Africa “offers many opportunities for investors from the United Arab Emirates”

Tshisekedi speaking at the session entitled Unleashing Africa’s Power at GBF Africa, with Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai
Image Credit: Provided

This year’s Global Business Forum Africa not only highlighted the enormous potential of African economies in the post-pandemic era, but also offered key lessons from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to harness the power of public partnerships- private sector to stimulate sustainable economic growth, according to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo.

Speaking on the first day of the two-day GBF Africa, Tshisekedi urged UAE businesses to tap the potential of the DRC as an investment hotspot, stressing that the country offers great potential in terms of trade. and international trade, as well as resources – a rich land and a young population.

Opportunities attract investors from UAE

“GBF Africa highlights the recovery of African economies in the era of Covid-19, as well as new structures and policies that promote economic integration on the continent,” Tshisekedi said. “Africa and in particular the Democratic Republic of the Congo offer many opportunities in areas such as renewable energy – being the second largest green lung on the planet. It should also be understood that Africa is urbanizing rapidly and that consumption is increasing massively. African businesses need market access and investment in infrastructure, ”he added.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai
Anas Thacharpadikkal

Tshisekedi was speaking at the session titled Unleashing Africa’s Power at GBF Africa, with Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Observing that the UAE sees huge opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to strengthen their already strong trade relationship with the continent, Al Hashimy noted that the key to achieving this was not just to through commercial relations, but also human relations.

“From infrastructure and agrotech to ports and digitization, our partnerships in Africa aim to show how to create beneficial situations for the community and the country. We admire and support Africa’s development plan – and our message is both commercial and human: the more we get to know each other on an equal footing, the better the progress and prosperity it will bring ”, she declared.

Capacity presentation platform

Al Hashimy pointed out that for the first time in the history of the World Expo, all African countries are represented at Expo 2020 in Dubai, thus becoming an essential platform for these countries to present their potential to the world. Africa continues to view the UAE as a base for exploring other markets in the world, she noted, adding that the UAE and Africa can learn from each other on how to ” exploit new digital opportunities and use technology to progress.

Highlighting the wealth of opportunities in Congo, and the country’s infrastructure, logistics and mining sectors in particular, Al Hashimy said digitization itself is expected to create exciting growth prospects in the African market. According to economists, the DRC is the richest country in the world in natural resources, with untapped deposits of raw minerals estimated at more than 24 trillion dollars.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is estimated to have 70 percent of the world’s coltan – a key raw material in smartphones and laptops – one-third of the world’s cobalt, 30 percent of the world’s supply of diamonds and 10 percent of the copper . The DRC’s growth potential can be measured by the fact that the country has 80 million citizens, 54 percent of whom are aged 20 and under, and has an area of ​​2.345 trillion m², with the largest forest reserves. outside the Amazon.

Need for infrastructure investment

Recognizing that economic growth has led to better management of the DRC’s finances in recent years, President Tshisekedi underscored the urgent need for infrastructure investments across the country. “Good policies or good tax management are not enough – we need good reforms to attract foreign direct investment … The Democratic Republic of Congo would ask emerging countries, especially the United Arab Emirates, to join in this great modernization to one of the most important countries on the African continent, and to help with this immense reconstruction, ”he said.

“My country would like to learn lessons from the United Arab Emirates to have the appropriate capacity in PPPs. With the UAE at the forefront to support us in our new development, we will be more than happy to strengthen our links with infrastructure, energy and human resource development, SMEs, agriculture, new technologies and communication, ”Tshisekedi said. noted.

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