Geographies in Depth

What to expect from the World Economic Forum on Africa 2019

The very bottom tip of Africa is imaged here as captured by the crew of the International Space Station on April 3rd, 2016. South Africa's capitol Cape Town is located at the bottom left of this beautiful Earth picture captured on a sunny day.

Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa, as seen from the International Space Station. Image: NASA

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum Geneva
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This article is part of: World Economic Forum on Africa

It's home to almost half of the 40 fastest-growing emerging and developing countries and has the youngest population of any continent: so how can Africa build on its potential?

That's what the more than 1,000 regional and global leaders from politics, business, civil society and academia will discuss at the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa, from 4-6 September.

Many of Africa's leaders will be in Cape Town for #AF19 whose theme this year is "Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution". The agenda will cover four key areas: innovation, sustainable development, digitalization and governance.


What is the World Economic Forum on Africa?

A leg up for start-ups

While young Africans are 13% more entrepreneurial than the global average, start-ups on the continent are 14% more likely to fail than elsewhere in the world. That’s why the World Economic Forum will launch the Africa Growth Programme at #AF19, a new platform to bring enterprises together with investors and institutions, helping them secure smarter funding. Among the 29 entrepreneurs heading to the meeting are fintech start-up Flutterwave and Evergreen, a Tanzanian company recycling waste plastic into furniture.

Meet the co-chairs

Helping guide talks on Africa’s regional priorities are: Sipho M Pityana, Chairman of AngloGold Ashanti in South Africa; Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Geneva; Jeremy Farrar, Director of the UK-based Wellcome Trust; André Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman of Roche, Switzerland; Ellen Agler, CEO of The END Fund; Jim Ovia, Chairman of Nigeria’s Zenith Bank; and Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman of AT Kearney.

Inspiring stories

Beyond the political and business leaders, delegates will include Africans with unique stories that could help inspire others, such as Peter Tabichi, who won this year's Global Teacher Prize for his success teaching science in a remote part of Kenya; South African model and activist Thando Hopa, who has changed the way albinism is viewed in Africa and beyond; and Yetnebersh Nigussie from Ethopia, who has won global acclaim for her work on disability rights.

Image: Brent Ninaber on Unsplash

How can I follow #AF19

Here, on the Forum's Agenda platform and across social media, using the hashtag #AF19. Many sessions will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel and our homepage where we'll be running a liveblog.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Geographies in DepthGlobal CooperationLeadershipFourth Industrial RevolutionSustainable Development
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