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Attendance overwhelms WEF organisers

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Geza Ulole, May 5, 2010.

  1. Geza Ulole

    Geza Ulole JF-Expert Member

    May 5, 2010
    Joined: Oct 31, 2009
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    Attendance overwhelms WEF organisers
    By FARAJA MGWABATI, 3rd May 2010 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 210

    ORGANISERS of the 20th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa Conference say they were forced to stop more participants to register themselves for the grand event scheduled to start tomorrow.

    Despite efforts made by organizers to accommodate extra 300 participants from the original 700, more people had to be denied registration because the number was already in excess.

    The WEF's Director and Head of Africa, Ms Katherine Tweedie, told a news conference last week that nearly 1,000 participants from 85 countries had confirmed to participate in the Forum - taking place in East Africa for the first time.

    The participants include 11 African heads of state and government and hundreds of business leaders and corporate executives from different parts of the world.

    At the last WEF on Africa Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, 900 participants from 50 countries took part.

    "There has been an amazing interest from people around the world to take part in this forum - we had to turn down some of the requests," says Ms Tweedie during the press conference in Dar es Salaam.

    She said what has attracted many people is the fact that Tanzania has a lot to offer in terms of tourism and other economic opportunities such as investments.

    "May be people knows that after the conference they will have chance to experience the beach, view game and visit exciting scenes," she noted

    There are those who believe that there will be diverse issues to be discussed at the three-day forum which covers various topics under the main theme - "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy."

    On facilities, she says Tanzania has 'excellent' facilities such as hotels and conference centres that could host high profile conferences like the WEF.

    "We have a very good operation team to take care of logistics on the ground, I hope everything will go as planned," the director noted

    Ms Tweedie says year 2010 is a special year for both the WEF, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Africa meeting and Africa, which is marking 50 years since the start of the independence movement that transformed the continent's geopolitical landscape.

    "It is fitting to celebrate this milestone year by hosting the Africa meeting for the first time in East Africa, with the strong support of His Excellency President Jakaya Kikwete and the government and business community", she said.

    "We are delighted to host for the first time in Tanzania. We are also very happy with the support we have received from Tanzania government, private sector and the public," she said.

    At this pivotal point, as Africa and the rest of the world seek answers to the economic crisis, the meeting will bring together leaders under the theme "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy" to find real solutions.

    She notes the economic crisis has acted as a wake-up call to speed up implementation of long-discussed reforms. Emerging markets, including those in Africa, are among the first to show signs of a recovery and are forecast to increasingly contribute to global growth in the next decade.

    The meeting will provide leaders with a platform for how they are facing up to the challenge and using the crisis as an opportunity to redesign a sustainable roadmap for Africa's future.

    President Kikwete says: "Africa is a continent full of potential. Africa has been growing despite the economic instability that is facing the world today. We will have the opportunity to examine the strategy of Africa for today to ensure that there is a better tomorrow."

    The meeting will kick off with a highly interactive brainstorming session which will examine the changing global landscape and identify the opportunities that can unlock Africa's growth potential and the barriers to social and economic progress in the coming years.

    Participants as well as the public are invited to join the Davos Debates in Africa: What is your vision for Africa and what opportunities and barriers does the continent face?

    The Davos Debates are designed to open the discussion about the future of the region to the wider public, who are invited to share questions and ideas about the region's most pressing challenges.

    At the meeting, the Davos Debates video corner will provide participants, including presidents and business leaders, with the opportunity to respond via video to the questions submitted by YouTube users.

    This is the third year that the WEF has opened its meetings to video submissions from the general public. The videos have become an integral part of the debates at Forum meetings.

    In addition, the Forum's Young Global Leaders Summit will be held concurrently in Dar es Salaam and will integrate over 200 of the world's top young leaders in the meeting.

    Discussions will address how African nations are managing relations with key economic partners, with an increasing trend towards greater South-South Co-operation.

    As Africa joins India and China in crossing the one billion person mark, its young population, natural resources and market potential are catalysts for significant future growth and development.

    Heads of state or government from Africa who have confirmed their participation include Armando Emilio Guebuza (Mozambique), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), Raila Amolo Odinga (Kenya), Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia), Morgan Tsvangirai (Zimbabwe), Boni Yayi (Benin), Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia) and Jacob Zuma (South Africa).

    Other leaders who will participate include Mizengo Pinda, Prime Minister of Tanzania; Ali Mohammed Shein, Vice-President of Tanzania; Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Tunis; Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance of South Africa; Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva; Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank, Washington DC and Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary General, New York.

    The Co-Chairs of the 2010 World Economic Forum on Africa are Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HCL Infosystems, India; Kuseni Douglas Dlamini, Chief Executive Office, Old Mutual, South Africa; Pat Davies, Chief Executive, Sasol, South Africa; Joergen Ole Haslestad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International ASA, Norway and Prof Anna Tibaijuka, Under-secretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Nairobi.