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Six Important Highlights from WEF Africa

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A comprehensive multi-media report featuring full length video of each WEF session

#1 Africa Economic Update

A key component of WEF Africa was establishing where Africa’s macro-economy is headed.  This topic was covered through a panel discussion exploring the comprehensive economic outlook for the continent.  Panelists included Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive Africa Regions Standard Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, South African Reserve Bank Governor, Dr. Albert G. Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa for the World Bank 

In addition, Africa.com scored an exclusive interview with Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive Africa Regions Standard Bank, in which we explored how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is impacting economic growth on the continent.

#2 Eradicating Violence Against Women

WEF Africa, which took place in Cape Town, was disrupted by major protests demanding that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa respond to the crisis of widespread violence against South African women.  In the week leading up to WEF Africa, a University of Cape Town student was raped and murdered violently by a post office worker while trying to collect a parcel. The rate of sexual violence in South Africa is among the highest in the world.

WEF responded to the protests in real time by convening a special panel discussion on what can be done to address gender based violence.

#3 Can Africa Deliver on the Promise of its Megaprojects?

This interactive session explored a key driver of international investment into Africa’s huge infrastructure projects: can Africa implement and deliver the promise of these megaprojects.  Infrastructure megaprojects are crucial to Africa’s future livelihood. The challenge is that these projects can go off the rails in terms of budget or time or both, which can be devastating and risk non-delivery of the service that was promised by the project.  Some of Africa’s infrastructure projects are among the largest in the world. Extraordinary management talent, combined with close cooperation between public and private sector is required to complete these projects.

The discussion featured, among others, Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe.

#4 African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

While the rest of the world is moving towards protectionist policies, 27 countries in Africa have ratified the Agreement, giving the African Union the mandate to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The AfCFTA will unlock the economic potential of Africa’s 1 billion people and its GDP 3.4 trillion USD economy in what will be one of the largest economic blocks in the world. 

The AfCFTA will deliver the free movement of business people, elimination of tariffs on 90% of goods, and the creation of a customs union to streamline trade.

This panel explores the prospects for the AfCFTA as well as who will be the winners and who will be the losers when it is implemented.

#5 Africa’s E-Commerce: Retail Revolution

Consumer demand for e-commerce in Africa is strong as Africa figures out how to tailor the Western model to address uniquely African challenges.  E-Commerce can generate significant economic development, including one projection that over the next six years, it can create 3 million new jobs in Africa.  In order to achieve these goals, Africa must address core foundational challenges to e-commerce such as physical infrastructure for the delivery of goods and recruiting trained workers with digital skills.

This panel discussion includes a founder of a South African e-commerce start up, a manager from China’s highly successful global e-commerce player Alibaba, Sweden’s minister of trade, and a leader of a multinational corporation adapting to the e-commerce revolution.

#6 Delivering the Promise of Africa’s Youth

The statistics about Africa’s youth are well known.  Depending on the source, the numbers are generally something like 50% of the continent’s population is under age 30, and in need of education, employment, infrastructure, without which instability is sure to follow.  In this discussion, the panelists aimed to move beyond the numbers and to identify solutions.  

Obiageli Ezekwesili delivered a passionate talk on what needs to be done now to address Africa’s youth.

The post Six Important Highlights from WEF Africa appeared first on iAfrica.com.

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