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The Africa-Arab Legislators and Business Forum will take place from 1 to 2 August, 2015 at the Sheraton Addis Hotel.

 

Under the adage ‘Investing in Africa Makes Sense,’ over 150 participants including members of  the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECA) and other business stakeholders are expected to take part in the event. Discussions are expected to focus on encouraging sustainable growth and business integration between the two regions.

During a Thursday July 23 press conference at Siyonat Hotel, it was stated that the forum will play a significant role in building on the relationship of the two regions through mutually beneficial proposals and future plans.

“Studies show that Arab countries hold a significant amount of surplus capital and Africa is filled with natural resources and cheap labor. There needs to be a system that guarantees a mutual benefit for both regions and one that encourages investment inflows from Arab countries to Africa,” said Abdulwasie Yusuf Ali, Secretery General of ASSECAA.

He further stated that there is already some investment flowing to Africa from Arab countries, but compared to other regions, it still remains significantly smaller. “Although there is some investment already, more can be done to encourage Arab countries to invest on the continent in their full capacity,” he said.

Since its establishment in 2002, ASSECAA had organized different platforms that brought together African and Arab countries, and it has been successful in opening a dialogue between the two regions which has helped to build trust as well as to create a conducive environment for facilitating trade and investment among the region’s countries.

“Investors are not part of government” said the secretary of ASSECA, underlining that the desire of investors towards Africa should be supported by governments through the promotion of opportunities within African countries.

 

During next week’s two days event, discussions are anticipated to focus on economic prospects in countries like Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, the need for transparency, and the work that needs to be done to increase Arab investment in Africa.  The forum is being organized by the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PACCI) and ASSECAAn