The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is seeking to increase its African presence. This will be the focus of the Global Business Forum (GBF) on Africa. “Scale-up Africa” will hold in Dubai on November 18th-19th, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Now in its fifth year, the forum aims to encourage revenue flow into Africa by engaging high-level business leaders and decision makers on the global investment scene to explore business and economic cooperation. The forum also starts a dialogue about directives concerning Africa’s best economic outlook. A press release stressed that key focus of the forum will be “forging the connections that will enable scale-up, and explore how public and private sector players in Africa and the UAE can work together towards sustainable partnerships.”

Hamad Buamin, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “Over the years, the Global Business Forum on Africa has established itself as one of the world’s leading platforms that foster cooperation between Africa and the UAE and positions Dubai as a gateway for African companies. The forum offers an unrivalled opportunity for key decision makers to explore investment opportunities in Africa and forge new partnerships that pave the way for mutual benefits and economic growth.”

Dubai Chamber will be looking to expand its African presence. Last year, it opened its fourth African office in Nairobi, Kenya. Explaining the choice of Kenya, His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber said, “Kenya is considered the economic, commercial and the logistics hub of East Africa. In 2015, Kenya was Africa’s 5th largest economy in terms of GDP in current prices valued at $61.4 billion while the country has the sixth largest market in Africa in terms of population, with a total number of 44.1 million persons, during the same year.”

At the time, Kenya was the emirate’s 49th largest trading partner, and it had over 211 businesses as members of the Dubai Chamber. Hamad Buamin said, “Kenya’s fast-growing economy, along with its stable and investor-friendly environment, offers plenty of opportunities for UAE-based business. We see the potential for increased collaboration in a number of key sectors, most notably agriculture and agri-business, manufacturing, logistics and tourism which continue to see momentum while offering room for growth as the Kenyan government pushes ahead with infrastructure investment plans.”

This is great for investment prospects on the continent, especially if the chamber continues to expand here. Last year alone, 14,450 companies joined the Dubai Chamber, bringing total strength of the chamber to 231,000. The Global Business Forum, which until 2016, held mostly for Africa, has welcomed twenty heads of state, ninety-five ministers and government ministers and nearly 6,300 CEOs from sixty-five nations.

By Caleb Ajinomoh

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