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Africa Economic Institute

World Economic Forum on Africa Will Have Five African Leaders

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Five African leaders will take part in the 19th World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, next week. Heads of State who had confirmed their participation included Presidents Jacob Zuma, Kenya’s Raila Amolo Odinga, Lesotho’s Pakalitha Mosisili, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Zambia’s Rupiah Bwezani Banda,” said WEF Director Head of Africa Katherine Tweedie.

South Africa’s new President Jacob Zuma will host the meeting which will feature 800 participants from 50 contries.

Former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan would join the discussion on agriculture.Mosisili, Also Katherine said” It was important to note that 20 percent of the participants at this year’s forum were women.“It is fitting that we have discussions about women,” she noted.

The interactive session entitled “The Girl Effect in Africa” would deal with the issue of empowering young girls in order to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and help build a sustainable economy.

“Investing in girls’ education, sexual and reproductive health and economic empowerment has powerful multiplier effects on families and communities.”

Tweedie said that former president Nelson Mandela’s wife Graca Machel, who would attend the forum in her capacity as president of the Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique, had been particularly supportive of the forum in its endeavor to address women’s issues.

Ms Tweedie added  “the focus for the summit are the implications of the global economic crisis for Africa.”  She said the leaders and 800 business leaders and experts from 50 countries will look at “what it means for Africa, for our economies, for our leaderships, for our different organizations that are intimately affected” by the global downturn. Most importantly, the meeting will facilitate interaction and dialogue that will allow our key leaders to address the immediate challenges posed by the crisis and fully explore the unique opportunities that Africa has at its doorstep in this new global arena.”


The 19th World Economic Forum provides an important plataform for leaders of the world to design the regional and worldwide impact of the crisis and plan a new road for African future. The launch of The Africa Competitiveness Report 2009 will provide valuable insight for these deliberations.


Discussion will focus on the impact of the crisis on Africa’s traditional drivers of growth, including foreign capital flows, demand for oil and commodities, and infrastructure development. A key focus will be on Africa’s investment climate and identifying practical solutions to foster better business practices and greater investment across the continent.


Economic deliberations will be closely linked to important social and environmental issues including food security, climate change, healthcare and education. One year to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, it will explore the economic and social impact of this major international event.


Economic deliberations will be closely linked to important social and environmental issues including food security, climate change, healthcare and education.

The conferences will be focus on subjects such as crises and systemic risk, exchange rate system and future role of the international Monetary Fund (IMF).


The diversified financial service company of Dubai holding, Dubai Group, has announced strategic partnership with WEF, promoting a connection with Africa and Middle Eastern countries toward a global markets recover.  Soud Ba’alawy, Executive Chairman, Dubai Group will also be holding the distinguished role as Co-Chair of the Forum. The WEF Africa 2009 will take place from June10-12.


Soud Ba’alawy said, “As a Strategic Partner of WEF, the role of Dubai Group is to foster interaction and debate among Governments, business leaders and other WEF participants regarding the impact of the global financial crisis, on Africa.We will examine the key drivers for economic development in the continent and how to achieve and maintain sustainable long-term growth.”


The other Co-Chairs of the conference will be Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General and Member, WEF’s Foundation Board; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, MD, World Bank; Jiang Jianqing, Chairman, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller.