Geographies in Depth

Highlights of Day One at #AF16

Anna Bruce-Lockhart
Editorial Lead, World Economic Forum
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This article is part of: World Economic Forum on Africa

From Africa's digital revolution to its young and growing labour force, here is a round-up of some of the top discussions, pictures and videos from the first day of the World Economic Forum on Africa, taking place this week in Kigali, Rwanda.

Among the star particpants were Paul Kagame, Graca Machel and Tony Blair. Among the hottest topics: inclusive growth, digital transformation and inequality.


"Governance makes the difference – and sometimes it makes the biggest difference," said Tony Blair, former British prime minister and patron of the Africa Governance Initiative, of Rwanda's progress under President Paul Kagame.

Is Africa booming?

Many of the day's liveliest discussions centred on Africa's economic growth, and how the benefits can reach as many people as possible. Ever wondered which African country contributes most to the continent's GDP? Find out with this explainer video.


Inclusive growth was a hot topic elsewhere at the meeting, with Oxfam's Winnie Byanyima launching an attack on rich Africans who keep their wealth offshore, depriving the continent of $14 billion in lost tax revenues. "African leaders have to wake up and tax those who have the money," she said.


Oxfam released a new report today, assessing the impact of tax dodging and inequality in Africa. You can read it here.

Gender agenda

Graca Machel, one of Africa's best known politicians and former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique, attended the meeting to speak about education, leadership and the rights of women and children.

Off-stage, she followed up her vision in this Facebook Live interview, where she answered questions from the public and explained to the Forum's Adeyemi Babington-Ashaye how she'd like to see Africa evolve.


Graca Michel wasn't the only advocate of women's potential at the meeting:

If you'd like to find out more about the state of gender equality in Africa, take a look at this video explainer.


Tomorrow's debates will cover everything from financial services to the digital revolution and agriculture. All the themes of the meeting are explored in depth in a series of blogs on our website, which you can read here.

The World Economic Forum on Africa is taking place in Kigali, Rwanda from 11 to 13 May.

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