France: Fourth edition of the Ambition Africa forum

The fourth edition of the Ambition Africa forum, the annual meeting for Franco-African economic and trade relations, will take place on October 4 and 5 in Paris.

By the editorial staff

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Euro-African value chains, the business climate in Africa, the new African consumer, the agricultural and agri-food sector, health, urban mobility… These are some of the themes announced during the roundtables and conferences of the Ambition Africa 2022 forum scheduled for October 4 and 5. The 2021 edition of this forum brought together over two days more than 1,600 French and African participants from 47 African countries, both in-person and virtually. This year, the Franco-African forum at the Ministry of the Economy in Bercy will be entirely in-person.

Audits, consulting, securing official documents… 

Among the business partners attending the forum, is Mazars, an international group specializing in audit, tax, consulting and accounting services. “Mazars in Africa has more than 3,000 employees, led by 120 partners, 45 offices in more than 20 countries (…). It has been present in Africa for more than 45 years with a strong local foothold combined with an international vision,” said Zied Loukil, Partner and Head of Africa-France relations at the group.

Or Prooftag, a company based in southwest France, which works in authentication and traceability of products and document security. “We deliver solutions to government agencies to issue and produce highly secure documents that will help fight against fraud and identity theft,” says CEO Clément Kaiser. The purpose for the presence at Ambition Africa is to “identify potential partners in the different countries to assist us in our commercial approaches to the administrations we are targeting, but who will subsequently be able to provide local technical support to the client administrations.”

There will also be historical institutional partners. “The AFD Group has always had Africa as a priority, with an outstanding amount of nearly 26 billion euros shared out between 115 projects across the continent and benefiting various actors: public, private or associative,” says Christian Yoka, AFD’s Director for Africa, in the announcement video posted by Business France.

A fourth edition in difficult context of Ukraine war

France is showing off its ambitions with this Franco-African forum, placed under the high patronage of President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and supported by the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, as well as the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. In October 2018, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, then Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Lemaire, had told Africans that “working together will make us stronger.” For his part, Christophe Lecourtier, Director General of Business France, reaffirmed “a clear desire expressed by the President: we must multiply partnerships.” France’s optimism was laid out.

Years later, the fourth edition of the event is opening in a more difficult context. The war between Ukraine and Russia has rendered many African economies bloodless. Nevertheless, Russia continues local solicitation and is expected to maintain the second Russia-Africa summit, scheduled for 2023. The United States is also going on the offensive with the recent African tour of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the announcement of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for December 13. As for the Chinese, who are always present, they announced at the Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last August that they had waived debt for 17 African countries.


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