With prospects for growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2017 very much a mixed bag, the 27th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa taking place in Durban in May will seek to define strategies and actions to restore the region on a path towards a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future.
In a statement on Monday, WEF said that the Sub-Saharan region accounted for some of the world’s fastest growing economies, but was also home to countries whose “commodity-dependent economies have struggled to adapt to structural downturns in prices”.
It said the purpose of the May 3-5 meeting would be to convene leaders from across all stakeholder groups to define strategies and actions to restore the whole region on its path towards a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future.
“Africa has a historic opportunity to shift the trajectory of its development by avoiding the excesses and mistakes made by countries in advanced parts of the world. But its success will depend on creating new models of growth that provide equality of opportunity to everyone and allow innovation to flourish,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa for WEF.
In addition to advancing the concept of inclusive growth, many other issues critical to Africa’s long-term development are set to be covered in the meeting’s programme, including education, skills and employment, entrepreneurship, energy, infrastructure and development finance, combating, adapting to and building resilience against climate change, and science, technology and innovation.
Over 900 participants are expected at WEF Africa, including forum member companies, representatives from government, international organisations, civil society, academia, media and the arts.
The co-chairs of WEF Africa are Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International; Siyabonga Gama, group CEO of Transnet; Frédéric Lemoine, chairperson of the executive board of Wendel; Rich Lesser, global CEO and president of Boston Consulting Group, and Ulrich Spiesshofer, president and CEO of ABB.
– African News Agency