Dubai ruler to host exclusive African talks

AT STAKE: Kenya is a top flower exporting country, but this business will suffer if EU imposes taxes. COURTESY PICTURE


DUBAI, UAE – The Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also United Arab Emirates Vice-President, is hosting the Second African Global Business Forum which is by invitation only and organized by The Economist publication.

The event (AGBF) takes place this week starting Wednesday and several African Heads of State have confirmed attendence. The theme is ‘New Realities – New Connections’.

Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said recently  the increase in economic reforms, rising fiscal spending and ties with fast growing economies in Asia are the main factors supporting the economy in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The participation of prominent speakers from Africa reflects on the importance of the Forum being held in Dubai. This will lead to enhanced bilateral relationship between the Emirate and leading countries of the African continent,” he said.

He said that the AGBF will shed a light on the economic and investment realities in Africa and will give business leaders and decision-makers from Africa, Dubai and the wider GCC region an ideal platform to discuss business partnerships and opportunities.

The Forum will  also highlight Dubai’s strategic role as a world-class hub for doing business with Africa.

The UAE government has shown great interest in expanding business with the continent seizing opportunities available on the African continent, with an estimated $97 billion in capital expenditure on the continent in the last 10 years.

According to the Dubai Chamber, African companies operating in Dubai have seen a percentage growth of 171% from the period from 2008 to mid-2014.

The sectors under which African companies operate in Dubai included trade (60%); construction (14.8%); logistics (8.2%); real estate (8.1%) and manufacturing (2.5%). However, agriculture, together with tourism and hospitality still lag behind.

According to sources AGBF will offer a platform to over 2,000 policy-makers and global business leaders from Africa, the GCC, Asia and Europe and beyond to discuss current challenges and business opportunities in finance, agribusiness, logistics, and trade across the economic blocs of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the South African Development Community (SADC), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU).

By John Sambo, Sunday, September 28th, 2014, East African Business Week