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Following opening remarks by Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development and Business Africa Secretary General Jacqueline Mugo, the workshop was structured around two thematic sessions.
The first session - Sustainable energy enterprises and the role of public-private partnerships – looked at mobilising private investment and finance for Africa with a view to scaling up sustainable energy production, transmission and distribution in order to power development and economic growth in the region. The private sector will need to play a much more prominent role in financing this investment which, in turn, will require African countries to create an enabling environment for innovative financing solutions.
This was followed by a session that looks at impact investment as a way to boost the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development in Africa. Impact investing generates a measurable social and environmental impact as well as financial returns for the investor, and is an innovative way to help Africa raise the enormous sums needed to meet its Sustainable Development Goals.
The EABF is an integral part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). Its main objective is bringing the views of business to European and African leaders on critical issues pertaining to both continents' relations. The 5th EABF was held in Brussels on March 31 – April 1 2014 and provided a unique opportunity for African and European companies to network and exchange views on EU-Africa business and investment relations and how to jointly address the challenge of consolidating sustainable economic growth.