Back in 2017 I had the privilege of attending to an event that – to this day – remains the most impressive Africa-related conference I’ve ever attended: The Global Business Forum Africa, otherwise know as the GBF Africa. With 40 speakers and 26 sessions, this year’s event is expected to surpass its previous editions in many aspects.
Under the theme “Scale Up Africa” and organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the event is known for bringing together what is arguably the best ensemble of African connectors that I’ve ever experienced.
With an expected attendance of some 1000 handpicked guests, GBF Africa 2019 will feature a number of African Heads of State, among them Liberian President H.E. George Weah; Seychelles President H.E. Danny Faure; and Zimbabwean President H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Sessions and panel discussions to be held during the two-day forum will engage leading decision-makers and key stakeholders, taking a closer look at key trends and issues impacting Africa such as collaboration needed to support entrepreneurial ecosystems and foster innovation; the role of youth and digital technologies in transforming governments and economic potential; economic reforms and changing geopolitical dynamics emerging across African countries; growing momentum behind Africa’s shift from a net food importer to a global food producer; potential impact of the newly-launched African Continental Free Trade Agreement on trade and cost of doing business; and expert recommendations for scaling up energy infrastructure across the continent; among other important matters.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber, whom I recently interviewed, described GBF Africa 2019 as an ideal opportunity to build bridges between UAE and African business communities and cement Dubai’s position as a global gateway for African companies. He noted that strong high-level participation and the impressive line-up of speakers and sessions at the upcoming forum only adds to the event’s significance and reach.4
“As the largest event of its kind in the region, GBF Africa 2019 will engage leading decision-makers and key stakeholders in a constructive dialogue, in order to examine bilateral business opportunities and lay the groundwork for new partnerships that can support Africa’s economic development and benefit UAE companies that have set their sights on African markets,” said H.E. Buamim.
Dubai-Africa non-oil trade has increased steadily in recent years, amounting to AED 136.6 billion in 2018, a trend that reflects the expanding trade ties and growing business confidence on both sides, H.E. Buamim added.
We will see you in Dubai!