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Africa: G8, African Capital and the World Cup to Take Centre-Stage at AIF 2006

01.01.70

Over 400 high profile delegates including government ministers, business leaders, industry captains and economists will convene in Johannesburg, South Africa on 9-11th October to mobilise African entrepreneurs and capital at the Africa Investment Forum.

In partnership with the South African Department for Trade & Industry and NEPAD, the Commonwealth Business Council is organising its 5th Africa Investment Forum which forms part of the continuing Africa Investment Series - a unique private-public programme on business and investment, which the CBC launched in 2002 and has since helped mobilise investment in 11 African countries.

Leading companies that are already major investors in Africa will participate and provide a positive and realistic assessment of doing business in Africa, based on experience. Moreover, NEPAD as an initiative for Africa, led by Africans, presents huge opportunities for the involvement of smaller business in its programme.

This year the forum will focus on the areas of creating opportunities for joint public private sector partnership and provides prospects for creative partnerships between the public and private sectors in ICT and transportation, agro-industries, tourism, deepening of financial markets, human resource development and in tackling the challenges of urban renewal and rural development.

Delegates and speakers who are expected at the Forum include Mandisi Mpahlwa, Minister of Trade and Industry, Prof. Firmino Mucavele, Chief Executive, NEPAD Secretariat, Makhenekesi Stofile, Minister of Sport SA, Pascal Dozie, Chairman, Diamond Bank, Nigeria and Yvonne Muthien, Group Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca Cola Africa. They will deliberate on various issues including how African and international business view progress made by the G8 and the African Union. The Forum will highlight the importance of African capital and also discuss the 2010 World Cup: Challenges and Opportunities.

The opening session will continue the discussion from last year's AIF when it was agreed to measure performance against commitments and focus on G8 and Africa: Business Perspectives on Progress - Balance Sheet. Ministers and business leaders will examine how African and international business view the progress made by the G8, the African Union and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

As Diaspora remittances now exceed FDI, some of Africa's largest companies are now listed on global exchanges, and African FDI from South Africa and Nigeria, which is becoming an increasing force in many economies on the continent. Industry captains will examine the importance of African capital and observe how capital flows are changing. They will discuss if capital and equity markets are adjusting, and if treasury management is facilitating investment in Africa.

Moreover, are the expectations of the government and the public expectations with regards to Africa's corporate giants realistic, or are attitudes towards the expanding role of African-led investments hindering their growth? This session will be addressed by Chiel Ruiter, Executive Director, Investment Banking Division, Goldman Sachs International, South Africa and Russell Loubser, President and Chief Executive Officer, South African Stock Exchange.

With South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup, it is inevitable that he Forum should address issues relating to the prestigious project. The session 2010 World Cup and Africa I: Opportunities and Challenges will look at how South Africa and the continent could benefit from the investment created for the project? This session will be addressed by Makhenekesi Stofile, Minister of Sport, South Africa, Bernhard Esau, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry - Namibia and Naledi Moyo, Vice President, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)

Another important session will focus on ICT. It is a well-known fact that ICT has driven dramatic growth in the SME sector by driving down costs, and has opened up new possibilities for improving government services. The session will explore constraints in the regulatory environment on the development of collaborative technologies and integration of mobile and wireless technologies and address the question of how governments and technology providers can work together to sustain high impact growth.

Also, at the forum, Frank Nweke, Minister of Information & National Orientation, Nigeria will bring in some fantasy and merge it with finance by addressing the topic if African Film Industry acting as a vehicle for continental integration?

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group