It's time to unlock potential of Africa, Middle East amid ongoing challenges: SuperBridge Summit in Dubai

Doaa A.Moneim from Dubai, Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

Africa has abundant potential that can be tapped to grow and navigate the ongoing global economic crisis, participants in the UAE’s SuperBridge Summit asserted.

File photo: UAE s SuperBridge Summit  in Dubai.
File photo: UAE s SuperBridge Summit in Dubai.


Concurrent with the world’s largest tech and startups show GITEX GLOBAL, over two days SuperBridge Summit discussed pathways that could transform the economies of the Middle East and Africa amidst global economic challenges.

The event, which concluded on Tuesday, was held in Dubai as an initiative by KAOUN International, a subsidiary of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and the SuperBridge Council, and was held in partnership with the 43rd edition of GITEX Global.

The council was established to synergize a ‎new non-political platform for leaders from fast-growing economies, ‎bridging the old and the young, tradition and modernity, the north, south, ‎east and west together to create new strategies for ‎new generations. ‎

Minister of Economy of the UAE Abdullah Bin Touq El-Marri said that the global ‎economy is going through immense changes and new markets are reshaping the ‎economic landscape with unprecedented growth.

‎“The UAE is deeply committed to fostering international cooperation with a ‎knowledge-based and innovation-driven society to benefit from this transformation. ‎The UAE stands ready to play a pivotal role by creating an investment ‎environment for economies to grow and expand through collaboration, building ‎bridges for an inclusive and sustainable future”, El-Marri added.‎

Meanwhile, Helal Saeed El-Marri, Director General of Dubai's Department of ‎Economy and Tourism stated that the Middle East and Africa have tremendous ‎opportunities and bringing people together from all parts of the world is ‎important given the challenges facing the region. ‎

‎“The SuperBridge Summit bridges the gaps and cements economic prosperity to ‎better the world”, stressed the Director General.‎

Day one of the summit provided a unique platform for more than 500 ‎investors, business, government, policy and cultural leaders from 20 countries to ‎accelerate investment opportunities in hitherto untapped and ‎under-explored markets.

Speaking to Ahram Online, Sharif El-Badawi, the CEO of the newly established ‎Dubai Future District Fund, stressed that the African continent and the Middle ‎East region have great potential for thriving economies, yet, these markets are ‎suffering serious challenges that need innovative and out-if-the-box solutions to ‎be tackled.‎

Dubai Future District Fund is an evergreen venture fund of direct ‎investment vehicles located in Dubai. It is anchored by Dubai Future Foundation ‎and the Dubai International Financial Centre and aims to bolster economic ‎development in the UAE and the Middle East region.‎

‎“SuperBridge’s key role is bringing together the investors and the business ‎leaders from all over the world to explore the growing opportunities in ‎these economies and to unlock their potential for prosperity and ‎sustainable growth”, El-Badawi told Ahram Online.‎

In a panel discussion titled ‘The Importance of Public Private Partnerships in ‎Boosting Economic Growth in the Fastest Growing Economies’, the participants ‎discussed the levers propelling the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Speakers ‎Shane Tedjarati, Chairman of VS Partners and co-founder of SuperBridge Council, ‎Henry Huiyao Wang, Founder and President of the Center for China and ‎Globalization and Umar Saif, Federal Minister for Science and Technology and ‎Minister of IT of Pakistan, outlined the transformation driving economic ‎development and the business ecosystem needed to drive growth.‎

‎“The African market has a serious challenge when it comes to infrastructure. ‎Investors and private sector leaders must leverage investments to tackle this challenge that hinders African economies’ ability to reach sustainable ‎development goals and stands in the way of more returns”, Pakistani ‎Minister Saif told Ahram Online following the panel discussion.‎

He stressed that the IT sector’s infrastructure in the continent needs more ‎investments to keep up with the latest global standards, and also ‎to improve economic performance; including in Egypt.‎

Speaking in a panel focusing on economic growth in Africa, former Egyptian ‎Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr called on all ‎investors across the globe to invest in Africa as “the potential is high and the ‎returns are as well,” she said.‎

Nasr added that the African continent has the fastest-growing and youngest population in the world, which is a huge asset that needs investment for global prosperity.‎

Meanwhile, in a panel session titled ‘Envisioning the Future of Sustainable ‎Tourism and Mobility in the Post-Covid Era’, Jane Sun, CEO of and ‎Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of the ride-hailing app Careem discussed ‎how technologies can address environmental challenges in tourism. Panelists ‎discussed the resurgence of the tourism sector post-pandemic and ‎its effects on global mobility.  ‎

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