BRUSSELS – The honour of delivering the keynote address at the high-level EU-Africa Business Forum earlier this year fell to Dr Ahmed Heikal. In front of European Commissioners, leading politicians, chief executives of huge multinationals, senior bank bosses and billionaires, the Egyptian investment tycoon was asked to set the tone of the forum, a three-day lobbying event funded by the EU. Dr Heikal is founder and chairman of Qalaa, an African investment fund with $9.5bn on its books. The European Commission says he represents a company that has become an “African success story”. But although it is undoubtedly successful, Qalaa’s business model raises a series of questions about whether it represents the sustainable and inclusive growth that the EU says it wants to encourage in Africa.