The gathering of two regions in Africa…..
This sixth edition was themed “When East meets West”. Bilateral relations between both regions of the continent has been poor, especially in trade and investment.
Hence, the need to break down cultural barriers and encourage “Africa to trust Africa”.
This edition was chaired by Sierra Leone. The focus was on accelerating African integration, an area where the continent still lags behind, and so, on the proposed Continental Free Trade Zone: a potential market of 1. 2 billion people.
“Just now, I noticed that 2 companies in the same country didn’t know themselves so they didn’t have any contact,’‘ says President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, speaking to Africanews’ journalists.
“Now, as a result to the forum provided here, they are in contact and I think that is very good. So, it’s not only among Nations but also among companies in Africa and in the same country”.
Among others, the forum aimed to reinforce the role of women entrepreneurs and to give them the platform through the “Stand Up For African Women” initiative.
Also, numerous cooperation agreements were signed between financial institutions in West, East and Southern Africa with over 4000 B to B meetings.
In all, the International Africa Development Forum attracted more than 2,000 visitors from 34 different countries, united by their desire to create a unified African common space.