Dubai has pledged to support trade with Africa as non-oil trade between Africa and UAE continues to soar. The announcement came from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce Chairman, explaining that the two regions have an increasing capacity to advance trade. His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair made the remarks in the Global Business Forum Africa in Dubai, which seeks to boost trade between the two regions.
The increasing capacity for business between the two regions is evident with increasing trade for non-oil commodities. For instance, non-oil trade hit the $252 billion mark for the period between 2011 and 2018. Moreover, Al Ghurair expects that the trade will increase to $272 billion by the end of 2019.
Speaking at the forum, the Dubai Chamber Chair also commended the long-established trade relationship between the two regions. Trade between Africa and UAE has the potential to grow as Africa seeks foreign markets and Dubai pursues economic diversification.
Dubai plays a leading role in acting as Africa’s gateway market, thanks to its strong presence in the global economy. At the same time, Africa’s changing economic landscape leaves room for a myriad of investment and business prospects.
“The African market is a market of strategic importance to Dubai and a key focus of Dubai Chamber’s expansion strategy. We are closely monitoring developments and the business climate in Africa to identify growth opportunities available for our members,” Al Ghurair explained.
Additionally, Al Ghurair explained the vast potential to boost UAE-Africa investment flows following the launch AfCFTA earlier this year.
An Economy led by Young People
Africa’s prospects in business arise from its young populations, as both consumers and drivers. At the conference, Dr. Carlos Lopes, professor at Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, noted that digitization is paramount to making Africa an attractive investment destination, highly pioneered by young people.
“Africa is positioning itself as the continent where you have the highest young consumer concentration. Secondly, it’s not just the size, but because it’s easier for younger people to absorb the new technologies,” he explained.
An extension of Dubai’s support for Africa’s trade entails a mentorship program that puts African startups in the spotlight. Dubai Chamber’s GBF Mentorship creates opportunities fro African entrepreneurs looking to grow their business beyond African borders.