African and European business representatives in the private and public sector closed agreements to support Africa’s sustainable growth at the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022 (EABF) that took place on 14 – 18 February 2022. The Forum was part of the Africa-Europe Week and in the margins of the African Union-European Union Summit where business champions from Africa and Europe, together with relevant business organisations led discussions on the identified priorities and launched mobilization drives amongst the broader business community.
Riding on the theme ‘Building stronger value chains for sustainable growth and decent jobs’, financial institutions, business organisations and other actors signed and announced more than 20 agreements to support health, agriculture, clean energy, youth and entrepreneurship, digital, automotive and others. Some of the biggest commitments were €312 million for health; almost €98 million for agriculture; almost €58 million for youth and entrepreneurship; €12 million for automotive; €10 million for finance; and €0.7 million for digitalisation. In addition, EABF led agreements bolstering structural relations between the public and private sectors where the African Business Council and the African Association of Automobile Manufacturers signed Memoranda of Understandings with important counterparts in Europe and Africa.
Hailing the forum’s achievements, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “I am pleased to see the EU-Africa Business Forum yield tangible trade and investment results. These commitments will benefit businesses and people on both continents. We will only achieve our common goal of a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery by joining forces with our partner organisations and the private sector. Supporting young entrepreneurs is particularly close to my heart. Youth’s energy and creativity is crucial to Africa’s booming economy.”
The full involvement of African and European businesses and their associations is essential to fully deliver a new ambition in 2022.
Amany Asfour, President of the African Business Council noted: “I would like to thank the European Union Commission and African Union Commission for organizing the EU-Africa Business Forum which emphasizes the Role of Private Sector as a partner of development. Africa Business Council is the voice of African private Sector established in line with the African Union Decision Summit to boost our Intra Africa Trade has its founding vision of A Competitive Borderless Innovative Africa for trade, industrialization and investment. This partnership of equals of private sector from both continents is crucial for realising the Africa We want based on creation of jobs, transfer of Technology, value addition for raw materials, industrialization. An enabling business environment for investment of our partners from Europe and with the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area investment in infrastructure energy and industrialization will have an impact on the daily life of our people. Africa Business Council thanks the organizers and all the great team who contributed for this fantastic successful event.”