Young Africa Business Trust AGOA 2011 Pre- Forum Event
Responsible Business: Principled Collaborative Engagement to Leverage Competitiveness
The AGOA Forum will take place for the first time on the African continent in Lusaka, Zambia from June 9-10, 2011. The theme will be “Enhanced Trade Through Increased Competitiveness, Value Addition, and Deeper Regional Integration.”
AGOA is the foremost trade and investment agreement between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. The United States Congress passed AGOA in 2000 to strengthen trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa countries that meet eligibility criteria, which require countries to attain a certain level of economic, legal, and human rights standards. AGOA is more than just a trade preference program; it provides the U.S. government and African partners a platform to discuss key economic, commercial, and political issues.
The Africa Responsible Business Network (AfRBN), United States Department of State, Young Americas Business Trust (YABT-OAS), Organization of American States, United Nations Global Compact, Egyptian Institute of Directors, Private Sector Liaison Network, Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and The Convention on Business Integrity, will convene a three hour pre-forum event on June 7, 2011, at the World Bank Country Office in Lusaka. The event will bring together business professionals and young African entrepreneurs to discuss how business leaders can help enhance trade and investment in Africa, and how they can foster sustainable growth, competitiveness and job creation through responsible business practices.
Young business leaders and entrepreneurs from African nations will be invited to exchange knowledge and best practices, enabling them to be more effective and competitive. In order to expand the reach, the pre-forum event will take place via videoconference with World Bank country offices in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, United States and Zambia, and will be web-cast to the rest of the world.
In an effort to ensure the realization and actualization of this objective, the AfRBN and YAfBT will also participate in the one-day civil society and private sector forum on June 8, 2011. The civil society program will include a breakout session on young entrepreneurs entitled, “The Next Generation”; this breakout session is an opportunity for the YAfBT to learn from and join forces with seasoned civil society and private sector actors taking part in AGOA.
Background on Africa Responsible Business Network and the Young Africa Business Trust
In November 2010, the World Bank Institute (WBI) – in partnership with the World Bank Africa Region, United Nations Global Compact and various African business associations – convened a conference in Brussels entitled Strengthening Responsible Business and Governance in Africa. The conference brought together a range of stakeholders, including business and civil society leaders from Africa and across regions, high-level government officials, donors, and representatives of international organizations. U.S. Embassies in Cape Verde, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Zambia selected five young business leaders to attend the WBI conference.
At the conference, WBI, the Africa Responsible Business Network (AfRBN), the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) which is affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS), the Egyptian Corporate Responsibility Center (ECRC) and the US State Department – in an effort to support entrepreneurship and promote responsible business practices across the continent – joined forces with African business leaders and created the Young Africa Business Trust (YAfBT).The AfRBN and YAfBT are networks of African business professionals working towards combining efforts for responsible business and governance with a particular emphasis on job creation and sustainable economic development. The AfRBNespouses environmental and sustainability best practices to meet local demand and development goals.