The Netherlands is to host the first Africa-European Conference and Exhibition about doing business in Africa dubbed: ???Let???s Meet Africa and Do Business.???
The conference fixed for November this year in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, seeks to empower Africans and European business communities with a new economic and cultural concept to enhance and facilitate trade through mutual strength.
It also seeks to feature Eindhoven as a World Trade Centre with a key role for African business professionals, Mr. Marc Habets, Managing Director of OAVM Organisation & Consultancy of the Netherlands, main organisers of the event, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Thursday.
He said the century of donations and other financial development aid seemed to be over as many African countries had a steady economic growth and captured the attention of the business world.
???Africa is proving to be a vibrant emerging market with a climate that fosters growth. Africa is thinking out of the box and is committed to be self-sufficient without the tag of a Third World continent.???
???Africa is officially open for business and ready for take off,??? he said, stressing that OAVM Organisation & Consultancy would use the conference to create a platform for products and services to the African and European communities.
Mr Habets said the past decade had witnessed growing diversity in income levels and growth across Africa, as according to international trade statistics, 16 countries grew by more than 4.5 per cent a year over this period, and a number of them (including Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda) also diversified their economies and exports.
He said the fastest growing group of non-oil producing African countries, which together represents 36 per cent of the population in Africa, grew at an average rate of 5.5 per cent.
He said in contrast, the 13 slowest-growing countries, which represent 20 per cent of the region???s population, saw average growth of only 1.3 per cent, while growth for the region as a whole reached an estimated 5.3 per cent in 2006.
Solid growth has helped to improve human development outcomes, especially in primary education.
Mr Habets said despite these positive signs, Africa was not growing rapidly enough to substantially reduce income poverty and the conference therefore seeks to give a considerable impulse in fighting poverty in Africa by organising a structural platform where business people from Europe and Africa could meet and actually do business or talk about opportunities and collaboration.
It is expected that exhibitors, business entities, financial experts and a large spectrum of acclaimed professionals from all over the world would use the conference to share a common platform for foreign investors and to network with companies from Africa, the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
Representatives from World Cup 2010, Emerging Markets, Sustainable Business, Building your network in Africa, African Market research and the Development of Leadership in Africa are expected to participate.
Mr Habets said the conference was ideal for African companies who were seeking new export possibilities for their services or products and for European companies who were looking for new opportunities for their companies in Africa or an African business partner.
In addition to the European Union, interested companies from the United States and Asia would also be present.