Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Thursday, May 2nd 2013 [ME NewsWire]
Business leaders urged Africa to realise its full potential and work with Dubai to harness the power of its key sectors, at the Africa Global Business Forum 2013, held under the attendance and patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Over the two-days, more than 4,500 attendees came together to discussed exponential business opportunities in agribusiness, trade, logistics and financial services.
The first day was attended by Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Sultan Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State, H.E. Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General, COMESA, and Hon. Danny Faure, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, among other dignitaries and business leaders.
In his keynote address, Rt. Hon. Mbabazi stressed that Africa could learn from the UAE experience of public and private sector partnerships. "The Dubai model is attractive and worth emulating,” he told delegates.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the "bottlenecks” to Africa’s development, including lack of infrastructure, small-scale internal markets and under development in human resource, which he said were being addressed by governments across the continent.
According to Heba Salama, Director, COMESA Regional Investment Agency, Africa is a "continent transformed”. She urged companies to act now, saying the continent’s young population and rising middle class were driving consumer spending, which is set to hit US $1.4 trillion by 2020.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, said: "The Forum has surpassed all our hopes and expectations. We are already looking forward to next year, following instruction from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum that the Africa Global Business Forum is to be an annual event.”
The second day opened with Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Mobile Communication Entrepreneur, Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Sudan, with later sessions focused on the power of Africa’s youth to drive future economic growth, the potential for Islamic finance to be exported by Dubai to Africa, and how to boost Africa’s trade.
The Forum sought to explore the opportunities for further cooperation between UAE and African businesses in key sectors, and to build on the role of Dubai as a gateway and platform for business into and out of the continent.
Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Ruba Abdel Halim