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Mining has the set the standard for economic growth and investment between Canada and Africa, with most of the world's financing coming straight out of Toronto. Now a host of industries are well-positioned to replicate that success in a new era of Canada-Africa trade and investment; one backed by Canada’s new trade diversification, with Africa’s leaders seeing in Canada a market backed by both the values and opportunities that make Canada a partner of choice.
The Canada-Africa Business Conference taking place on 26 and 27 March 2019 in Gaborone aggressively sets out a bold trade and investment agenda with this mind. The world’s great G7 nation of Canada (with more free trade deals than any of its peers) and the globe’s new centre of opportunity, the African continent, stand to become a formidable force.
Powered by Hatch and hosted by the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business, the Canada-Africa Business Conference will match-make on deals in mining, infrastructure, innovative technology, agriculture and healthcare, among others. Fairfax Africa, with its USD 500 million fund for Africa - covering a host of sectors - demonstrates the ambitions of Toronto-listed financiers and growing capital commitments to Africa in new areas of growth.
With the Vice President of Botswana set open the conference, leading CEOs from companies like Hatch and Fairfax, alongside Ministers, will be accompanied by a fresh generation of Canadian entrepreneurs who are driving change.
Canadian corporates are leading the way, welcoming and even driving these innovation trends (rather than simply responding to them). Hatch’s solutions for local governments and sustainable development and smart cities underscore the wide variety of collaborative solutions Canadian corporates are well positioned to deliver in African markets.
Start-ups and medium sized firms are tackling areas like healthcare, mobile payments and food technology – with Africa front of mind. Equally so, African start-ups and innovators have a welcoming gateway to North America and beyond in Canada. Dozens of tech incubators stand ready to foster joint Canada-Africa innovation, with excellence incentives on display in Botswana later this month.
Geographic distance is thing of the past. In terms of travel, access between the two regions is getting easier than ever: departing from Gaborone (and almost all African cities) at 3pm on Ethiopian Airlines gets one into Toronto the next morning by 7.30am, with a brief layover at Addis Ababa’s world class new airport terminal.
Toronto is the biggest city-region in Canada and third biggest in North America, alongside New York City and Los Angeles. It is the most diverse city in the world with over 6-million people. Canada has more free trade agreements than any other country among the world’s top economies - and as a result is a base for access to the United States, Europe and Japan.
Canada’s values on gender equality, human rights and openness to trade and international cooperation are welcomed across Africa, where Parliaments and companies are often leading in these fundamental values to which Canada is committed.
Diamond partners in the upcoming conference include the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness, BancABC and MineAfrica, showing that public and private entities in both Canada and Africa are equal partners in financing a platform like the Canada-Africa Business Conference; the inaugural event to deepen a new era in trade and investment. For Canada and Africa, there is no turning back. Policy makers can enable accelerating this growth trend, which is now a given. It is fueled primarily by the capital, talent and entrepreneurialism of the people.
To register to attend the Canada-Africa Business Conference, do so online via the official conference website.
Garreth Bloor is President of the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. After setting up a venture capital company in Cape Town, he repositioned to Toronto last year to accelerate Canada-Africa trade and investment.