Cape Town, South Africa, April 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The UN Global Compact introduced the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) at the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Business Forum being held in Cape Town this week held under the leadership of Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of AfCFTA.
GABI, initiated under the leadership of Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, in partnership with the African Union, UNDP Africa, the UN Economic Commission for Africa; UN Development Programme Africa Region and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, will help promote sustainable investment and foster collaboration on initiatives and can support the implementation of the AfCFTA. The African Union has made the theme of 2023 the “Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation.”
During opening remarks at the AfCTA Business Forum Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact noted the importance of GABI to AfCFTA’s work:
“By leveraging an extensive network of partners, including the African Union, GABI seeks to address challenges unique to Africa and catalyze long-term solutions. In alignment with the African Union’s 2023 priorities, GABI will foster collaboration on initiatives that support the implementation of AfCFTA. The African business community must utilize this Agreement to drive forward socio-economic transformation.”
AfCFTA will play a key role in fueling trade and investment opportunities within the continent as well as the world with multiple initiatives which include facilitating easier trade across borders, increased investment in renewable energy and promoting the growth of Africa’s creative and cultural industries. According to the World Bank, AfCFTA could boost regional income by $450 billion, speed up wage growth for women and lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty by 2035.
GABI will complement AfCFTA’s mission to accelerate economic growth, regional integration and advance sustainable development by bringing together African heads of state, UN leadership and philanthropy, as well as CEOs and key players from the private sector, to highlight the business opportunities and sector development of AfCFTA to a global audience. For 2023, GABI’s key themes are energy access and energy transition, the digital transformation, and inclusive growth and trade.
GABI’s work is supported by the UN Global Compact through its Africa Strategy which aims to unify and amplify the voice of Africa’s private sector. The UN Global Compact will host the next gathering of GABI in New York on 21st and 22nd September during the UN General Assembly.
During her visit to South Africa, Sanda Ojiambo also spoke at a dinner for leading CEOs where she noted the growth and potential of the country:
“South Africa is leading the way towards energy access and a low carbon economy, accelerating its Just Energy Transition through public partnerships and private investment. We’ve heard how the digital transformation is revolutionizing the way South Africans live, learn and work. This transformation is opening new markets for exports and services, deepening partnerships with governments, and increasing productivity, competitiveness and service delivery.”
During the dinner, Ojiambo noted the importance of private sector efforts and public-private partnerships to drive the continent’s development agenda and encouraged those present to attend the 2023 SDG Summit in September.
Notes to Editors
About the UN Global Compact
As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 101 countries, and 65 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.
About the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI)
Africa has staked its position as the cornerstone of the world’s future. The continent is now positioned to be the most important driver of global business with a $2.5 trillion market opportunity. The Global Africa Business Initiative is designed to highlight opportunities on the continent where every sector of the economy from manufacturing to agriculture to services to finance is on a growth trajectory. The environment is primed for ambitious plays, for an infusion of creative and decisive moves for economic growth and sustainable development. To learn more and register to attend visit www.gabi.biz