Record participation for 20th World Economic Forum on Africa

(PresseBox) (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, ) .
- Eleven African heads of state/government will take part in the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa in Dar es Salaam next week
- Tanzania's President Kikwete to host the meeting, which will feature around 1,000 participants
- Learn more about the programme here: www.weforum.org/africa
- Watch the video message with President Kikwete of Tanzania and Professor Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum announced today that nearly 1,000 participants from 85 countries will participate in the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa in Dar es Salaam, 5-7 May 2010. President Kikwete will host the meeting, which this year explores the theme "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy". President Kikwete said: "Africa is a continent full of potential. Africa has been growing despite the economic instability that is facing the world today. We will have the opportunity to examine the strategy of Africa for today to ensure that there is a better tomorrow."

"2010 is a special year for both the World Economic Forum, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Africa meeting, and Africa, which is marking 50 years since the start of the independence movement that transformed the continent's geopolitical landscape," said Katherine Tweedie, Director, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum. "It is fitting to celebrate this milestone year by hosting the Africa meeting for the first time in East Africa, with the strong support of His Excellency President Kikwete, and the government and business community of Tanzania. At this pivotal point, as Africa and the rest of the world seek answers to the economic crisis, the meeting will bring together leaders under the theme 'Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy' to find real solutions."

The economic crisis has acted as a wakeup call to speed up implementation of longdiscussed reforms. Emerging markets, including those in Africa, are among the first to show signs of a recovery and are forecast to increasingly contribute to global growth in the next decade. The meeting will provide leaders with a platform for how they are facing up to the challenge and using the crisis as an opportunity to redesign a sustainable roadmap for Africa's future.

Heads of state/government from Africa who have confirmed their participation include Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon; Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya; Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia; Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; Boni Yayi, President of Benin; Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa.

Other leaders who will participate include, Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda, Prime Minister of Tanzania; Ali Mohammed Shein, Vice-President of Tanzania; Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Tunis; Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance of South Africa; Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva; Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank, Washington DC; and Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, New York.

The Co-Chairs of the 2010 World Economic Forum on Africa are Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HCL Infosystems, India; Kuseni Douglas Dlamini, Chief Executive Office, Old Mutual, South Africa; Pat Davies, Chief Executive, Sasol, South Africa; Joergen Ole Haslestad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International ASA, Norway; and Anna Tibaijuka, Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Nairobi.

In addition, the Forum's Young Global Leaders Summit will be held concurrently in Dar es Salaam and will integrate over 200 of the world's top young leaders in the meeting. Discussions will address how African nations are managing relations with key economic partners, with an increasing trend towards greater South-South cooperation. As Africa joins India and China in crossing the billion person mark, its young population, natural resources and market potential are catalysts for significant future growth and development.

Participants as well as the public are invited to join the Davos Debates in Africa: What is your vision for Africa and what opportunities and barriers does the continent face? The Davos Debates are designed to open the discussion about the future of the region to the wider public, who is invited to share questions and ideas about the region's most pressing challenges. At the meeting, the Davos Debates video corner will provide participants, including presidents and business leaders, with the opportunity to respond via video to the questions submitted by YouTube users. This is the third year that the World Economic Forum has opened its meetings to video submissions from the general public. The videos have become an integral part of the debates at Forum meetings.

The meeting will kick off with a highly interactive brainstorming session which will examine the changing global landscape and identify the opportunities that can unlock Africa's growth potential and the barriers to social and economic progress in the coming year.

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and notforprofit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (http://www.weforum.org).

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