Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 16 March 2017- The African Union, through its foundation The African Union Foudation, will for the first time host a multi-stakeholder forum that will bring together African Heads of State and Government, Private sector business leaders and academia at the inaugural African Economic Platform (AEP), to be held in Mauritius from the 20-22 March, 2017.
The AEP is the first truly African-owned and driven initiative bringing together African state and non-state actors to discuss issues affecting Africa and how the continent can harness its vast resources to enhance the development of the African people. The platform is a result of an urgent need for Africa to move from the side-lines of other global forums, often not held in Africa, and in which business opportunities and economic development issues are discussed but which may not of necessity prioritise Africa’s need to develop an integrated African economy for the continent to realise its potential for growth and stronger competitiveness in the global economy.
The AEP which will be an annual event will provide an environment for constructive multi-stakeholder dialogues around common themes for Africa led by Africans and which will ultimately influence continental policy.
The Inaugural AEP will focus on four key themes namely:- Industrialisation, Intra-African trade, Free movement of people and goods and skills development. These will be discussed in plenary sessions to be attended various presidents of African nations as well as , blue chip private sector leaders and leading academic minds.
The platform will present an opportunity for private sector to work with African leaders to remove policy obstacles for doing business in Africa, increasing the investment attractiveness of the continent, the implementation of strategies for economic diversification and industrialization, and domestic and other resource mobilization.
Issues such as the removal of barriers that hamper communication and the flow of goods, people and services across the continent will be feature greatly in the discussions as well as identifying opportunities for articulating common African positions on global affairs thereby increasing global awareness of Africa’s emerging role in world affairs. How to Leverage the potential of the African Diaspora to participate in and advocate for Africa’s integration and development is an area in which the AEP will focus its attention in future sessions.
The outcome of the AEP shall be endorsed through an AU Summit decision to ensure inclusion in African states national agenda.
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