11-07-2017, Mombasa (Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development this morning opened the 4th IGAD Business Forum (IBF) Bi-annual General Meeting in Mombasa, Kenya, under the co-chairmanship of the outgoing IBF Chair and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Djibouti, Mr. Youssouf Dawaleh, and the Chair of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Mombasa, Mr. James Mereu, and in the presence of the Programme Manager Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Joseph Rwanshote, representing IGAD Executive Secretary.
The 4th IBF Bi-annual General Meeting is aimed at assessing progress made since the 3rd General Meeting held two years ago in Djibouti in particular, and more also an opportunity to gauge progress made since the revival of the IBF since May 2010.
High level representatives from Chamber of Commerce from IGAD member States and high profile business leaders are taking part in this meeting that saw the handing over of the chairmanship of the IBF from Djibouti to Kenya during the opening session.
Mr Rwanshote noted that the region was witnessing a GDP growth of over 4% since 1998 and that the private sector was expanding. He also highlighted that one of the key pre-requisites for a smooth flow of cross-border trade was “modern and durable infrastructure”. “IGAD Secretariat is involved in the coordination of various important infrastructure investments” such as regional transport and interconnectivity, energy, Information and Communication Technology, and water development projects, according to Mr. Rwanshote. “The private sector is a key partner in this push to develop the requisite modern infrastructure that will facilitate greater trade in IGAD member States”, he said.
Mr Youssouf Dawaleh stressed that the private the private sector in the region “has been meeting regularly to express its willingness and commitment to work with governments to help lift the obstacles that hamper the development of intraregional trade and the creation of an enabling environment for investment”. He also announced the adoption during the 3rd IBF of the establishment of an International Arbitration Center to be based in Djibouti.
Mr Mereu, as Guest of Honour and speaking for the Chair of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, officially opened the meeting.
This meeting is organized with financial support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).