Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Africa Investment Forum

The Africa Investment Forum, which we held in Ghana for the first time, was the largest Investment Forum of its type CBC, has ever held. Over 700 delegates gathered from more than 30 countries for the Forum. One of the most impressive features of this year’s Forum was the wide scale involvement of Investment Promotion Agencies from across the Africa; over 220 projects were up for discussion.
3 Heads of State, 15 Ministers and over 50 Business leaders took part in the sessions; there were a couple of key themes I noticed coming out though out the Forum.

1) Every session, whatever the title on the programme eventually made mention of greater regional integration and the importance of enhancing Intra-Africa trade.

2) Secondly, one of the key impediments to growth and development highlighted at the forum was the need to do more to reduce the infrastructure gap in Africa; this was also flavoured by the talk of Greater regional cooperation – reductions in infrastructure barriers can happen faster if countries work for a more unified response.

3) The Importance of Agriculture for the coming decade, increasing rural incomes is essential to driving sustainable growth and development. The ever growing Global demand for food products is a perfect opportunity for Africa to taped its potential in this area.

The President of Togo, HE Faure Gnassingbe, requested that CBC take part in the promotion of Togo to International Investors. The request was made after the President addressed the opening ceremony and hosted a private Togo investor roundtable during the Forum.

The Africa Investment Forum 2010 was a great success and we look forward to carrying this though to the next AIF in Uganda, February 2010.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Talks in Uganda

Last week I was in Uganda to follow up on talks I had with President Museveni, while he was at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Trinidad and Tobago last November. We discussed how CBC could increase it interaction with Uganda, over the coming year, to develop an investment promotion programme, particularly focused on the areas of agriculture and skills development.

At meetings with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Syda Bbumba, I discussed the practical functions of the programme and the implementation details, particularly how we would help generate the required investment to support the growth of both small and commercial farms. We also discussed a similar plan for skills promotion in the country.

Before leaving the country on Thursday, I met with the Uganda Investment Authority, where it was agreed that CBC would bring its prestigious Africa Investment Forum to Uganda in February 2011 and that work would continue on the development of a large scale ICT park outside Kampala.