By Abdi Ali
Published August 6, 2017
A meeting to promote trade and investment within Africa is set to bring together heads of government and captains of business in the Egyptian tourism mecca of Sharm El Sheikh in December 2017.
Dubbed Africa 2017, the three-day summit scheduled for December 7-9 shall kick-off with a Young Entrepreneurs Day (YED) that will bring together emerging entrepreneurs with more established ones, in addition to mentors, start-up hubs, angel investors and venture capital firms, to share ideas, network and help drive further the business ideas of tomorrow. The Africa 2017 YED has partnered with top-notch incubators, entrepreneurship programmes and Venture Capital funds.
Egypt is expected to showcase its flagship mega-projects, such as the construction of a new capital city some 45 kilometres outside of Cairo, and several industrial and special economic zone projects along the Suez Canal during the by-invitation-only forum that is organised by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and COMESA Regional Investment Agency.
“The Forum has the objective of promoting investments into our continent, and especially cross-border investments,” says Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation. “In Egypt, we have undertaken an ambitious economic reform programme, of which a key ingredient is improving the business environment and overall country competitiveness. Such efforts go hand-in-hand with our commitment to serve as a strategic gateway for Africa and the world.”
Heba Salama, COMESA Regional Investment Agency Director, says that “Africa, and in particular the COMESA Region, continues to offer some of the best returns on investment in the world. Africa 2017 will be an unparalleled occasion to gather the architects of Africa’s future and drive further the transformative investment projects of tomorrow”.
Egypt hosted the Tripartite Summit in 2015 where a free trade agreement was signed, bringing together three regional economic communities–Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC) and Common Market in Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)–effectively creating, with its 26 Member States, the largest trading block on the continent.