12 April 2013
South Africa is to host the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa in May, having last hosted the meeting of regional and global business, political and civil society leaders focusing on the continent in 2009.
The meeting will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 8 to 10 May under the theme “delivering on Africa’s promise”.
According to the WEF, the three-day event will provide an important platform for delegates “to deepen the continent’s integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development”.
“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,” the WEF says on its website.
“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.”
South Africa’s Presidency said on Thursday that forum participants would engage with issues such as strengthening the continent’s competitiveness, creating inclusive and sustainable growth, and accelerating infrastructure development and economic diversification.
“The above themes consolidate the previous ones discussed during the 22nd World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which focused on leadership, innovation and shared opportunities as well as increasing investment in frontier markets,” the Presidency said in a statement.
“The government of South Africa expresses its full support and commitment to the event, and encourages all relevant participating sectors to take part in making this event a resounding success.”