WEF on Africa starts in Durban

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Durban- Inclusive growth. That is the phrase that is dominating at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) as the city prepares to host the 2017 World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF Africa) starting from today.

The area around the ICC has been closed off to traffic and a heavy police presence is monitoring all entrants to the venue. Several groups have promised to protest against the event and police said they were ready to protect delegates and the media who will be covering the meetings over the next three days.

The meeting, which comes to the city for the second time, brings together more than 1000 business leaders from across the globe and is expected to also attract Heads of State and Government from across Africa. Those who have been confirmed to be in attendance include Presidents of the following countries: Mauritius, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Ghana. President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead South Africa’s delegation to the meeting. Several Cabinet Ministers will also be in attendance.

The meeting comes at the time Africa is battling with growth and some of the continent’s economies are suffering from drought. South Africa is also reeling from recent downgrades by credit rating agencies and the country has been experiencing slow economic growth in recent years. Government has announced an economic policy shifts which will prioritise radical economic transformation to accelerate inclusive growth and ensure the economy benefits the majority of the country’s citizens.

Many say the summit’s chosen theme “Inclusive Growth through Responsive and Responsible Leadership” could not have come at a better time for the continent. Organisers say the meeting’s other priority is to help Africa prepare for the huge changes the world is about to experience as a result of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. Rapid technological advances in the physical, digital and biological worlds are giving rise to a new era that will have a profound effect on how humans live, work and interact with one another, WEF Africa said in a statement.

President Jacob Zuma will open the summit on Wednesday morning.  He will also do a walk about at the several exhibition stands including the brand South Africa stand. – SAnews.gov.za

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