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January 2021 edition

WEF Africa: Good news for SA and African continent

Written by Neo Semono

International relations

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, which was held in South Africa recently, has been described as a tremendous success by President Jacob Zuma.

The 25th WEF Africa took place from 3 to 5 June, under the theme “Then and Now: Re-imagining Africa’s future”.

The gathering, which was attended by political leaders, businesspeople, youth and civil society leaders from across the globe, discussed important issues of investment and infrastructure development in Africa.

South Africa also used the WEF Africa to showcase the country’s attractiveness as a business destination, as well as that of the African continent.

The South African delegation, which was made up of Cabinet Ministers, Premiers, Deputy Ministers, Mayors, Brand SA Ambassadors and businesspeople, used the opportunity to market the country.

President Zuma said WEF Africa would have a positive impact on South Africa and the African continent.

“It has been a successful forum and it was one of the best World Economic Forum on Africa meetings. We can confidently say we are happy as South Africa because we have achieved something for ourselves.

“The message was clear that South Africa and the African continent are ideal investment destinations and they are open for business,” said President Zuma at the close of the forum.

He noted that WEF organisers and participants from across the globe had praised South Africa for the manner in which the forum was hosted.

“The WEF itself has said the participants in this forum were more active and forthcoming than in any other forum and this shows that many people are interested in South Africa and they are taking South Africa as a serious global player.”

The President said the meeting also showed that interest in Africa was growing.

“The continent is now able to speak more clearly about investment, there is now more clarity on infrastructure projects that are awaiting investment,” the President said.

President Zuma added that infrastructure had taken centre stage in many international forums and the forum on infrastructure development in particular received attention.

“During the forum there was a strong view that no country can develop optimally without proper infrastructure.

“Investors and governments are able to see that there is better coordination of infrastructure delivery and development finance institutions are coming on board and there's political commitment by African leaders to invest more on infrastructure,” he said.