Why Africa now?

by Mwangi S. Kimenyi

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa was established in Davos, Switzerland in 1990. Since then, the Forum has brought together thousands of world leaders, government officials, business executives and policy experts to discuss the various opportunities and challenges that Africa faces in pursuit of improving the continent’s economy and quality of life of her inhabitants. Broadly, the WEF on Africa has provided a platform for high-level debates and an exchange of ideas on economic and political issues affecting the continent. The primary objective of the WEF is to improve the state of the world by engaging political, business and policy leaders in shaping regional and industry agenda. Annual forums have dealt with different themes that reflect the realities of the day consistent to the objective of the WEF. Naturally, with the major changes that have taken place in Africa’s political and economic landscape over the past 23 years, the themes of the annual forums have also varied significantly.

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Cape Town, South Africa 8-10 May 2013
Delivering on Africa’s Promise

With an expected annual growth of 5% in 2012-2013, sub-Saharan Africa continues its transformative journey from a developing continent to a hub of global growth. According to the World Bank, almost half of Africa’s countries have attained middle-income status. At the same time, the continent’s positive outlook is threatened by fluctuating commodity prices, rising inequality and youth unemployment. To build on its achievements, Africa’s leaders need to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness, foster inclusive growth and build resilience in a volatile global environment. Accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking talent are critical success factors in this new leadership context.

Under the theme “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”, the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa will provide an important platform for regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to deepen the continent’s integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development by addressing the following themes:

  • Accelerating Economic Diversification
  • Boosting Strategic Infrastructure
  • Unlocking Africa’s Talent

Source: http://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-africa-2013

Image Credit: World Economic Forum