Washington D.C, April 10, 2019 (CABNC-TV)- The Initiative for Global Development held its 2019 Spring Frontier 100 Forum on “Africa@Crossroads: Unlocking Intra-African Trade through SME Business Growth and Skills Development” at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. on April 10-11, 2019. The event was attended by distinguished business and government leaders from the US, Africa and around the world and featured very interesting discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area and improving access to business resources and skills development for youth and women.
Hosting her first IGD Frontier 100 Forum since taking over as President and CEO of IGD last August, Leila Ndiaye encouraged everyone to feel welcomed and spelt IGD’s commitment to scale up its agenda on “Development” by seeking solutions to Africa’s persistent problems “globally,” as the IGD name implies.
H.E. Dr. Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s Minister of Finance officially opened the Forum pledging Egypt’s support, as current Chair of the African Union, on increasing trade and regional integration among African countries.
In his remarks at the Forum reception and during panel discussions, the President of the African Export-Import Bank H.E. Prof. Benedict Oramah said the Bank was strategically stepping up by making available $25 Billion in support of increasing intra-Africa trade and regional integration, and making business value chains more competitive.
Forum speakers included the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Hon. Gilbert Houngbo, the President of the UN International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and Hon. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission on Africa (UNECA), who flew in from Addis Ababa that morning to be on the panel.
A US government panel featuring US Agency for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the US Small Business Association focused its attention on US perspectives on Africa’s trade, investment and capacity building, highlighting a number of US-funded projects that have had significant impacts on the continent.
Other speakers included the African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs Prof. Victor Harison, the President of the US Africa Development Foundation C.D. Glin, the Managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation Ms. Zouera Youssoufou, the President of Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors L.P. Ms. Donna Sims Wilson, among many other distinguished speakers and expert panelists.
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