Malawi Pres. Banda to attend World Economic Forum on Africa’s economic diversification

Malawi President Dr Joyce Banda will join fellow leaders at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town in South Africa from May 8 to 10, 2013.

According to Presidential Press Secretary, Steven Nhlane, the Malawian President and global leader will map out ways of how to speed up economic diversification, boost strategic infrastructure and unlock Africa’s talent.

Meeting under the theme “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”, the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa will provide an important platform for regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to deepen the continent’s integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development.

The World Bank says Sub-Saharan Africa, expected to grow at 5 percent in 2012/13, needs to build on the transformative strides it has made from a developing continent to a hub of global growth.

President Banda: To attend World Economic Forum
President Banda: To attend World Economic Forum

Mwangi Kimenyi the director of the Africa Growth Initiative who will be the Rapporteur of one of the key plenary sessions, “Mapping the African Growth Landscape,” scheduled for May 9 said “Delivering Africa’s Promise” theme for the Forumis informed by the good economic performance that African countries have recorded over the past decade but with the realization that the benefits of growth have not reached many of the people.

“Growth has occurred amidst increasing inequality and joblessness, especially among youth. In essence, the good economic growth has not really made a difference to the livelihoods of millions of Africans,” said Kimenyi.

Malawi’s economy is expected to grow by 4.9 percent in 2013 from 1.9 percent last year. It is projected to grow by 6.1percent in 2014.

According to the bank, half of Africa’s countries have attained middle-income status. But at the same time, the continent’s positive outlook is threatened by fluctuating commodity prices, rising inequality and youth unemployment.

“To build on its achievements, Africa’s leaders need to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness, foster inclusive growth and build resilience in a volatile global environment,” says the bank.

The organisers of the forum are partly funding the President’s attendance at the summit, according to State House.

Among the many African leaders who are attending are Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa was established in Davos, Switzerland in 1990. Since then, the Forum has brought together thousands of world leaders, government officials, business executives and policy experts to discuss the various opportunities and challenges that Africa faces in pursuit of improving the continent’s economy and quality of life of her inhabitants.

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