Print Download PDF Embed

News Release

World Economic Forum on Africa Poised for Take Off

Richard Elliott, Communications, Tel.: +41 (0)22 869 1292,

  • Prominent African and global leaders to take part in the 21st World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, next week
  • South Africa’s President Jacob G. Zuma to host the meeting, which will feature more than 900 participants from over 60 countries – a record for the World Economic Forum on Africa 
  • For more on the meeting, visit: 

Geneva, Switzerland – The World Economic Forum announced today at a virtual press conference that more than 900 participants from 60 countries will participate in the 21st World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, from 4 to 6 May 2011. Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa, will host the meeting, where participants will gather to deliberate under the theme From Vision to Action, Africa’s Next Chapter.

“Africa is poised for take off,” said Katherine Tweedie, Director, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum. “Sub-Saharan Africa is already one of the top performing regions in the world. The region came through the economic crisis with resilience and the international community is interested in its growth opportunities. The World Economic Forum on Africa will be an opportunity for key leaders from the region and beyond to discuss how this growing confidence in Africa’s potential can be translated into action and results.”

The World Economic Forum on Africa offers an opportunity for business, government and civil society to explore opportunities and risks facing the continent at this important juncture. The meeting has three thematic pillars: Shaping Africa’s Role in the New Reality; Fostering Africa’s New Champions of Growth; and Building Partnerships for Inclusive Development.

The launch of The Africa Competitiveness Report on the morning of 4 May ahead of the official opening of the meeting will provide valuable insight for the discussions.

The meeting will begin with a highly interactive brainstorming session designed to engage the Forum's Africa community and kick-start the debate. A collaborative exercise will examine the region's position in the new reality and identify opportunities to unleash, accelerate and sustain its transition to inclusive, investment-driven growth.

Heads of state/government from Africa who have confirmed their participation include Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo; Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique; Jakaya M. Kikwete, President of Tanzania; Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya; Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon; Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; and Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa.

Other top regional and international leaders who will participate include Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations (1997-2006); Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia; Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank, Washington DC; Donald Kaberuka, President of African Development Bank (ADB), Tunis; Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India.

The Co-Chairs of the meeting who will help shape the agenda are:

  • Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board, Nestlé, Switzerland; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Global Agenda Council on Water Security
  • Timothy Flynn, Chairman, KPMG International, USA
  • P. Mpho Makwana, Chairman, Eskom Holdings, South Africa
  • Linah K. Mohohlo, Governor of the Bank of Botswana; Regional Agenda Council on Africa
  • Rajiv J. Shah, Administrator, USAID - US Government Agency for International Development, USA; Young Global Leader
  • Jubril Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando, Nigeria; Young Global Leader

Notes to Editors

View the best photos from the Forum on Flickr at
Download pictures from last year’s Africa meeting at
Follow this year’s meeting online at
Watch sessions live at
Follow the Davos Debates on YouTube at
Follow live tweets from sessions at
Follow the Forum on Twitter at 
Check in with the Forum on Foursquare at
Read the Forum Blog at
Read Forum reports on Scribd at
Follow the meeting on iPhone at 
Upcoming Forum events at
Subscribe to Forum News Releases at
Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at

    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 (