GBF Africa
Image Credit: Supplied


  • Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to deliver special address during the forum.
  • Felix Tshisekedi, President of Congo, and  Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, among top speakers headlining the event.

More than 45 heads of states, top ministers, high-ranking government officials and prominent influential business leaders from Africa and the UAE are set to converge on Dubai for the sixth edition of Global Business Forum (GBF) Africa 2021, that kicks off today.

Taking place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre and organised in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, the two-day Forum will open with a welcome address by Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, underlining the crucial role of cross-border cooperation in discovering new business opportunities in Africa – home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Buamim reaffirmed Dubai Chamber’s commitment to building strategic partnerships with the key players in the African business ecosystem, and encouraging and supporting local and national companies to invest in African markets.

Felix Tshisekedi, President of Congo will be a part of the event Image Credit: Supplied

Bearing the theme Transformation Through Trade, the high-level event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The forum aims to build bridges between the UAE and African business communities and explore untapped trade and investment potential.

Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will deliver a special address during the forum.

GBF Africa 2021 will also turn its attention to explore an array of challenges and opportunities across the continent that have emerged in the wake of Covid 19, as well as trade opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Reem Al Hashimy speaking at GBF 2019 Image Credit: Supplied

Day one calendar

Felix Tshisekedi, President of Congo, joins Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, in a session on Day One that explores how Emirati firms can help drive sustainable growth in Congo – one of Africa’s largest and most populous states – and catalyse regional integration through infrastructure, investment and trade.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, will headline a session exploring partnerships between the two countries and the broader lessons for trade, integration, and entrepreneurship in Africa.

Top-level attendance

A number of heads of state and government officials are taking part in the forum, including Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, Dr C.G.D.N. Chiwenga, Vice President of Zimbabwe, while the Chief Minister of Jersey and ministers from Ghana, Angola, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Liberia, along with ministers from Kenya, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Congo, Mauritania, Sudan and the Kingdom of Lesotho will also join the event.

Day One of the Forum commences with sessions tackling a variety of trend and issues reshaping African economies at the moment, including the role of regional and international partnerships, such as the AfCFTA, in reshaping the trade and investment landscapes and driving sustainable growth, capital as a factor driving innovation, and prospects for expanding UAE-Africa economic cooperation.

Day two calendar

On the second day of the forum, conversations will shift to Dubai as a model for logistics, infrastructure development and smart city solutions that can be replicated in African markets, in addition to the growing momentum behind African entrepreneurs, smart agriculture, and digital economy initiatives.

GBF Africa will offer businessmen and investors valuable insights and up-to-date information on a plethora of promising investment opportunities. The forum aims to facilitate cooperation between business communities in Africa and the UAE and help African companies benefit from Dubai’s experience in building an integrated digital economy rooted in cutting-edge technologies.