The World Economic Forum on Africa was recently held in Cape Town, South Africa. Titled “From Vision to Action, Africa’s Next Chapter,” the forum focused on various sectors of the continent ranging from technology to agriculture.
A quick snapshot of some of the sessions/events…
“Partnerships are desirable and necessary and have worked well for us,” Tanzanian President Jakaya M. Kikwete told participants in a session on innovative partnerships for development. Added Kofi Annan “Our vision is not just to help farmers to feed themselves but also to feed the markets so Africa can become part of the global food security system. This is not a pipe dream.”
Despite long-standing commercial ties with Europe, Africa now conducts half its trade with developing economic regions. Against the popular perception of Africa being exploited by resource-hungry China, South-South collaboration is beneficial to both sides. China and India are both engaging notably in the continent’s development. African countries can particularly benefit from such collaboration by encouraging the transfer of technologies.
“I am sure that you could literally point to each African state almost as a case study of how elections should not be conducted,” said Morgan Tsvangarai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, in an interview for the World Economic Forum. He spoke to the Forum about the challenges of stabilizing democracy in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa.
The leaders of South Africa, Gabon and Kenya pledged to work together and take a united stance at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, in November. In a session on the Durban Agenda, the panellists agreed that governments must work with business and civil society to shape a new framework on global warming
A declaration of partnership has been announced between the South Africa Department of Water Affairs and the 2030 Water Resources Group. The announcement was made by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa Edna Molewa, Chairman of Nestlé and Chairman of the Water Resources Group Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. With water demand set to rise by 52% within the next 30 years in South Africa, the South African government joins the governments of Jordan, Mexico and the State of Karnataka in India as a partner with the Water Resources Group, an influential public-private global network on water supported by the World Economic Forum and the International Finance Corporation.
The World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 opened with a call for Africa to rethink its global role. “You can no longer talk about the old Africa,” declared South African President Jacob G. Zuma during the opening plenary session. “We need to develop very urgently partnerships that are different from the past, relationships that benefit Africa more.”
Three leading social entrepreneurs were recognized as Regional Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for Africa. They were presented with their awards by Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in a ceremony held after the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum on Africa. The winners, who work across Africa, are among a group of 17 Social Entrepreneurs from around the world who are taking part in the meeting.
The Policies and Collaborative Partnership for Sustainable Aviation report released today at the World Economic Forum on Africa points the way for the aviation industry to reach the ambitious goals it has committed to – carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onward and 50% net carbon reduction by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.
The Africa Competitiveness Report 2011, jointly produced by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, takes stock of the competitiveness of Africa. The report finds that increasing trade, enhancing higher education, ensuring entrepreneurial opportunities for women and developing the tourism sector are important for improving the region’s economic prospects.
PwC have compiled a Knowledge Concierge for the World Economic Forum on Africa consisting of Fast Facts and briefing papers on subjects relating to the themes of the meeting.
Katherine Tweedie, Director, Head of Africa and several of the WEF’s co-chairsshare their thoughts on the World Economic Forum on Africa. They look at the key issues that will be addressed at the meeting, as well as looking forward to the highlights to come.