Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (centre) with other Heads of State and Government during Africa 2016 Forum – REUTERS Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (centre) with other Heads of State and Government during Africa 2016 Forum – REUTERS

Africa 2017 Forum publishes text of Sisi’s welcoming speech

Sat, Dec. 2, 2017
CAIRO – 2 December 2017: The Africa 2017 Forum’s official website has published speeches of several participants including the welcoming speech of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who will take part in the Annual Africa Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh running from December 7-9, 2017.

The Forum is sponsored by the Egyptian government through the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and COMESA Regional Investment Agency. Africa 2017 is a unique business-to-business and government-to-business platform, bringing together policymakers, financiers, leading industrialists and young entrepreneurs.

This year’s three-day Forum will focus on “Driving Investment for Inclusive Growth”. In this context, various activities have been arranged, aiming to enhance private sector cooperation in Africa and catalyze investment into sectors of strategic interest to our continent.

Six African Heads of State, some 1,400 delegates from 45 countries and more than 1,500 businessmen will attend the Forum where plenty of one-to-one meetings are expected to take place and various Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) across multiple sectors will be signed too.

Here is the full text of President Sisi’s welcoming speech:

“Fellow African brothers and dear friends from around the world;

It gives me an immense pleasure to invite you to join us at the “Africa 2017 Forum” to be held in Sharm El- Sheikh from the 7th to the 9th of December 2017. The Forum aims at providing a platform for Heads of State and government, as well as private sector and business leaders in Africa and the world in order to discuss a wide range of business and development issues in the Continent and to engage with some of Africa’s most important economic partners and stakeholders. The “Africa 2017 Forum” will focus on success stories while drawing lessons from the past. This will help us design solutions to spur investment, and to accelerate job creation and more inclusive growth. The Forum will also provide a good opportunity for all participants to share their best practices in order to mutually benefit from the diverse experiences and backgrounds that Africa enjoys.

In light of Egypt’s commitment to enhance intra-African trade and investment, we have hosted two years ago the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) between the three African trade blocs COMESA, EAC and SADC. The signature of the TFTA in Sharm El- Sheikh in June 2015 was an important step in the direction of creating a continental free trade area, which would encompass all African nations. These endeavors primarily aim at facilitating trade across the Continent, supporting African nations in their quest for development and prosperity as well as pushing forward regional integration efforts.

It is noteworthy that despite adverse global economic headwinds, African economies have proved to be resilient and remain among the most attractive destinations for global investment. Nevertheless, there remains a need for doubling our common efforts to deepen economic cooperation and integration in order to achieve the development and progress to which our African nations aspire.

In Egypt, we have recently adopted significant reforms to improve our business environment and overall country competitiveness. We are in the midst of implementing a comprehensive development program aimed at addressing structural imbalances, restoring macroeconomic stability, promoting growth and job creation and building knowledge-based industries. In the same vein, we have launched many ambitious mega-projects, which include the establishment of a special economic zone along the Suez Canal, one of the most important sea lanes around the globe. This is in addition to the construction of a number of new cities, including an administrative capital on the outskirts of Cairo.

Due to our strong conviction in the crucial role of women and youth in the economic development process, Egypt has designated 2017 as the “Year of [Egyptian] Women.” Enhancing the role of women in our societies will enable us to better deliver on our development agenda. For that reason, empowering women will be an important aspect of the Africa 2017 Forum’s program this year. On the other hand, the “Young Entrepreneurs Day” will ensure youth’s engagement and their central position in the Forum’s program as well.

Our successes, as African countries, are closely interconnected. In Egypt, We are committed to playing an active role in helping strengthen regional ties and in building greater economic integration across the continent.

I look forward to welcoming you all to Sharm El- Sheikh to participate in “Africa 2017 Forum” from the 7th to 9th December 2017.”
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