Dakar, 22 January 2019 – As the Third International Conference on Emergence in Africa (ICEA-III) came to an end, participants stressed that the process of emergence was taking root in the continent and that its long-term viability required the promotion of national business champions, particularly SMEs and leveraging of the drive towards regional integration.
Key recommendations called for African governments to foster conditions conducive to political and institutional stability and security; build a far-reaching vision transcending political affiliations; and sustain efforts to reform the business environment including upgrading support infrastructure and connectivity. ICEA participants also underscored the need to invest in training Africa’s youth and improving domestic resource mobilization.
Chairing the closing ceremony on Saturday 19 January, the Prime Minister of Senegal HE Mohamed Boune Abdallah Dionne said: "The aim of this Dakar conference was to share new ideas and best practices to enable the private sector to fully play its role as a driver of wealth creation and employment. The time for action has come."
Themed Emergence, Private Sector, and Inclusiveness, the biennial gathering was officially launched by H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal on Thursday 17 January 2019 in the presence of various heads of states and representatives of the private sector.
The conference discussions highlighted UNDP case studies of African private sector companies who have made great strides and tapped into promising growth engines. Successful cases included Ethiopian Airlines, whose growth strategy was inspired by Singapore Airlines and now holds a commanding position in the region, Nigeria’s Nollywood, a booming film industry which accounts for 1.43% of the GDP and is the country’s second largest job provider after agriculture, and Rwanda’s sustained investment in the tourism industry.
On the margins of the Conference, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner met with President Macky Sall of Senegal. Mr. Steiner was accompanied by UNDP Regional Director for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa and UNDP Director for Global Policy Abdoulaye Mar Dieye.
Also worth noting is the signing by Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa and the Chairperson of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Mr. Abdallah Boureima of a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the fostering of exchange and knowledge in financial governance.
More than 1300 representatives of governments, international development institutions, academia, the private sector and civil society attended the conference from 17 to 19 January 2019.
Senior Advisor to the President of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, Professor Tiekoura Kone was appointed Executive Secretary of ICEA.
The fourth International Conference on the Emergence of Africa is scheduled to take place in 2021 in Abidjan.
For more information please contact:
In Dakar: Mame Fatou Touré, +221 78 620 4251; Tahir Basse, +221 77 33 243 36
In New York : Lamine Bal, +1 212 906 5937