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Africa summit a key opportunity to tackle risk factors

Eight African leaders together with over 800 participants from 50 countries will take part at the 18th World Economic Forum on Africa from 4 to 6 June 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa, with more than 800 participants from 50 countries.

Under the theme Capitalizing on Opportunity, the meeting will address the challenges that Africa must address if it is to be seen as a reliable and competitive partner in the global economy. A globally-attuned agenda that secures Africa’s place in capitalizing on opportunity will be built around five core pillars: Re-engineering Growth; Unfinished Business; Innovate or Perish; Partnership without Borders; and Licence to Lead. These pillars will reflect on how to capitalize on continued African economic growth at a time of a general global economic downturn.

"Building on the tremendous progress Africa has made over recent years, opportunities abound despite existing obstacles. During our meeting in Cape Town, leaders will therefore focus on how to capitalize on these unparalleled opportunities in order to overcome the continent's seemingly complex challenges," said Børge Brende, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. (Click here for Preliminary Programme and Interview with Head of the Programme)

Heads of state/government from Africa who have confirmed their participation include: President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza; President of Malawi, Bingu Wa Mutharika; Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga; President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor; President of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; and President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma.

Other prominent figures who will participate are: Jacob G. Zuma, President of the African National Congress, South Africa; Donald Kaberuka, President of African Development Bank (ADB), Tunis; Tito Mboweni, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank; Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank, Washington DC; Jendayi E. Frazer, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State; and Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom. 

The Co-Chairs for the World Economic Forum on Africa are: Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria; E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, USA; Wendy Luhabe, Chairperson, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, South Africa; Sadako Ogata, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency; and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, Dubai World, United Arab Emirates. 

The Africa@Risk Report 2008 , launched today in the lead-up to next week’s World Economic Forum on Africa, features the latest insights into trends, potential consequences and mitigation relevant to four key risks facing Africa: food and freshwater security; geopolitical instability; economic shocks and climate change and the environment; and challenges to Africa’s development. These four key risks will be further explored during the meeting.

The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (