Press release: African Economic Platform launches during the AU Summit in Kigali July 18, 2016 (Image: African Union Foundation) Dr Amany Asfour, AU Foundation Council Member and president of the Egyptian Business Women Association Kigali, Rwanda, 18 July 2016: The African Economic Platform (AEP) has been formally launched at the 27th AU Summit in Kigali. The AEP, which will bring together African heads of state, captains of industry and academics to openly discuss the continent’s economic future and practical actions required in the implementation of priorities outlined in Agenda 2063, was adopted by African heads of state as a Summit Decision. Addressing the media in Kigali following the announcement, AU Foundation Council Member and president of the Egyptian Business Women Association, Dr Amany Asfour applauded the heads of state for their decisions to host this platform and also invited the private sector to attend and continue playing a crucial role in the development of the content and its people. “The AEP is a project of the AU Foundation, which was established to mobilise alternative resources for the AUC towards the achievement of our developmental agenda 2063 of a prosperous, peaceful, powerful and integrated Africa that is driven by its citizens. The AEP is about the integration of heads of state, private sector and media in order to achieve socio economic transformation of Africa, which lies in the empowerment of its citizens. Set to take place in Mauritius, the AEP will see heads of state and private sector leaders put real needs of Africans on the agenda. The four themes will be Inter-African trade, Industrialisation, Skills Development and Free movement of people and goods. There will also be a special focus on youth transformation, core focus of the AU Foundation." Dr Asfour stressed the importance of a strong partnership between heads of state and the African private sector towards developing Africa and its citizens. She mentioned strong the Africa Against Ebola Trust, which consisted of African private sector who heeded the call of the AU Chairperson – Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, to stand united and eradicate Ebola. The Trust raised US$34 million and dispatched almost 900 African health workers to Ebola hit nations to save lives. “Private sector is a crucial partner and it is time for us to accept that Africa will never develop unless we involve the private sector and partner with them in our priority areas such as Science, Technology and Innovation, priority areas of the AU Foundation that are crucial in the transformation of the continent,” she explained. “The AU Foundation is focusing on innovation on the continent through working with universities to ensure that we transform ideas and commercialise them beyond universities to empower Africans,” added Dr Asfour. She further invited all African heads of state and business leaders to attend the AEP which will be held in Mauritius, 19 – 22 March 2017. For more information visit www.africaunion.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org AU Foundation’s Council Member, Dr Amany Asfour, addresses a press conference on the African Economic Platform in Kigali, during the 27th AU Summit. For more information on the press conference in Kigali, view the video below.