World Economic Forum On Africa Opens In Abuja
The World Economic Forum on Africa is opening in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday with participants, including Heads of Governments and Statesmen, CEOs of global firms, leading financiers and policy and development technocrats, from over 80 countries attending.
It is the first time that the forum is holding in West Africa and Africa’s largest economy is hosting the event that equally attracts global players.
Ahead of the forum, preparations reached top gear on Tuesday with the Nigeria Police Force increasing presence in the capital city and surrounding towns.
The security measure is necessary to ensure that participants are safe, after a bomb attack in Nyanya area of the Federal Capital Territory on May Day, suspected to have been carried out by members of the Boko Haram sect, triggered fear of insecurity in the capital city.
The Nigerian president in a Media Chat on Sunday assured the international community of safety, saying the government has put adequate security measure in the city.
The venue of the conference also has a heightened presence of security operatives who have been deployed to various strategic locations within and outside the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Many participants arrived on Tuesday from within and outside the country and so many have been registered.
All participants attending the forum that will end on May 9 have been asked by the planning committee to wear their access badges at all times.
The forum is the 24th edition of the event, with the theme, ‘Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs’.
Briefing the press on Monday, the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said that the theme of the forum was apt, considering Nigeria’s need to grow its economy with a vision of being among the top 20 economies of the world by 2020. She also said that the Nigerian government was looking to use the forum to seeks ways of impacting needed skills in the unemployed youths to make them employable.
It is the culmination of the efforts of Nigerian firms like the Dangote Group, The First Bank Group, Oando and The Nigerian Stock Exchange who are increasingly active in the World Economic Forum and the recent engagement of the organisation by the Federal Government of Nigeria and its economic team. More importantly, it is a reflection of the growing attraction of Nigeria to international capital as one of the world’s most rewarding new markets, following recent painful but highly rewarding set of economic reforms.
These regional and global leaders will discuss innovative structural reforms and investments that can sustain Africa’s growth while creating jobs and prosperity for all its citizens.
Africa’s remarkable growth trajectory is projected to remain above 5 per cent in 2014 with West Africa the fastest growing sub-region, representing the continent’s largest business opportunity.