Later this month, Gabon will host two major African investment forums: the AGOA Forum and the New York Forum AFRICA.
Established by the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the AGOA Forum is an annual gathering that brings together high-level African and U.S. government officials to discuss strengthening economic ties between the U.S. and the continent. Following on the recent reauthorization of AGOA, this year’s forum is titled “AGOA at 15: Charting a Course for a Sustainable U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Partnership.” The draft programme indicates a wide range of topics to be covered including inclusive growth, economic diversification, promotion of public-private partnerships, value chain development and market linkages, and regional integration.
Now in its fourth year, the New York Forum AFRICA is a pan-African business summit that convenes both policymakers and business leaders. The theme for this year is “Invest in the Energy Continent” but, in this case, “energy” is not just natural resources but more so the energy of Africa’s youth, women, entrepreneurs and innovators. It is estimated that this year’s summit will be at least as large as last year’s summit where over one billion dollars in deals were concluded.
Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba has stated that “running the two events together was the natural conclusion” and in line with the country’s broader efforts to diversify its economy and increase trade and investment.