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Africa Ireland Economic Forum

The fifth Africa Ireland Economic Forum was held in the Convention Centre, Dublin in June 2016. Organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with the African Ambassadors resident in Ireland, the Forum is a flagship event of the Department’s Africa Strategy. The Forum brings together business, government, policy advisors and civil society representatives to support the development of closer economic and trade connections between Ireland and countries in Africa.

Africa Ireland Economic Forum

The 2016 Forum attracted over 300 participants, with a specific sectoral focus on agri-business, energy/cleantech and aviation/aerospace. These are sectors where Ireland has particular expertise and experience, which furthermore have significant potential to contribute to lasting economic development in Africa.

The Forum was opened by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., who welcomed recent investments in Africa and emphasised the importance of private sector involvement. Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Mr. Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Mr. Andrew Doyle T.D. also addressed the event, reflecting the whole-of-Government approach to trade promotion and economic development.

Other high-level speakers at the Forum included Mr. Charles Boamah, Vice President of the African Development Bank, Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Dr. Nelson Magbagbeol, Secretary General of the Economic Community of West African States.

Immediately prior to the main conference, and to complement the meetings at the Forum, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also organised a Trade and Investment Promotion Roundtable, at which African trade and investment promotion agencies were able to discuss enhanced two-way economic engagement with their Irish counterparts. The Forum also hosted the launch of a new business network, Business Ireland Africa.

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