Barcelona, November 6th 2019 – The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (MedaWeek Barcelona 2019) will host a new edition of the New Africa Business Development Forum (NABDF), which will highlight the importance of regional collaboration to set Africa’s route towards a new phase of economic growth and development. It will also present some of the potential investment and trade opportunities offered by the African continent.

 The 16th edition of the ‘New Africa Business Development Forum – NABDF’ will take place on the 20th of November in the framework of the leading economic event in the Mediterranean, MedaWeek Barcelona, organised by ASCAME (Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the IEMed (European Institute of the Mediterranean) and the Union of African Chambers of Commerce, to boost economic cooperation and trade between the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa. This edition will tackle the new areas of cooperation, trade and investment that arise for businesses in the three regions and will also try to promote a new phase of economic development in Africa.

Entrepreneurs, experts and governmental and institutional representatives will meet in Barcelona to confront the challenges facing African economies in the sectors of agriculture, energy, logistics, technology and tourism. A forum in which various successful business models, innovative development solutions and best practices of companies from all over the continent will be presented. The Maghreb will also play a key role as main actor of influence between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe.

Africa needs to create 20 million jobs every year, multiply the number of educational centers and improve its infrastructure to respond to its high population growth, which will reach 2,000 million by 2050. Employability and increased investments will be two of the main topics discussed in the first of the NABDF sessions.

However, although the African continent still requires multiple improvements in infrastructure, education and digitalisation, it shows a great potential in terms of energy that is currently being underused. The Mediterranean and Africa together concentrate 60% of the world’s solar potential. Some of the countries, especially those that are part of the global solar belt, accumulate around 3,000 hours of light yearly. The green revolution and renewable energies are one of the main pillars for development that will be discussed in the second session.

Countless are the business and investment opportunities that Africa offers to the world. However, for the continent to follow a peaceful and sustained development over time, territorial integration and peace become essential. The challenge now lies in the implementation of an African common market: a free trade zone that promotes exchanges. As a united entity, Africa becomes the world’s largest exporter of oil, gold, copper and cobalt. And this is just one of the multiple opportunities that would result from a greater economic openness, helping in turn to mitigate the problems of emigration, terrorism, poverty and underdevelopment.

 MedaWeek Barcelona 2019 is organised by ASCAME, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM), the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Consorci de la Zona Franca. A platform for business cooperation that aspires to achieve a healthier, cleaner and more equal Mediterranean, that breaks old approaches and builds new relationships between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

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