BRUSSELS, 31 March 2014 - More than 500 high-level participants are attending the 5th EU-Africa Business Forum in Brussels from 31 March to 1 April.
The event is being held on the side-lines of the 4th Africa-EU Heads of State Summit. The participation of so many political and industry leaders reflects the important role that the private sector plays in the joint Africa-EU Strategy.
The Forum, which comes at a crucial time for relations between Europe and Africa, was inaugurated by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. The AUC Chairperson stated that manufacturing and industrialization are central to Africa’s development and should be a priority of the Africa-EU partnership.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will play a particularly active role in the Forum, contributing to three high-level events. The first, a panel organized by UNIDO on the theme of “Investments and partnership for productive work for youth”, will highlight the importance of investments and entrepreneurship for Africa and the EU’s respective prosperity. UNIDO will also participate in two round table discussions: “Inclusive models in agri-food chains”, and “Health and pharmaceuticals: growth, innovation and access in health and pharmaceuticals between EU and African business.”
In recent years, UNIDO has contributed to the implementation of the strategy for the Accelerated industrial development of Africa (AIDA), endorsed by both the African Union and European Union. Major achievements include strategic policy frameworks at the sub-regional level: the West African Common Industrial Policy (2010), the East African Community Industrialization Policy 2012-2032 (2012) and the SADC Industrial Development Policy Framework (2014).
With EU support, UNIDO has also established standards and norms systems in all parts of Africa, at the regional and country levels. In the last few years, UNIDO has also nurtured the policy dialogue with both the AU and the EU on energy with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, and on agribusiness with the Africa, Agro-industry and Agribusiness initiative (3ADI). All these achievements contribute to a solid basis for the establishment of promising Africa-EU industrial cooperation.
For more information please contact:
Head of UNIDO Brussels Office