Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

Message to G8 Leaders From CBC Africa Business Forum

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 7 luglio 2009

Almost 400 representatives from business and government have attended the Forum and last night’s CBC African Business Awards – a demonstration of the continuing strong interest of business in Africa. We were privileged to be addressed by HE Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, to receive a message from HE Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.  Ministers from Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, the UK and Zimbabwe addressed us as well as more than 40 business leaders from Africa, the US and Europe. Reshaping the global economy is a shared task, and meeting the serious short and medium term challenges in Africa resulting from the global downturn can only be successful if tackled together.  Thus one of the purposes of this Forum is to contribute to international actions which promote sustainable growth at a global level, and encourage actions by the G8 and others to enable Africa to meet its own development needs and play its rightful part in the global economy.
The Africa Business Forum was established in 2005 to engage the private sector in supporting the G8 commitments made at Gleneagles.  I am writing to you and through you to your G8 colleagues, to set out the principal recommendations emerging from the 2009 Forum held in London 6-7 July, which was attended by 400 African and international business leaders.Africa has made huge strides in economic performance and good governance.  Growth has been steady around 5%, and many more economic actors, especially from Asia have become engaged.  There are 80 million more middle class Africans than in the 1990s.This progress is under threat. The collapse of international capital markets and the recession in major economies have halved growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Combined with falling national income from commodity prices and remittances, and the increasing cost of food and energy,  this will seriously retard progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), pushing tens of millions more Africans below the poverty line. We believe that entrepreneurship and the private sector are the only sustainable drivers of growth in Africa and emerging markets.  To continue to harness this energy, however, the G8 and other major economies must take a lead in tackling the immediate effects of the crisis, stabilizing financial flows and regenerating trade.  As business leaders from developed and developing countries, we call on the G8 to actively promote enterprise by supporting African governments to create the best possible conditions for business and investment – improving infrastructure, building human capacity and tackling deadly diseases and undernutrition that sap productivity.  For this aid remains critical and we call on the G8 to live up to its Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments in order to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.   An important objective is to fully engage African and emerging market companies in the Call to Action, and make the MDG process more inclusive.  20 companies joined the Call to Action at this Forum and we call on other companies from Africa, Asia and the Americas to join.  A good opportunity to promote this will be the forthcoming Commonwealth and the Americas Business Forum in conjunction with the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Trinidad & Tobago in November this year.  In conclusion, I should like on behalf of CBC to thank the speakers, you the participants, and the Forum sponsors: BHP Billiton, Diamond Bank, Rio Tinto, UBA, as well as the UK Department for International Development (DFID).  The support of the many speakers in planning and convening these sessions was indispensible, and I thank you all. Finally, I would like to make a special mention of our media partner, African Business with whom we organised the CBC Africa Business Awards last night.  In November, CBC will be holding its biannual Commonwealth Business Forum with heads of Government in Port of Spain Trinidad.  There are many opportunities for doing business between Africa and the Americas and I hope that as many of you as can will join us at that Forum. (abstract)


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