ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, 26th March 2018, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The theme “Together, let’s build a sustainable future” is one that the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, and Paul Polman, CEO of the Unilever Group, adopted during an usual and unprecedented panel discussion.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said that everyone, both the private and public sectors, must respect the rules. “Respect the rules by refraining from tax evasion and tax havens. Insist on the value added and put in place an environment conducive to macroeconomic stability in our countries,” he suggested.
President Akufo-Addo believes that the private and public sectors must fight corruption, respect the law and practice fiscal discipline. “The partnerships we conclude must also lead to a change of attitude. We must unleash our potential. Africa has talent which we must harness so as to avoid the brain drain,” he said, adding that his greatest pride during his term would be to see all children in his country have access to education.
Unilever’s CEO, Paul Polman, expressed the willingness of the private sector to support governments in building
a ‘sustainable future‘.
According to him, one of the conditions for this is, among others, the fight against poverty and hunger, stating that famine and hunger promote instability in countries because people eventually revolt and increasingly resort to terrorism to make themselves heard. This instability is therefore not conducive to business development which is essential for job creation for young people and the creation of wealth. “If you treat people well in the value chain, they will be indebted to you,” said Polman.
He said the private sector must follow governments’ lead by supporting their development efforts. “We must tackle challenges and work for Africa. We must start with the fight against corruption.”
Polman also suggested that Africans turn to private sector sources of finance.
The AFRICA CEO FORUM is organized by Jeune Afrique Media Group, the publisher of Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report, and by rainbow unlimited, a Swiss company specialized in event organization and economic promotion. With the success of its 2017 edition, which welcomed almost 1,200 business leaders from Africa and the world, the AFRICA CEO FORUM has established itself as the main international event for the African private sector to discuss the continent’s development in a highly professional environment ideal for business networking. The 2018 edition is co-hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group).