Watch out for Africa

DUBAI - The Forbes Africa Economic Forum will be held in the continent next year, this was confirmed by the Forbes Afrique founder Lucien Ebata.

By Abdul Basit (INTERVIEW)

Published: Tue 23 Oct 2012, 10:39 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:49 PM

“The decision has already been taken for the event, but the host country will be decided shortly,” Ebata told Khaleej Times in an interview at the annual Forbes Global CEO Conference in Dubai on Monday. “We will also keep moving the event from one country to another in Africa,” he said, adding that it would help the continent to learn about the experiences of top business tycoons from across the globe.

Ebata is one of the delegates attending the Forbes Global CEO Conference. He said that Dubai is one of the success stories in the world to follow as a role model.

He mentioned that Forbes Afrique will highlight successful business personalities, as well as investment opportunities in francophone African countries. Ebata, who is also director-general of the Orion Oil Company, said he went into partnership with US-based Forbes media to establish Forbes Afrique magazine to help spread information about Africa to the rest of the world.

“The magazine was launched in July this year and we have done two editions. Initially, we planned one edition in two months, but now we are working to have one edition every month, which is expected for February next year,” he said. “We are also planning to print two editions in a month at a later stage.”

He mentioned that the Forbes model could help African countries to promote investment and finance, as well as educate the nation. A majority of the African population is based on young people and through this model they can get awareness and education, he said.

“We have very high hopes with our young force,” Ebata added.

By having more editions, more awareness will be spread among the youth, he said, adding: “Our aim is to promote investment, financial and economic information, as well as educate people about the entrepreneurship in the continent, which is the best way to contribute to the growth of Africa.” He said the whole of Africa is a growing story and this year a growth of seven per cent expected in the continent. Despite the financial crisis in Europe and other countries, Africa will continue growing, he said, adding that out of 53 African countries, 17 are progressing very well.

The forthcoming economic forum in Africa will further boost economic activities and investment in the continent, he said.

By allowing private capital to open businesses, hire locals and engage with multinationals, Africa can, through free enterprise, truly grow. He said Africa is undergoing a rapid and fundamental transformation that is making it a new engine of global growth at a time when developed countries are facing a serious economic and financial crisis. Ebata hopes that introducing the Forbes brand to a new market will help fulfill the promise of Africa and develop growth potential that will drive the continent into the future.

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