A new initiative dubbed "Invest in Africa Now!" has been launched to contribute to achieving and important goal of the the Joint Africa-EU Strategy that foresees that “the EU-Africa Business Forum will play a key role in bringing together entrepreneurs and public and private investors from both Europe and Africa in order to discuss ways of improving the investment and business climate and to raise the profile of doing business in Africa”
The new initiative will provide the forum with a support structure to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability. It builds on the success of the 5th EU-Africa Business Forum, which was held on March 31st and April 1st, 2014 in Brussels. Since its inception in 2006, the forum has contributed to dialogue between the private sector from Europe and Africa, the European Union and the African Union. However, its impact has been constrained by the lack of a secretariat, lack of follow up, and the absence of an active community of backers.
The European Commission has repeatedly indicated its backing to the EU-Africa Business Forum, but various attempts to establish a permanent secretariat to the forum have failed mainly because of the inability of the private sector to take the lead and dominance of a couple of companies driving the forum. The success of the last event has demonstrated that it is possible make the forum more relevant, to rally private businesses and their representative organisations from a large spectrum of the private sector, and to attract attract political and business figureheads.
Against this background, Invest in Africa Now! endeavours to give the forum the means to fulfill its mandate and ultimately achieve increased sustainable investments in Africa by European investors. For this, key partners and sponsors are being lined up. Consistently with its main objective, Invest in Africa Now! will serve a private investment promotion agency for Africa and will provide ancillary and investment promotion services besides running the forum.