WEF-Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Africa: With Government and Business Leaders Arriving in Cape Town for This Month's World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF-Africa) Summit, Omar Ben Yedder Provides a Preview of What Will Be One of Africa's Most Crucial Meetings of Recent Times

By Yedder, Omar Ben | African Business, June 2009 | Go to article overview

WEF-Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Africa: With Government and Business Leaders Arriving in Cape Town for This Month's World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF-Africa) Summit, Omar Ben Yedder Provides a Preview of What Will Be One of Africa's Most Crucial Meetings of Recent Times


Yedder, Omar Ben, African Business


Last year, the talk at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Africa meeting was of a continent becoming an interesting and exciting investment destination. Oil prices were hitting record highs, commodity prices were booming and stock markets were peaking. There was a renewed optimism even if certain challenges still remained, such as the food crisis and a return to higher inflation in oil importing countries.

This year the mood will undoubtedly be more sober. The realities on the ground are that Africa finds itself at a critical juncture, seeking to ensure it can continue on the growth path of the past decade. This year, the agenda is very much focused on the short-term solutions needed to deal with the impact of the global economic crisis without losing track of the long-term priorities.

The key points will be:

Agriculture

One of the co-chairs of this year's WEF will be Kofi Annan, who is also the chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra).

Agriculture will continue to be an important topic and will, in fact, be the subject of the main plenary sessions, which Annan will be chairing. The question will be whether Africa can become a leader in agriculture, capable of feeding itself and also become a breadbasket for the rest of the world, bearing in mind the limitations surounding water, climate change, land ownership, access to technology and sourcing finance investment.

Last year, the focus was on spiralling food prices, and the food crisis which ensued.

This year the WEF will continue addressing this issue and discuss ways of averting a future food crisis, whilst looking at the realities of agriculture and the constraints of climate change.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Finance

Financial institutions can be the major agent for change in Africa. On the back of the Africa Competitiveness Report, which discusses access to finance in Africa, the WEF will have a number of sessions to tackle this issue, looking at it across the different strata (sovereign level, institutional level and a grass-roots level).

One session, entitled A New Capital Equation, comprising an all-woman panel, will discuss the changes in capital flows into Africa, from Official Development Assistance (Aid) to remittances, as well as traditional Foreign Direct Investment. With Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid and an ex-World Bank and Goldman Sachs economist, this promises to be a lively debate.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Another session, called Innovative Financing for Africa's Growth, will examine more specifically how microlending, sharia finance and new venture capital can play a bigger role in funding larger enterprises as well as the African entrepreneur.

Africa Competitiveness Report

This year's WEF Africa will see the official launch and release of the Africa Competitiveness Report. Jointly authored in partnership with the African Development Bank and the World Bank, the report looks in detail at the individual competitiveness of 40 African countries. The report covers major ongoing issues; healthcare, education systems, energy and upgrading infrastructure (particularly transport infrastructure). There are also interesting findings from chapters detailing case studies on access to finance, trade and protectionism.

Protectionism

Many of the topics for discussion at the WEF Africa have been selected as a result of debates WEF holds with leading decision makers throughout the year. A recurring theme from businesses across the sub-regions, from Nigeria to Kenya, Egypt to South Africa, was that of protectionism. The Forum will hold a session to discuss whether it is to Africa's benefit to implement a more protectionist stance to protect some of its nascent industries, or whether it should open up its markets completely and adopt an absolute free market approach.

The Chairs

The chairs of the discussion groups are drawn to create a broad international representation with Jiang Jianqing, chair of ICBC Bank; Graham Mackay, chief executive SAB-Miller; Soud Ba'alawy, executive chair of Dubai Group; Kofi Annan of Agra; and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, MD of the World Bank and former foreign affairs and finance minister of Nigeria. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

WEF-Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Africa: With Government and Business Leaders Arriving in Cape Town for This Month's World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF-Africa) Summit, Omar Ben Yedder Provides a Preview of What Will Be One of Africa's Most Crucial Meetings of Recent Times
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.