President welcomes WEF delegates, says meeting will be a success

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Durban - President Jacob Zuma has welcomed hundreds of business leaders attending the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Durban, saying that South Africa will once again prove to the world that the country is capable of hosting any major event.

An unprecedented number of delegates is attending this year’s meeting which is expected to find solutions to some of the economic challenges facing Africa in a global contest.

President Zuma urged delegates to ensure that they leave Durban with concrete plans on how to resolve some of the continent’s pressing issues. He was speaking to journalists on the side-lines of the summit which got underway on Wednesday at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.

“The world is changing. (Wherever) you look, whether it’s the United States, … (or) … the United Kingdom, there have been changes that have been taking place. Everywhere there’s change.

“We are saying for example we are entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So the question that faces leaders of the world both politically and economically is how we meet these new challenges. What do we do?” said President Zuma.

“In 2014, when we were in Davos, the theme was the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. The question is what are we doing as leaders to close the gap, are we just lamenting about it or are we doing something,” he asked.

Radical economic transformation

President Zuma said the shift to radical economic transformation, which has been the talk since the State of the Nation Address in February, will help South Africa address the gap between the rich and poor as raised in Kigali, in 2014.

He said the leaders attending the WEF must realise that Africa is no longer trailing behind in terms of people talking on their behalf. “We are part of the process and we are therefore debating with the world as to what are the solutions to the challenges we are facing. We need to come up with solutions,” said President Zuma.

He wished the delegates all the best in their deliberations over the next few days.

“My impression as I have been walking around, is that the meeting is well-organised in terms of the infrastructure … I’m told the summit is well attended which is another testimony to how people view us,” said President Zuma.

An opening ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon with the summit deliberations to wrap up on Friday. –


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