The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has joined a growing list of countries that are yearning to tap into the numerous opportunities within the African continent as well as boost trade and development. Heads of state, ministers, policymakers, prominent business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs from Africa are descending on Dubai for the two-day Global Business Forum Africa 2019.
Held under theme “Scale-Up Africa”, the fifth edition of the forum is organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
GBF Africa 2019 is the largest event of its kind in the region, focusing on Africa’s vast economic potential and exploring new avenues of cooperation between UAE businesses and their African counterparts. Established in 1965, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub.
UAE and particularly Dubai is a key trade point with Africa with most international travels connecting through the Arabian city as well as becoming a key destination for holidaymakers and businessmen from Africa in the purchase of merchandizes. Official carrier Emirates is a major feature in most of African countries.
Dubai also seeks to benefit from the opportunities that will arise from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), a historic deal that has brought together most African nations creating the world’s largest free trade area and uniting 1.3 billion people under a $2.5 trillion economic bloc.
Key among the leaders expected at GBF Africa 2019 are Liberian President and former footballing icon H.E. George Weah, H.E. Danny Faure, President of Seychelles; H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe; H.E. Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Prime Minister of Mozambique; H.E. Ruhakana Ruganda, Prime Minister of Uganda; H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai; H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber; and H.E. Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, President of Dubai Business Women Council, among other prominent speakers.
Commenting on GBF Africa 2019, H.E. Hamad Buamim said, “We have high expectations for the fifth edition of GBF Africa and look forward to engaging with our African partners and discussing new ways to strengthen and expand UAE-Africa economic ties in the future,” adding that the high-level forum comes at a time when Dubai is stepping up efforts to forge global partnerships and attract businesses and investors from around the world.
This year, the forum puts the spotlight on promising startups that are driving business growth in Africa and examines the important role of cross-border cooperation in supporting the continent’s economic growth and development. Another highlight is the GBF Mentorship Programme as GBF Africa 2019 provides an opportunity for the startup finalists from the UAE and Africa will have an opportunity to showcase their businesses and connect with potential investors and business partners at the forum.
Standard Bank, the largest bank in Africa, and Invest Africa are supporting the forthcoming forum as event partners, reflecting strong interest in Dubai among Africa’s leading businesses.
As part of its preparations to host the fifth edition of GBF Africa, the Dubai Chamber launched a smart online platform in Arabic and English, to serve as a comprehensive guide to investment opportunities across key African markets, offering investors and the business community in the UAE and overseas accurate and up-to-date information on key strategic sectors in Africa.