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Gulf investors explore untapped opportunities in Africa

Inaugural panel discussion at ALN 2016 copy


Dubai / Emirates Business

Africa’s strong economic fundamentals and investment opportunities sparked interest from Gulf investors during day one of the third ALN Annual International Conference held on October 5 in Dubai.
Under the theme, “Africa: Bridging the Gulf”, the conference offered 300 members from the global investment community an insight into Africa’s high-performing sectors.
Renowned businessman and founder of the Mara Group Ashish J. Thakkar; Chairman of ALN and former Malian Prime Minister Dr Cheick Modibo Diara; Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Managing Director AFEX Dr. Jendayi Frazer, were amongst some of the top speakers during the two-day conference.
International delegates and government representatives listened to a presentation prepared by McKinsey & Co which unveiled findings from their latest report, titled ‘Lions on the move II: Realizing the potential of Africa’s economies’. The report revealed an optimistic growth story in Africa projecting the continent to be the world’s second fastest growing economy by 2020.
The report also highlighted that spending by consumers and businesses today totals USD4 trillion annually, and is growing rapidly. Household consumption is expected to grow at 3.8 per cent a year to a total of USD 2.1 trillion by 2025. Additionally, Africa could nearly double its manufacturing output from USD 500 billion today to USD 930 billion by 2025, provided that countries take decisive actions to create an improved environment for manufacturers.
In his keynote address, Guest of Honour, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, said, “Trade between the UAE and Africa requires a high level of transparency and hard work. I am confident that this conference will inspire thoughtful debate and I look forward to discussions on how to obtain more integration
between Africa and the Gulf.”
In the highly engaging inaugural panel session of the day: ‘Is Africa on Track to Realise its Potential?’, Dr. Cheick Modibo Diara, said, “Africa is a lion ready to come out of its den and when it does, the world will be a better place because of it. The continent is on a strong growth trajectory and presents the investment community a myriad of opportunities to tap into.”
Commenting on the conference, Atiq S. Anjarwalla, Managing Partner, Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota, said, “We first hosted the conference in 2014 and due to its success, it is now in its third year. The event is well-received by delegates from all over the globe who appreciate the conference’s lively debtate and hard insights of what is happening on the African contintent. ”
“Over the course of the day, we have been able to showcase great opportunities to invest in Africa and provide potential investors the support they need to get started. We remain confident that businesses and investors have enjoyed successful meetings and we hope long-lasting business relationships will be made, with deals initiated or struck,” Anjarwalla continued.
The annual conference is held in Dubai, an ideal location widely acknowledged as the gateway to Africa for its global connectivity, concentration of corporate headquarters and geographical location at the heart of important trade corridors. The conference sponsors include International Enterprise Singapore; Centum; The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB); SBMI; Emirates NBD; Access Bank UK and Axis.

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