Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has urged African countries to encourage private-public cooperation, saying that the private sector is a major driver of social and economic growth in the continent.
"The private sector serves a main driver of providing permanent job opportunities and improving income level, thus contributing to eliminating poverty…and increasing long-term economic growth," El-Sisi told the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) attended by a number of African leaders and representatives of international organisations including the World Bank.
El-Sisi called for strengthening cooperation between the Egyptian and Japanese private sectors, and invited Japanese investors to invest in the resource-rich continent.
On Wednesday, Japan s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to offer enhanced trade insurance to boost private sector investment in Africa,which he said stood at $20 billion over the past three years.
El-Sisi, who holds the rotating presidency of the the 55-nation African Union (AU), said African countries are looking to draw investors to infrastructure and energy projects in the region, home to 1.2 billion people.
African countries, El-Sisi says, have made progress on improving investment environment in the continent by establishing a 2063 African development agenda, adopting the 2012 the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and launching the execution phase of a free African trade zone to promote intra-African free trade.
Separately, El-Sisi said during talks with Japan s trade minister on the sidelines of the gathering that Cairo is looking to boost cooperation with Japan to promote reliance on gas and clean energy in Egypt s public transportation system.
Egypt also looks to draw Japanese investors to a planned economic zone near the Suez Canal which will be international industrial and logistics hub, he added.
The three-day event concludes on Friday in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.