Ms Mmantlha Sankoloba, President of the OACPS Business Forum and Vice-President Mr Aminou Akadiri, participated in the 114th Session of the OACPS Council of Ministers held at Brussels-based Headquarters of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), on 8 and 9 June 2022.
On that occasion, Ms Sankoloba presented her report on the creation of the Business Forum, a subsidiary and consultative organ of the OACPS under its revised Georgetown Agreement. The President of the Business Forum stated that: “Our Vision is to be a central player for the private sector in the OACPS, steering of a successful market driven economy to achieve regional economic growth and development. Our Mission is identifying, consolidating and promoting trade, investment and sustainable development within and among the 6 OACPS regions for the benefit of all.”
The objectives of the OACPS Business Forum are articulated around four pillars:
- Improving the business environment and contributing and influencing policies
- Increasing financial inclusion and strengthening access to finance for enterprise, in particular MSMEs
- Promoting dialogue, collaboration, knowledge sharing and best practice
- Be the apex body for the private sector, “The voice of the OACPS private sector”.
As a reminder, the OACPS Business Forum has elected 12 board members, one President and 5 Vice Presidents. This nascent entity of only 5 months old has already delivered with a constitution, a strategy document and a work plan. “We are here to stay and make an impact, not succumb like our predecessors, similar initiatives that did not survive” declared Ms Sankoloba who pleaded for the support of Ministers and Ambassadors until the OACPS Business Forum is strong enough to fly on its own.