African Presidents begin official engagements at Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon is an investigative journalist and publisher of TODAY NEWS AFRICA L.L.C. based in Washington, District of Columbia, U.S.A. His twitter handle is @simonateba and his email is simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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At least four African Presidents and a Prime Minister have arrived Saudi Arabia for the third Future Investment Initiative (FII) taking place in Riyadh October 29 -31.

FII is an annual investment forum held in Riyadh to discuss trends in the world economy and investment environment. It is being attended by heads of state and government from at least 30 countries, business leaders, innovators and policymakers from the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville and Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabiré of Burkina Faso are already in Saudi Arabia and will take part in the plenary session on Wednesday.

The African leaders will discuss  ‘‘What’s next for Africa? How will investment and trade transform the continent into the next great economic success story?’’

On Tuesday, African leaders attended a session in which His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India delivered special remarks.

In a statement, the presidency in Nigeria said Buhari will underscore that Nigeria is open for business and progressively becoming the next investment destination of choice in Africa.

The Nigerian leader would highlight the importance of public and private organizations to work together to grow economies that create a prosperous society for all.

He will also discuss what his government is doing to ensure that majority of Nigerian citizens have an acceptable standard of living, his office said.

Last September, dozens of African presidents and heads of state and government were in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This month, about 50 African presidents and heads of state and government were in Russia for the first ever Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. That summit came only days after virtually all African finance ministers and central bank governors gathered in Washington D.C. for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings a few steps from the White House.

It also took place on the back of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama in August.

This week, they would be in Saudi Arabia for the Future Investment Initiative (FII) hosted by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).

That international platform for expert-led debate between global leaders, investors and innovators with the power to shape the future of global investment is focused on utilizing investment to drive growth opportunities, enable innovation and disruptive technologies, and address global challenges.

Organizers expect the third edition of FII to continue building active, global networks of influential decision makers to explore the emerging industries that will shape the global economy and investment landscape over the coming decades.​

The first edition was held in October 2017 and featured the announcements of the launch of NEOM, a proposed $500 billion independent economic zone in the northwest of Saudi Arabia.

More than 6000 people from at least 30 countries are expected to participate in the forum and listen to more than 275 speakers.

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