Entrepreneurship, powering agriculture, and which model of electrification for Africa were top agenda for leaders and participants at the 4th edition of the Africa Development Forum held in Casablanca, Morocco.
Under the theme, Agriculture and Electrification: mobilizing energy, organizers said the forum will focus on the fundamentals of the African continent, quoting ‘60% of the African population have no access to electricity and over 50% suffer from malnutrition.
According to organizers, African development requires the promotion of South-South cooperation and the establishment of public-private partnerships and an effective policy for regional integration in the African continent.
Africa is estimated to have over 800 million hectares of unexploited arable land.
According to Mohamed el-Kettani, CEO of Attijariwafa Bank, the aim of the forum was to allow some of the 2400 enrolled participants interact with experts and ensure the programming of not less than 4500 business appointments.
“What is intended is to amplify the intra-African cooperation movement. Africans are beginning to cooperate with each other on intra regional trade and also with their counterparts internationally to ensure an equal footing,” he said.
The Casablanca forum also provides an opportunity for investors to interact and make decisions for their businesses. These include a panel on the transformation of agriculture from a subsistence activity to a motor of development of the economy and businesses.
“Agriculture is not only the case in Africa where there are poor people or people do not eat their fill or a self-sufficiency is not yet reached. Agriculture is and above all a matter of concern for everyone including the European… and today, Africa is part of the south south cooperation,” said Mathieu Mboumba, Minister of Agriculture and Agricultural Entrepreneurship of Gabon.
The Republic of Congo is among the 23 African countries in attendance, presented by its Investment Promotion Agency while Morocco is a regional economic and financial hub, a hotspot for international investment in Africa.