Africa-France cooperation: How Choiseul Africa Business Forum highlights African and European leaders on the international stage

Held on October 19th and 20th, 2022 in Casablanca, held for the first time abroad, the Choiseul Africa Business Forum gathered among the most influential African and European decision makers and economic leaders to discuss Africa’s big economic challenges.

Pascal Lorot's speech during the Choiseul Africa Business Forum

The Institut Choiseul chose Casablanca, Morocco, to organize the third edition of its Choiseul Africa Business Forum. On October 19th and 20th, 2022, the city welcomed companies, institutions, consultants and other influential figures reunited under the Hyatt Regency Casablanca’s roof. “We are honored to benefit this year from the High Patronage of His Majesty the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, as well as the support of our institutional partners, the CGEM and the Casablanca-Settat Region” Pascal Lorot, president of the Institut Choiseul, said. As an independent think-tank, the Institut Choiseul analyses contemporary strategic issues and international economic questions. In that sense, this annual event brings together hundreds of institutions, political figures, economic leaders from Africa and Europe around conferences and networking moments. “The majority of Africa’s major business issues were, I believe, covered during this intense day of exchanges.”


Discuss Africa’s challenges to better understand the opportunities of cooperation

As the rest of the world, Africa encounters big changes in different sectors, with upheavals brought by digital transformation, energy transition and fast urban transformation. Still, the continent has its share of opportunities for French companies and remains attractive for international businesses in general. “Competition has intensified and broadened, forcing our companies to demonstrate greater adaptability to local expectations and demands in order to co-construct shared growth” explains Pascal Lorot. Understanding these challenges and economic opportunities was part of the event program, with different conferences to address the topic. Pedro Novo, executive director in charge of Export at Bpifrance, and Isabelle Bébéar, head of international and European affairs, took part in those talks to share their vision respectively about “Unlocking the potential of African SMEs” and “Digital transformation of SMEs, a vector of economic growth in Africa”.


A third edition with Madagascar and Morocco under the spotlight

Gathering as many influential figures also represents a strong symbol for cooperation linking both the African and European continents. “African and European leaders are looking for opportunities to meet and share ideas, as was the case with this third edition of the Choiseul Africa Business Forum, and recognize the importance of deepening synergies and partnerships”. For the first time, the annual event was held in Africa, after Nice (France) in 2019 and 2021. Morocco, where it was hosted, and Madagascar were both in the spotlight this year, the presence of the President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina. For the Institut Choiseul, putting countries in the spotlight during the forum allows institutional representatives and CEOs to offer concrete feedback to the participants and to highlight business opportunities. “It is not a question of promoting the country’s attractiveness in a way that is disconnected from reality, but rather of putting ourselves on the same level as the questions or hesitations that an entrepreneur wishing to invest in the country may encounter. The objective is to help stimulating, innovative projects to mature, which can be implemented over time”, Pascal Lorot said. To pursue collaboration opportunities between both continents, “perhaps more encouragement should be given to meetings and forms of cooperation involving business leaders alongside political and institutional decision-makers” he concludes.