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Dubai Chamber Report Explores Entrepreneurs’ Role In Bolstering GCC-Africa Economic Ties
(29 October 2017)

 

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s efforts in backing small and medium enterprises in Africa have led to further Gulf Cooperation Council investment in the continent, an Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU, has reported in, "New Horizons: Next generation Africa-GCC business ties in a digital economy".

Sponsored by the Dubai Chamber and launched in preparation for the 4th Global Business Forum on Africa, "Next Generation Africa", on November 1st and 2nd, 2017, the report investigates the prospects of building relationships between young entrepreneurs and investors in Africa and the GCC in order to determine the challenges to overcome, as well as the future opportunities to benefit from.

The report reveals that the UAE and Saudi Arabia were the second and fifth largest investing countries, at US$11bn and US$3.8bn respectively, in Africa by capital investment in 2016, according to fDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times. This serves as a great indicator to the future of economic ties between the GCC and Africa. The study also explores the approach to entrepreneurship and investment, delving deeper into sectors of interest such as retail, financial services and renewable energy.

Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Africa and the GCC are witnessing this rise of a need breed of entrepreneurs who are addressing regional challenges and charting a new course to drive economic growth and development on the continent.

"Dubai is well-positioned to serve as a gateway for African companies that are looking for growth opportunities and easy access to expand their footprint in the GCC, Asia, and Europe. Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber, is an ideal platform to assist innovative startups and SMEs from Dubai and around the world, including African entrepreneurs who are keen to collaborate and explore new business prospects," he added.

The study indicates that there is room for growing business ties between the two regions; Africa has proven consistently resilient and aspirational with the younger generation catalysing an entrepreneurship revolution across the continent, expanding the demand for consumer goods, technology and services in the process. Young businesspeople in GCC countries, on the other hand, are continuously seeking investment opportunities beyond the Middle East. As GCC start-ups mature, entrepreneurs and investors are starting to see the value of business links and expansion to Sub-Saharan Africa.

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