In 1988, 25 prominent business leaders convened at the Headquarters of the African Development Bank in Abidjan, to advise the Bank President on strategies to enhance the role of private enterprises in African development. A Private Sector Development Unit was set up as a result in the Bank for direct AfDB financing of African private enterprise. In a span of two years, the grouping decided to put in place coherent, independent body capable of re-engineering the continental role of private enterprises as the engine of growth for Africa. Thus in March 1990, at a historic meeting in Cairo, The African Development Bank Group established the ‘African Business Roundtable (ABR), Africa’s foremost continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders. The ABR rapidly evolved to become a continent wide association with offices in several regions and developed strategic partnerships with globally renowned multilateral development Agencies, Development Finance Institutions and Business Associations. Today, it is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, committed to fostering African private sector-led economic growth and social development in Africa.
The African Business Roundtable is Africa’s foremost continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders dedicated to achieving an African Private Sector led regional economic integration and sustainable development of Africa, based on good corporate governance and competitively open market systems. ABR focuses on strengthening the African private sector, promoting intra-African trade and investment and attracting foreign investment into Africa. ABR contributed in creating an environment conducive to economic growth and prosperity by proposing solutions on issues such as the cabotage regulations, transit corridors, continental free trade zones and the African Business Passport to mentiom only a few. ABR was granted ‘Special Consultative Status’ by the United Nations Economic and Social Council – UNECOSOC and the ABR President was invited by the President of the UN General Assembly to address the 60 th Session of the General Assembly in New York, on behalf of the entire private sector, thus serving as the ‘voice of the private sector’ giving a unified, worldwide voice to the African private sector on issues of mutual concern.
VISION AND MISSION STATEMENTS
OUR VISION is to become the globally preferred partner for facilitating the sustainable development of Africa’s private sector.
OUR MISSION is to promote, via various initiatives throughout the Continent and beyond, the development of Africa’s private sector, particularly SME’s, ensuring they become globally competitive and sustainable.