The Egyptian Junior Businessmen Association (EJB) announced on Tuesday the launch of its ‘African Junior Business Initiative’ (AJBI), which aims to create partnerships between companies, especially emerging ones, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
The announcement came on the occasion of holding the first forum of the heads of African investment promotion agencies (IPAs Africa Forum 1), which is organised by the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) from 11 to 14 June.
Gamal Abu Ali, the EJB’s Chairman, said that the association’s members see good investment opportunities in Africa to be tapped, through which start-ups and SMEs can play a major role.
These opportunities are available in agriculture, food processing, training and education, renewable energy, infrastructure, consultancy, and fintech sectors, according to Abu Ali.
He added that the IPA forum’s sessions showed that there are many promising investment opportunities in the African continent for Egyptian and African investors alike, explaining the importance of the role of the Investment Authority GAFI and the Egyptian Commercial Services in collecting and analysing the business information and opportunities for different African countries to facilitate Egyptian companies’ entry into African markets, especially since most investors go to markets they have good knowledge of or if they worked with these markets before, and so providing information on African markets is extremely important.
He also pointed out the benefit and importance of having an electronic platform that contains all relevant information about African countries and investment opportunities to achieve integration and to facilitate and expedite procedures for investors.
Proposing actions to benefit from such opportunities, Abu Ali said that the EJB has an agenda in this regard, which includes coordination between investment agencies to obtain information on the investment environment, financing opportunities by banks and international institutions, providing an effective mechanism to ensure export and import operations, and facilitating communication processes between African investors and local partners.
He added that the collaboration of business associations, investment promotion agencies, and sovereign funds can overcome the challenges the investment scene in Africa faces and implement this agenda.
On these challenges, Abu Ali noted that among the obstacles faced by investors in the African market is infrastructure, explaining that Egypt and the African continent in general have been relentlessly working to overcome this obstacle.
Abu Ali praised the strong efforts made by Egypt’s government and GAFI to support companies looking to invest in Africa or seeking to attract investments and partners from African countries, noting that a big role is also played by Egyptian Commercial Services, ministries, and sectorial agencies.