Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 7, 2021 (ECA) – All is set for the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Fourth Business Forum, a unique gathering of African Heads of State, private sector executives and young ICT leaders and innovators which provides an invaluable opportunity to be part of a dialogue on business and development in Africa.
At its fourth session, which takes place on 8 February 2021, the Africa Business Forum will focus on accelerating the role of the private sector through innovative financing to build forward towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Hosted by the ECA and its partners, the Africa Business Forum is an annual event held on the margins of the ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union. It brings together Heads of State and Government, policymakers, industry leaders, civil society representatives, academics, thought leaders, youth representatives and private business executives to discuss pressing development topics, including the role of the private sector in the development of Africa; cutting-edge and innovative ideas for ﬁnancing sustainable development in Africa; and forging partnerships between African private and public sectors.
This year the Forum will be held online and will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing African economies and societies with regard to innovative financing for growth in Africa.
“In the throes of the coronavirus disease pandemic, Africa is facing an unprecedented threat to the hard-earned growth that it achieved over the last decade,” says the ECA in a statement.
“The pandemic is global, but the resilience of the African region depends on the strategies and policies that countries adopt now, building on recent initiatives to accelerate economic growth to meet national development aspirations in line with the sustainable development goals and Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and to do so in a financially and environmentally sustainable manner.”
The Forum will focus on two areas, namely: innovative financing to harness technology; and innovative financing in energy for economic diversification. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya will deliver a keynote address in the innovative financing to harness technology section and then lead a conversation with young African innovators.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the strategic importance and centrality of information and communications technology for the well-being of citizens and the economy, and also the challenge to ensure inclusion, not just of broadband coverage, but affordability, digital skills, and jobs. This round table will discuss what it will take for the public and private sector to push the continent into the fourth industrial revolution and harness technology and financial inclusion for the continent’s development.
Democratic Republic of the Congo President, Félix Tshisekedi, will deliver a keynote address in the innovative financing in energy for economic diversification session and lead a conversation with Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50; Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, Chief Commercial Officer, Mixta Africa and Advisory Board Member, Africa Energy Chamber; and Bubacar Diallo, Founder and CEO of Benoo Energies.
The resource-rich DRC is currently spearheading an economic diversification strategy to boost economic growth and reduce poverty, accelerate value addition and deepen the country’s participation in value chains, and also to improve access to energy for its people. Public-private partnerships will be essential in that undertaking. The round table will discuss what it will take for the DRC to realize its full development potential, from creating the right environment, improving the business climate across sectors, and ensuring the better targeting of investments. A critical question to be answered is how the country can use its massive endowments in battery minerals such as cobalt (70 per cent of global production) and copper (13 per cent of global production) to maximize wealth creation from the battery and electric car value chain, estimated to grow to $8.8 trillion per year by 2050.
Previous sessions of the Forum have included the Africa Business and Investment Forum, held in early 2018; the Africa Business: Health Forum, in 2019; and the Africa Business Forum: Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity, in 2020.
The fourth session of the Africa Business Forum will be held under the theme of “Innovative finance: building forward to the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Join the conversation and be part of the solutions for a more prosperous Africa: https://www.uneca.org/4th-africa-business-forum
Economic Commission for Africa
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Tel: +251 11 551 5826