs Committee of the Egyptian Parliament, Sherif El Gabaly, highlighted the lessons that Egypt could share in terms of strengthening agricultural self-sufficiency. Other Egyptian business leaders shared their thoughts on their work in the healthcare, automotive, construction and e-commerce sectors.

Sherine Helmy, CEO of Pharco Pharmaceuticals, shared her insights on significantly reducing the cost of hepatitis treatment in Egypt to $60 per person. He stressed the importance of political will and commitment to enable the collaboration to achieve this success.

Jumia Egypt CEO Abdelatif Olama spoke about the company’s strong brand awareness across Africa, saying: “We thrive because we are African. We benefit from the growth of a large and growing population, from the increasing urbanization that results from a growing middle class.

For his part, Mohamed Taher, Senior Director of Business Development at Hassan Allam Construction, presented the construction projects underway in his company and invited potential partners to collaborate.

At the Barbados Investment Forum, the Barbados delegation said there were opportunities for collaboration between Barbados and Africa, highlighting the stability of the country’s economy. Kaye-Anne Greenidge, Managing Director of Invest Barbados, said there was huge potential for growth in sectors that contribute to the country’s GDP and highlighted investment opportunities for Africa in areas such as tourism, agri-food and the green economy.

Central Bank of Barbados Governor Kevin Greenidge said that, from an investor perspective, Barbados had “good buffers” with its foreign exchange reserves and the country had a low unemployment rate.

Carol Roberts-Reifer, Executive Director of the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados, discussed the country’s creative industries.

While the Commercial and Cultural Attaché at the Barbados High Commission in Accra, Phil Phillips, has announced plans to introduce Barbadian products to some African markets in the coming weeks.

IATF2023 participants were also treated to a panel discussion on “The Role of the AfCFTA in Accelerating the Implementation of the Africa Development Agenda 2063”. Speakers said political will was a crucial factor for success.

The head of the Egyptian Trade Representation Service, Yahya Al-Wathiq-Bellah, stressed the importance of political will throughout the structure.

Nardos Bekele Thomas, CEO of the African Union Development Agency – NEPAD, said an enabling environment and the willingness of governments to honor their commitments were crucial.

Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Intra-African Trade Banking at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said financiers have played a crucial role in protecting the African continent from the adverse effects of disruptions. of the supply chain. Awani argued that it was necessary to “reverse engineer” colonial trade routes, which were established without consideration of the African population. “We support this with funding, but it has to be a collective effort,” she said.

Responding to speakers, the African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Albert Muchanga, announced some upcoming projects aimed at ensuring harmonization of regulations, including a “Made in Africa” strategy.

He also stressed the need to include the private sector in state-level negotiations, adding: “A time should come when our governments must declare that the private sector will be informed of the outcome of the negotiations. »

IATF2023, Africa’s largest trade and investment exhibition kicked off on November 9 and will continue until

November 15. It is expected to attract more than 1,600 exhibitors and 35,000 visitors, and trade and investment deals worth $43 billion are expected to be concluded at the event.

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