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

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid