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African Private Sector Forum

- Africa's Industrial Drive:
The Private Sector and Corporate Citizenship

On 22-23 January 2008, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Global Compact jointly organized the African Private Sector Forum, at the AU Commission Conference Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Forum. designed to give voice to the private sector in advance of the policy formulation taking place at the AU Summit the following week, gathered more than 200 business leaders, government officials and representatives from the African Union and the United Nations.  


With the theme “Africa’s Industrial Drive: The Private Sector and Corporate Citizenship” , the high-level forum addressed the drivers for Africa’s industrial development and corporate citizenship in the region. Examining ongoing efforts to improve the environment for doing business in Africa, the Forum highlighted the leadership role that responsible businesses can play in promoting the rapid and sustainable socio-economic development of the continent.

The Forum was officially opened by Mr. Ato Tadesse Haile, Minister of State Responsible for Industry Ethiopia. Keynote addresses were delivered by Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission; Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact; Captain Gunnar Wieslander, Secretary of State for Trade in the Government of Sweden; Mrs. Elizabeth Tankeu, Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union; Mr. Basil Omiyi, Chairman Shell Petroleum Development Company (Nigeria); Mr. Emmanuel Abugu, Executive Director of Bank PHB (Nigeria); and Mr. Kola Ayeye, Director, Oceanic Bank International Plc (Nigeria).

The Forum served as a platform for dialogue between the private sector and policy makers as well as an opportunity for the private sector to network and exchange views on ways of eliminating bottlenecks to doing business in Africa. The final outcome declaration from the Private Sector Forum, that was negotiated and adopted by the participants, was presented to the relevant policy organs of the Africa Union on 31 January (download the declaration below). 


The key objectives of the Forum:

  • Assess the case for Africa’s industrial development and consider lessons learned from other regional experiences;
  • Highlight the significance of the good corporate governance and corporate citizenship as promoted by the UN Global Compact for business development;
  • Examine the role of the private sector in accelerating Africa’s industrial drive and showcase good practices that contribute to sustainable development;
  • Promote partnerships between the public and the private sectors (PPPs).


Commissioner for Economic Affairs, AU Commission, Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba.

State Secretary for Trade Gunnar Wieslander (Government of Sweden).

Resources and Information

Click here to download the final outcome declaration of the 2008 African Private Sector Forum.

Click here to access the joint AU/GC press release.

Click here to download the new "Inspirational Guide to the Global Compact - AFRICA".

Click here to download the preliminary agenda.

Click here to download the joint AU/GC concept paper for more detailed information about the forum.


Media Coverage

Cecilia Ibru Addresses African Heads, AllAfrica.com, 4 Februrary 2008.

African Summit to Focus on Economic Growth, Voice of America, 25 January 2008.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Kola Badejo
UN Global Compact
+1 917 367 9112




Mr. Baboucarr Koma
African Union Commission
Private Sector Development, Investment and Resource Mobilization

+ 251 11 551 6106

(Last update 5 February 2008)