At the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on 27 November 2017, business leaders and investors from Africa and Europe confirmed their commitment to sustainable and inclusive development and job-creation across the continent in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The forum supported the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) as a key tool to promote these objectives. 'The European External Investment Plan is the biggest investment plan ever put in place for Africa,”' said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini in the forum's closing address.
Organised ahead of the 5th AU-EU Summit, held in Abidjan on 29-30 November, the EABF brought over a thousand African and European business representatives and political leaders together to discuss how to stimulate the investment needed to create quality jobs in Africa. They underlined the need for establishing frameworks for closer cooperation that embrace the business communities of the two neighbouring continents and support of economic development, with a view to making the UN SDGs a reality.
The 6th EU-Africa Business Forum resulted in the Joint Business Declaration which focuses on the sectors of agribusiness, sustainable energy and the digital economy. Key points for discussion included:
- Improvement of value chains
- Support for viable and sustainable industrialisation
- Connection to micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs)
- Support from the EIP to deliver business investment objectives
'We need a "New Deal" between #Africa and #Europe, a deal of equal partners where we set our priorities together, we identify the problems together and we all take responsibility for reaching our common goals." @FedericaMog #AUEU pic.twitter.com/2JcTu82ln7
— EU External Action (@eu_eeas) November 28, 2017
Also at the forum, 135 young entrepreneurs and start-ups from the digital sector on both continents showcased their projects in the Digital Start-up Fair where they spoke about their vision for the future of Africa and Europe, benefited from the experience of mature companies and interacted with government representatives. The collaborative effort from Startup Europe Africa Network (SEC2A), with the support of the European Commission, and contributions from a wide range of stakeholders from Europe and Africa resulted in a Manifesto for the Development of a thriving Community of African-European Start-up Ecosystems.
For more information
Visit the official website of the 5th AU-EU Summit