Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has urged African countries to encourage private-public cooperation, saying that the private sector is a major driver of social and economic growth in the continent.
"The private sector serves a main driver of providing permanent job opportunities and improving income level, thus contributing to eliminating poverty…and increasing long-term economic growth," El-Sisi told the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) attended by a number of African leaders and representatives of international organisations including the World Bank.
El-Sisi called for strengthening cooperation between the Egyptian and Japanese private sectors, and invited Japanese investors to invest in the resource-rich continent.
On Wednesday, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to offer enhanced trade insurance to boost private sector investment in Africa,which he said stood at $20 billion over the past three years.
El-Sisi, who holds the rotating presidency of the the 55-nation African Union (AU), said African countries are looking to draw investors to infrastructure and energy projects in the region, home to 1.2 billion people.
African countries, El-Sisi says, have made progress on improving investment environment in the continent by establishing a 2063 African development agenda, adopting the 2012 the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and launching the execution phase of a free African trade zone to promote intra-African free trade.
Separately, El-Sisi said during talks with Japan's trade minister on the sidelines of the gathering that Cairo is looking to boost cooperation with Japan to promote reliance on gas and clean energy in Egypt's public transportation system.
Egypt also looks to draw Japanese investors to a planned economic zone near the Suez Canal which will be international industrial and logistics hub, he added.
The three-day event concludes on Friday in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.