Heads of state, business leaders to meet in Sharm El-Sheikh for Africa 2017 forum

Egypt will host a high-level forum promoting trade and investment in Africa this December, the country’s investment and international cooperation ministry and COMESA’s regional investment agency announced jointly on Wednesday.

The forum, which will be held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, will convene from 7-9 December in Sharm El Sheikh, and will bring together delegations of leaders in business and policy from across Africa and worldwide, including heads of state and some of the most important CEOs of the continent.

The forum, dubbed “Africa 2017” will kick-off with a Young Entrepreneurs Day that will bring together emerging entrepreneurs and more established ones, in addition to mentors, start-up hubs, angel investors and venture capital firms, to share ideas, network and help drive further the business ideas of tomorrow.

The three-day event is partnered with top-notch incubators, entrepreneurship programs and VC funds, and more than 1000 delegates are expected to attend.

“The forum has the objective of promoting investments into our continent, especially cross-border investments,” Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said.
She added that Egypt will be showcasing its flagship mega-projects, including the construction of the new capital city 45km outside of Cairo, and a number of industrial and special economic zone projects in Sinai and Suez.

In 2015, Egypt hosted the Tripartite Summit where a free trade agreement was signed, bringing together three regional economic communities, effectively creating with its 26 member states the largest trading block on the continent.

This forum reinforces Egypt’s commitment to support and enhance the economic and cultural integration of Africa, and to spur investment into what is still one of the fastest growing regions in the world, the ministry said.

Commenting on the sustained investor confidence with regards to Africa and the forum, COMESA Regional Investment Agency Director Heba Salama said that Africa –the COMESA Region, in particular — “continues to offer some of the best returns on investment in the world.”

“Africa 2017 will be an unparalleled occasion to gather the architects of Africa’s future and drive further the transformative investment projects of tomorrow,” Salama stated.

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