African leaders, politicians, business people and civil rights activists are gathering in Cape Town this week for Africa’s World Economic Forum and Africa’s investment climate is expected to be discussed.
Under the theme “Then and Now: Re-imagining Africa’s Future”‚ the 25th World Economic Forum on Africa will convene African and global leaders from government‚ business and civil society to take stock of progress over the last 25 years.
They are also expected to share insights on the present landscape and identify innovative approaches to accelerate inclusive growth while bringing about sustainable development in the future.
The participants include vice-presidents‚ prime ministers‚ former heads of state and government‚ ministers as well as chairmen and CEOs of global companies‚ the Presidency said in a statement.
A report to be presented to the conference by international investment company JLL says Africa sits at the centre of many corporate growth strategies.
“Over the past decade and a half alone, Africa’s economy has grown nearly three percentage points faster than global GDP,” the report notes.
“Fuelled by an influx of FDI (foreign direct investment), rapid urbanization and an emerging middle class, African countries, including Mozambique, Zambia and Ethiopia, are forecasted to grow at a faster rate than many other emerging economies.”
It points out that while mining, oil and gas remain a focus in Africa for overseas investors, business services now top the FDI sector list, followed by manufacturing and sales, marketing and support industries.
Retail and construction also feature in the top 10 amid a surge in response to the demands from urbanization and consumer spending.
In addition to some 90 senior government officials – including South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma – the meeting will also draw a record number of representatives from 83 leading international companies.
Beyond the issues of markets and development, the conference will feature sessions on critical subjects such as migration, combating terrorism and harnessing Africa’s informal economy.