The World Economic Forum’s 25th meeting in Africa, taking place in Cape Town on 3-5 June, will be the largest ever in the region, convening more than 1,250 leaders from business, politics, academia, civil society and the media under the theme Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future.

In addition to hosting over 90 senior government officials, the meeting will also be the best attended ever by the Forum’s Strategic Partner community of, with a total 83 leading international companies represented. As befits Africa’s youthful population, the meeting will also boast a record 200 young leaders, drawn from the Forum’s community of Global Shapers and Young Global Leaders, as well as the highest proportion of women leaders – at 270 woman leaders 25.8%  – than ever before. In total, over 75 countries will be represented.

“The occasion of our 25th meeting allows us an opportunity to see how far Africa has come economically, socially and politically since 1990. However, what this meeting is really about is looking forward, to see how we can channel the lessons of the past with the creativity, innovation and resourcefulness that comes from all stakeholders working together to solve Africa’s challenges in the present and future,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum.

With a programme built upon the three pillars of Enabling Markets, Marshalling Resources and Inspiring Creativity, this year’s meeting will also feature high-level sessions on critical subjects such as migration, combating terrorism and harnessing Africa’s informal economy. Alongside the meeting, the Grow Africa Investment Forum, which runs from 2 to 4 June, will bring together leaders engaged in the Forum-led Grow Africa food security initiative. Another high-level summit will take place focused on mobilizing financing for cross-border infrastructure.

The Co-Chairs of the World Economic Forum on Africa are: Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Executive, Barclays, United Kingdom; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), New York; Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals, South Africa; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, United Kingdom; and Michael Rake, Chairman, BT Group, United Kingdom.

Follow this link for a list of speakers taking part in sessions that will be livestreamed on our website.

Author: Oliver Cann, Director, Media Relations, World Economic Forum

Image: Cityscape of Cape Town in South Africa, February 17, 2010. REUTERS/