The Africa 2016 Forum, which has just concluded in Sharm el Sheikh, called for greater trust and cooperation, between government and the private sector but also between African businesses to look beyond their borders for partners and opportunities.
Aga Khan, chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, opened day two of the Africa 2016 Forum with a keynote address that highlighted the African opportunity as well as the need to build layers of trust.
“My enthusiasm today is especially strong because of the message which is at the heart of this Forum. And that message is, quite simply, that Africa’s moment has come,” he said before adding: “We need to “address a problem that has long plagued the human race. I refer to the fear we so often have that our environment will be controlled by others – to the point where we distance ourselves from potential worthy partners … A difference that can lead to fragmentation of society.”
Throughout the Forum, it was agreed that Africa’s long-term success is underpinned by strong demographics, rapid urbanisation and the digital revolution. But if there is an opportunity it is because there is a lot to do. And that this responsibility and leadership to change the continent is no longer about heads of state alone. This leadership in Africa is widespread and is not just about a few individuals: it includes the private sector, civil society, individuals in academia, as well as innovators.