News / Africa

World Economic Forum to Open in Nigeria

Peter Clottey
World leaders, including several African heads of state and government will gather this week in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, for the World Economic Forum.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland the World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world, by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

This is the first time a West African country will host the conference.

“The World Economic Forum views itself as a partner in Africa’s transformation," said Elsie Kanza, the World Economic Forum head of Africa. “Our annual meeting which is [involves] the gathering of communities of leaders to engage and address issues of opportunities or challenges that are facing the continent.”

There are more than 15 current and former heads of state and government who will attend the conference, according to Kanza.

Critics say the World Economic Forum often attended by African leaders has become an ordinary talk-shop, which they contend has failed to come up with solutions to improve African lives.

But Kanza says the World Economic Forum is cooperating with African leaders to come up with solutions to address challenges the countries face.

“We have been working on an agricultural related initiative called Grow Africa and just over the last two years, we have had [a] $7 billion investment commitment ... mobilized for the last two years, and this has already translated to $1 billion actually being invested.  And more impressively, a majority of this investment comes from African companies.  It is translating into jobs and is changing the lives of farmers,” said Kanza.

The investment, Kanza says, has created 33,000 jobs and has directly impacted 2.6 million small-holder farmers in a positive way.

Some experts say Nigeria could benefit from the focus and attention that the World Economic Forum will bring on the country especially, after the West African country overtook South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy.

Kanza outlines some of the impact the meeting could make on the continent.

“The focus of our meeting is to revisit growth by paying attention to how we can ensure that the majority of Africans can participate in the growth process as well as the benefit from the outcome,” said Kanza. 

“We are discussing [and] placing stronger emphasis on this is the role of women and the economic empowerment of them.  Without peace and security, it is difficult to make progress in any respect as well as human rights.”

Some Nigerians have expressed worry the recent surge in insecurity across the country, including the abduction of students as well as bombings in Abuja, could mar the conference, despite the government’s assurances to improve security during the meeting.

But Kanza says she has been assured by the administration of improved security during the forum.

“The government of Nigeria is very concerned about security over all for the country not just for the conference ...  the government is putting in place major security measures to ensure that the meeting takes place peacefully,” said Kanza.
Clottey interview with Elsie Kanza, World Economic Forum Head of Africa
Clottey interview with Elsie Kanza, World Economic Forum Head of Africai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sir Abali, Innocent, Jp from: Nigeria, Rivers State
May 07, 2014 1:11 PM
Well, terrorism is now a global issue, and that can't stop Nigeria States and other African States from cross fertilization of ideas on how to move the continent forward. Those seeking on to kill innocent children should understand that one day they live to pay for it. Wishing all the delegates successful celebrations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid