On Monday 16 October, CEMA (Club des Entrepreneurs Monégasques en Afrique) held its second Africa Day forum on the theme “Reinforcing ties and focusing on solutions”. MEB regularly explores opportunities on this continent and was a partner of this day of round tables and enlightening interviews.
MEB CEO Guillaume Rose opened the forum alongside CEMA President, Frédéric Geerts with a word of welcome, and was on a panel during which he stressed the importance of the African continent for Monaco’s economy and MEB’s role in fostering ties.
“Views on doing business in Africa are often biased. Our goal is to reassure businesses in the Principality by building trade bridges to show opportunities exist and that these opportunities can be set up with quality contacts”.
To support his point, Guillaume Rose used the example of Djibouti from where the President of the country’s Chamber of Commerce, Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh, also contributed to the panel remotely. After contacts were established at a diplomatic level, the first discussions between business entities in the two countries took place in the form of a webinar. The Principality then hosted a delegation from Djibouti before making a trip there in February this year.
“Both in the Principality and Djibouti, sessions of one-on-one meetings were organised and proved very promising. We enjoyed a very professional welcome with a business forum and even had the honour of being received, alongside CEMA, by the President of the Republic of Djibouti Mr Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. Again we saw to what extent African countries are keen to listen to Monaco which while having a privileged relationship has no past conflict with them, so that is an advantage”.
During the forum which included a speech by Ouided Bouchamaoui, a Tunisian business woman and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2015, Guillaume Rose was keen to stress the key role played by women in Africa’s economy, “a guarantee of development in the future” for a continent that at 27% holds the world record for female entrepreneurship.
It was a topic that cropped up throughout the day with leading experts in their field, women and men, speaking about their experiences on a continent the population of which is set to double to 2.5 billion by 2050 according to the United Nations.
Other topics discussed included attracting funds to grow a business in Africa, securing investment and infrastructure and logistics challenges, always with the idea that for every challenge there is a solution. A new way of looking at the African economy emerged. Confirmation will be sought at the next Africa Day in October 2024 announced Frédéric Geerts.
Source: Monaco Economic Board