The Dubai government has revealed some of its intentions of investing in Africa during the Africa Global Business Forum held in Dubai. The forum was graced by Presidents from Ghana, Ethiopia and Rwanda alongside several major investors of the African continent. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was also in attendance.
Shaikh Mohammad hailed the forum as a window of exchange which reveals new investment opportunities that could support strong economic and investment partnerships. He said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a link between African countries and other countries around the world, particularly Europe. He added that the UAE is determined to strengthen its ties with African countries and share its expertise in development, knowledge-based economy and technology with them.
Dubai is venturing into Africa through its sovereign wealth fund, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The head of ICD, Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaibani, admitted that they “have been looking at Africa for a long time” and are willing to pump in millions of dollar worth of investments as he pointed out that they “are looking to do more with Dangote” where they have concluded a $300 million stake deal last month. Dangote Cement, a Nigerian firm, has a market value of around $23 billion and its President and Chief Executive Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man.
The President and chief executive of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hamad Bu Amim, said that “future investment opportunities lie in Africa.”
ICD is also interested in agriculture and infrastructure projects while the Emirates airline wants to increase its activities in the continent. Chairman Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem of DP World was hesitant to reveal the company’s investment plans.