Our fundraising roadshow took us from ‘Cape to Cairo’ and onto the beautiful resort city of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt for the Africa 2018 Forum. The Forum was an international, landmark event hosted under the High Patronage of H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, aiming to promote greater economic integration through increased investment flows into Africa.
It was organised by the Government of Egypt – through the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation – and COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA). The event convened more than 1,000 leaders in business and policy from across Africa and the world and was arguably the biggest and most important gathering that took place in Africa this year. With Egypt, and President Al Sisi, taking over the chair of the African Union in 2019 it aimed to help shape Africa’s agenda in 2019 and was a unique business-to-business and government-to-business platform. It brought together policy makers, financiers, leading industrialists and young entrepreneurs and focused on developing intra-African investments and the effort to create the world’s largest trading bloc of 1.2 bn people.
We had a lot of good meetings with potential investors and strategic partners and were honouredto meet with the likes of Strive Masiyiwa who engaged us on the need to create, grow and promote local entrepreneurs in our countries.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Jack Ma’s chief of staff – Jason Pau (left) and Patrick Jennings the Alibaba global business development advisor (right). Their team have amazing plans to invest up to $10m in promising young African entrepreneurs over the next 10yrs. They also plan on visiting every single African country by then scouting for extraordinary talent
Our favourite sessions were definitely (if not obviously) the ones on women empowering Africa and we had the pleasure to meet the likes of Isha Sesay former CNN anchor, the Ambassadors for Zambia and South Africa in Egypt, Irene Ochemfounder of AWIEF and Vanessa Moungar of AfDB. Great to hear the progress happening across the continent in the women’s agenda and to be part of the action
All in all it was an amazing trip and it certainly feels like it is our time Africa. Now’s the time to dream the impossible dream and work relentlessly to make it happen for the stars are well aligned for us.