Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson co-chaired the inaugural session of the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 that kicked off in London on Monday.
Egypt is attending the summit in it's capacity as the president of the African Union.
President El-Sisi addressed the summit affirming Africa’s willingness to cooperate with all partners including the UK.
“There are promising and diverse opportunities for Africa’s partners,” El-Sisi said, adding that “such opportunities make Africa one of the most important destinations for international business institutions like those in the UK.”
President El-Sisi cited four pillars of cooperation that are considered a priority for African countries.
The first pillar is the implementation of infrastructure development projects in African Union countries, on top of which are the Cairo-Cape Town road, which will link the north of the continent to its south, as well as renewable energy and railway projects.
The second pillar, according to El-Sisi is “the activation of all the operational stages of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” as it will “enhance intraregional trade, increase international competitiveness of the continent, and create an African market that attracts foreign investment.”
El-Sisi added that the third pillar is creating partnerships with the foreign and African private sector and resolving its obstacles, since it a catalyst for economic growth.
The final pillar is “empowering youth and women across the continent and providing them with job opportunities,” he said.
President El-Sisi stressed the importance of providing governmental guarantees to international companies to reassure investors and to encourage them to pump direct investments into Africa.
El-Sisi stressed the importance of tackling the disparity in the trade balance by opening the UK market to African products, so that trade exchange becomes on a fairer basis.
The UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 aims at highlighting investment opportunities in Africa and fostering British investments in the continent.
The summit is attended by heads of African states and governments, heads of international organisations, as well as officials from British and African companies.