DUBAI- The Global Business Forum (GBF) Africa 2021 kicks off tomorrow with heads of state, more than 45 ministers, high-ranking government officials and prominent, influential business leaders from Africa and the UAE converging on Dubai for the event’s sixth edition.

The high-level event themed "Transformation Through Trade" is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai at the Dubai Exhibition Centre. It is organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and aims to build bridges between the UAE and African business communities and explore untapped trade and investment potential.

Several heads of state and government officials are taking part in the forum, including Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of State of the UAE; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Vice President of Zimbabwe. Chief Minister of Jersey, and ministers from Ghana, Angola, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Kenya, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Congo, Mauritania, Sudan, and the Kingdom of Lesotho will also join the event.

Felix Tshisekedi, President of Congo, will join Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, in a session on day one that explores how Emirati firms can help drive sustainable growth in Congo – one of Africa’s largest and most populous states – and catalyse regional integration through infrastructure, investment and trade.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, will headline a session exploring partnerships between the two countries and the broader lessons for trade, integration, and entrepreneurship in Africa.

The two-day forum will open with a welcome address by Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, underlining the crucial role of cross-border cooperation in discovering new business opportunities in Africa – home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Sessions on the first day will address key trends and issues reshaping African economies at the moment, including the role of regional and international partnerships, such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), in reshaping the trade and investment landscapes and driving sustainable growth, capital as a factor driving innovation, and prospects for expanding UAE-Africa economic cooperation.

On the second day, conversations will shift to Dubai as a model for logistics, infrastructure development and smart city solutions that African markets can replicate, in addition to the growing momentum behind African entrepreneurs, smart agriculture, and digital economy initiatives.


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