African investment leaders launch Sustainable Development Goals Business Statement

Africa investor (Ai), a leading international investment and communications group, today announced that it has launched a seminal business statement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) entitled The Business of African Development Economic Development: Implementing the Sustainable Development and Finance Goals in Support of Agenda 2063 during the UN General Assembly.

The Ai Business Statement was launched to over 250 business and government leaders at the Africa investor (Ai) CEO Investment Summit, which took place on the eve of the UN General Assembly at Thomson Reuters in New York.

Participating dignitaries included Hubert Danso, CEO and Vice Chairman, Africa investor Group; Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, Under Secretary General and Special Adviser on Africa to the United Nations; Amir Dossal, Chairman of the Global Partnerships Forum; H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Prof. Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi; H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia; H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and H.E. James Wani Igga, Vice President of South Sudan amongst many others.

The Africa investor Business Statement on the SDGs is the result of a 12-month Africa investor (Ai) consultative process with over 200 business leaders and investors operating in Africa.

This Business Statement reflects the recommendations and the collective views of private sector leaders working in Africa on optimal ways to achieve the SDGs. The Statement calls on public and private sector leaders to advance the pursuit and achievement of the SDGs, expanding the role of African business in the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, agreed to by all UN Member States, at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. Leaders are asked to prioritise the implementation of the African Union's Agenda 2063.

The Statement highlights the commitment of business to play an economic leadership role in implementing the SDGs and sets out the following seven recommended areas of focus for collaboration:
1. Infrastructure investment and the development of African skills
2. Capital markets development
3. Climate finance
4. Technology and innovation
5. Industrial and SME development
6. Import substitution
7. Women's empowerment

Commenting on the African Development Business Statement, Hubert Danso, CEO and Vice Chairman of Africa investor, said, "The private sector is a critical partner in the fight against

poverty in Africa and seeks to be more effectively engaged by development partners. To optimise the development impact business can have, there is an urgent need for clarity on the sequence and interrelationship of the Financing for Development Agenda, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the first 15 years of the African Union's Agenda 2063, especially on the issues of infrastructure development, women's empowerment, innovation and technology, entrepreneurship and capital market development."

He continued, "Africa investor was pleased to be able to provide the leadership and a platform on which business leaders can have a voice on the role of business in the implementation of the Financing for Development Agenda, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African
Union's Agenda 2063."

This Business Statement will be used to focus the discussions at the Ai Presidential CEO Investment Summit, to be held in partnership with NEPAD and the African Union, in January 2016, during the AU Heads of State Summit in Ethiopia.

To download the Business Statement, click here, or to read the Business Statement online, click here.