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Tánaiste to open the 6th Africa Ireland Economic Forum




  • Key event for promoting trade between Africa and Ireland
  • High level leaders from Ireland and Africa in politics, business and agribusiness


The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D,, will deliver the opening address to the Africa Ireland Economic Forum, to be held tomorrow (11 October 2018) in the Convention Centre Dublin.


Speaking ahead of the Forum, the Tánaiste said:


“Since 2014, Ireland’s trade with Africa has increased by 13%. Irish food and drink companies have been particularly successful, with Bord Bia estimating that exports to the continent have gone up by 28% over the past two years.  This is impressive and important growth, particularly at a time when Irish companies are looking to diversify markets. The Africa Ireland Economic Forum provides a platform for more Irish companies to explore the opportunities in African marketplaces, to meet potential partners and to deepen their engagement with the world’s fastest growing continent.


Keynote speakers at the Forum include Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., and the Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives from Kenya, Peter Munya.


Also at the Forum, the Tánaiste will announce the expansion of the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP), to allow Irish companies the option of partnering with local enterprises in five new countries, Botswana, Cóte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Namibia and Rwanda. In addition, women entrepreneurs, who have not used the fund to date, will be encouraged to apply. The programme had previously been limited to countries which host an Irish embassy.


The Tánaiste said:


The Africa Agri-food Development Programme has potential to develop in an innovative manner, building on past successes while being more ambitious in its scope. The inclusion of these five additional countries opens new opportunities for dynamic partnerships, and it is really important that we encourage more women to participate in business.


Minister Michael Creed added:


The two themes of the Forum, “Agri-business” and “Women in Business” resonate strongly within my Department, not only underpinning the sustainable development of the agri-food sector in Ireland, but also as a cornerstone to Ireland’s international development assistance strategy. In addition, the AADP illustrates very well the potential for further partnerships between the Irish and African agri-food sectors.


Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr Ciarán Cannon TD, who will deliver the closing address at tomorrow’s Forum, said:


“Ireland has a long and proud history of engaging in Africa. The Africa Ireland Economic Forum provides a unique opportunity both to reaffirm that close engagement, and to develop new contacts and opportunities for further cooperation. I very much look forward to this opportunity to engage with a range of African and Irish businesspeople tomorrow, and to the future economic opportunities which may develop between Ireland and Africa as a result.”  



Press Office

10 October 2018

Notes to Editor


  • The Africa Ireland Economic Forum is organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, in partnership with the resident African Embassies in Ireland.  It will focus this year on the complementary themes of agri-food and women in business, bringing together over three hundred business leaders and policy makers from Ireland and Africa to hear about the opportunities for enhanced trade and investment.  This is the sixth Africa Ireland Economic Forum since the inaugural Forum in 2012.


  • The Africa Agri-Food Development Programme is jointly operated by the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This Programme develops partnerships between Irish agri-food companies and African partners, with the aim of supporting sustainable inclusive growth.  To date, Irish companies could access the AADP for partnerships in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia

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