The 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, scheduled to hold in Cape Town, South Africa, between September 4 and 6, will focus attention on inclusive and sustainable growth at a time of rapid transformation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
A statement from the WEF Secretariat in Johannesburg said that about 1,100 leaders from government, business and civil society, including ten heads of state or government as well as those from academia, media and the arts will attend the meeting which has as its theme: Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The statement said that the meeting will highlight among others, the issues of improving the funding and regulatory environments for start-ups, developing new partnerships for re-skilling and up-skilling workers, identifying opportunities for green growth such as the circular economy, scaling-up e-commerce for rapid business growth, especially in the SME sector; and how to leverage the new Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement to drive regional integration.
“Also high on the agenda are government policies and responsible business practices to provide a foundation for a more inclusive society. While globalization has driven economic growth, it is criticized for leading to unacceptable levels of income inequality. Tackling corruption, universal healthcare provision and protection of workers in the gig economy all have a role to play in building more equitable societies.
“The World Economic Forum brings top leaders together to create the conditions for socio-economic investment to happen. Africa, like all regions of the world, faces great challenges. For the region to prosper in an increasingly globalized world, it needs transparent governance, competitive economies and peaceful societies. This systemic change can only be achieved through multistakeholder collaboration,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the Forum.”
The statement said that some of the new initiatives that will be launched at the meeting include Africa Growth Platform, a coalition of governments and investors aiming to fast-track development of the region’s most promising start-ups and SMEs; the Africa Risk Resilience Platform, which is a scheme aimed at helping governments prepare for, mitigate and prevent climate- and disease-related disasters with the support of the private sector and Africa E-Commerce Agenda, a partnership between governments, the international trade community and the development community to create three million jobs by 2025.”
Heads of state or government participating in the meeting include: South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana; Azali Assoumani, President of the Union of the Comoros; Mandulo Ambrose Dlamini, Prime Minister of Eswatini; Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia, Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, Hage Geingob, President of Namibia, ProfYemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of Nigeria, Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, Danny Faure, President of Seychelles, Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe.
Also to be attendance are representatives from international organizations are including Hajiya Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, New York; Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, Johannesburg; Moussa Oumarou, Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva; Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva; Susanna Moorehead, Chair, Development Assistance Committee, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris; Valerie Guarnieri, Assistant Executive Director, Operations Services, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Rome; Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa; Vijay Iyer, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Washington DC; and Yonov Frederick Agah,Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva.