Business leaders from across Africa and the rest of the world are meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, to debate past progress and future prospects for the continent’s economies at the 25th World Economic Forum (WEF) to be held in Africa.
WEF-Africa gathers every year to pick over the economic challenges and possibilities of the African continent. This year’s gathering is titled ‘Then and Now: Reimaging Africa’s Future’.
African leaders including South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and a number of finance ministers are expected to attend this year’s forum, CNBC Africa reported.
Cabinet ministers from Cape Verde, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mauritius, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo, Zimbabwe and South Africa are also expected.
Several economies on the continent have seen a high growth rate over the last decade, lifting many people in these nations into the middle-class level that has created a consumer class that is attracting global investors.According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the continent’s economies grew at an average of 3.9 per cent in 2014, boosted by foreign direct investment. The AfDB expects this investment to reach $55 billion in 2015.
The delegates at the WEF Africa will be looking to address several issues including slowing commodities prices that are expected to cut the region’s growth this year and the continent growing number of youthful populations that are now seen as a resource to help grow African economies.
According to Paul Clark, portfolio manager and Africa equity specialist at Ashburton Investments, African nations need to address the growing inequality between the poor and the rich as a young population come into mainstream in order to make the growth more inclusive.
“Talking together is the key objective to open up opportunities and manage the challenges on the continent,” Clark said in an opinion piece on Eye Witness News.
“We are going to add another billion young labor force to Africa in another 25 years. Today 50 percent of our young people are unemployed. We are in a crisis,” Elsie Kanza, director WEF Africa, told SABC News at the begging of the conference.
“We really need to bridge this gap about creating jobs,” she added.
Source: AFK Insider