The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, weekend, gathered top 10 entrepreneurs across Middle East, Europe and Africa in Paris to deliberate on ways of promoting trade relations with Europe. The meeting became necessary as a result of significant drop in the trade relationship between Africa continent and France, according to a statement issued by the Dangote Group of Companies, yesterday.
While foreign investments into the African continent went from $15bn in the year 2000 to $118bn in 2014, trade between France and Africa went down from 10.1 per cent in 2000 to 5.9 per cent in 2015.
To regain an economic dynamic with the continent, Hollande gathered big industrialist representatives for a private meeting. Amongst them was Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, Othmane Ben Jelloun, the director of the Bmce-Bank group of Africa, Stephane Richard, the CEO of Orange Telephony group and Constant Nemale, the founder of the Media group Africa 24.
The meeting, coming on the edge of the France-Africa summit in January 2017, in Bamako, the capital of Mali, the French Head of State Francois Hollande chose to make of Dangote and this group of entrepreneurs a real strength of proposal for the construction of new economic partnership between Europe and Africa.
Speaking after the meeting, Dangote said, “The meeting was very fruitful. We emphasised the need for partnerships, business amongst ourselves and transfer of technology. There is need for investments both in Africa and France. The more you invest, the more you remove terrorism and all the other security challenges. Public-private partnership is very important because it will bring lots of opportunities for Africa and France. It is a very vast market, we can sell our products here and they can as well sell theirs in our respective countries and this can lead to a very good transformational activity.”
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