Thursday 05, October 2017 by Jessica Combes

Investors urged to explore untapped opportunities in Africa at global conference


Africa’s strong economic fundamentals and investment opportunities sparked interest from Gulf investors during day one of the fourth annual ALN Annual International Conference held on 4 October 2017 in Dubai. 

Under the theme, “Africa: Bridging the Gulf”, the conference offered 400 members from the global investment community an insight into Africa’s high-performing markets and sectors. 

UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Social Development HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Former President of the Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo and Former Mali Prime Minister, Dr Cheick Modibo Diarra were amongst some of the top speakers during the first day of the conference. 

In his keynote address, Al Nahyan, emphasised that Africa possesses vast investment opportunities that are waiting to be explored.  HE highlighted that cooperation and collaboration among governments and private investors can propel African development to another level and help Africans realise their full potential.  HE added that, “For most investors, acquiring first-hand knowledge of the African continent can be both costly and time-consuming. ALN is to be commended for bridging this gap by providing investors with detailed insights and local expertise.” 

The theme, “Africa: Bridging the Gulf”, focuses on the importance of promoting trade and investments between Africa and the Gulf region. panellists emphasised that building and strengthening such an important relationship requires persistence and hard work. 

“Now in our fourth year of hosting the annual ALN conference, it is with great pride that we see how far we have come. Due to the success of the conference, and the strength of the deals that are struck here each year, we now attract hundreds of high-level delegates from across the African continent, the Gulf region and even beyond,” said Atiq S. Anjarwalla, Managing Partner, Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota. 

In their newly released book “Making Africa Work”, HE Olusegun Obasanjo, and co-writer Dr. Greg Mills, the Director of Brenthurst Foundation, echoed this sentiment and offered a first-hand account of how to re-energise the African economy through collective market-friendly policies and ensure sustainable growth beyond commodities. Rather than dwelling on the past, the book is about accepting responsibility for the future and ensuring the next generation of leaders can overcome the demographic challenges facing the continent. With the population of Africa expected to double by 2050, the continent offers tremendous promise. 

“Mauritius is strategically positioned as a competitive regional hub for finance and business, as well as an ideal gateway for channelling trade and investment flows between Africa and Asia. Indeed, the country has developed its reputation as a well-regulated and credible International Financial Centre of substance. Mauritius is also well on course to becoming a leading jurisdiction for private wealth management services in the region,” said Zaahir Sulliman, the Head of Energy and Commodities, Corporate & Institutional Banking Division at Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB).

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