The creation of a business forum for sustainable value chains in Africa was announced by Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and his Gabonese counterpart, Pacôme Moubelet Boubeya, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September 2021. This forum, which was created in partnership with Institut Choiseul and French Foreign Trade Advisors (CCEF), aims to develop sustainable practices in agricultural and forestry industries in Africa.
On Thursday, 25 November 2021, as part of the Choiseul Africa Business Forum in Nice, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister Delegate attached to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, and his Gabonese counterpart, Yolande Nyonda, officially launched this initiative which is aligned with both countries’ active participation in the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests.
The first meeting of the business forum for sustainable value chains in Africa, chaired by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and Yolande Nyonda, took place at the Choiseul Africa Business Forum. Two expert panels presented examples of existing sustainable practices in the forestry and cocoa industries in Africa. Bérangère Abba, Minister of State for Biodiversity, attached to the Minister for the Ecological Transition, promoted the French sustainable cocoa initiative, launched on 6 October 2021 together with industry stakeholders.
The forum is part of the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests, of which France and Gabon are founding members. The Alliance’s Charter states that it “is essential to swiftly end the destruction of nature in order to reach the Paris Agreement goals, those of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which will be adopted at the 15th meeting of the COP to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Public awareness is growing and this has an impact on corporate commitments and public policy objectives.”
In the spirit of the Alliance’s Charter, the Forum will aim to mobilize African and European private sector representatives for joint reflection with a view to improving the sustainability of industries that have an impact on biodiversity, and especially forests, in Africa. One African and one European business leader will be tasked with managing the forum, in coordination with the ministers who took the initiative, and guiding its initial work.
Created in 2019, the Choiseul Africa Business Forum is an event dedicated to the development of business opportunities in and with Africa. This year, the major investment forum brought together almost 600 of the most influential decision-makers and high-level economic leaders from Africa and Europe. It was held in Nice on 24 and 25 November 2021.