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Egypt hosts African business forum to boost private sector engagement in continent

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Feb 2016
Sharm El-Sheikh
The Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh will host the African business forum on 20-21 February (File photo: Reuters)
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Egypt is hosting an international forum on 20-21 February in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, which aims to boost private sector involvement and investments in the Africa.

African heads of states and Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will participate at the Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World conference.

"It gives me a great honour and pleasure to host Africa 2016 Forum," El-Sisi said in a welcome message posted on the business forum's official website.

"It's a landmark platform that will bring together a wide range of the foremost political and business leaders in Africa and across the world to discuss ways of enhancing pan African international trade and investment and promoting business climate with a major focus on the role of the private sector."

Some 1,500 delegates from Africa and the world are expected to attend, with a focus on the energy, ICT, financial services, trade, agribusiness, and health care & pharmaceuticals sectors.

Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir are among the African presidents who will attend the international business forum. 

Ahmed El-Sewedy, the CEO of El Sewedy Electric, and Ali Faramawy, vice president of Microsoft Corporation, are two of the most prominent Egyptian business figures taking part in the forum.

Under the umbrella of the African Union's commission, the event was organised by the Egyptian ministries of investment, trade and industry, international cooperation and foreign affairs.

In June, Egypt hosted Africa's three major regional economic committees (RECs) during a tripartite summit in Sharm El-Sheikh where a free trade agreement across all three RECs was launched.

The Continental Free Trade Area brings together the 26 African countries that are members of COMESA, EAC and SADC, and gives Egypt free trade access to seven new African nations.

It aims to create free trade zones for goods immediately and the hope of introducing services and intra-continent investor opportunities at a later stage.

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