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AfricaMoney | November 5, 2016

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World Economic Forum meets in Cape Town to discuss future prospects for Africa

World Economic Forum meets in Cape Town to discuss future prospects for Africa

The World Economic Forum, currently being held in Cape Town, convenes business experts from Africa and the rest of the world to address issues on the African Continent as well as to debate progress and future prospects of the continent, including discussions around developing the Blue Economy. (Image: Company)

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa has brought together business and finance experts from Africa and the rest of the world to take stock of the progress made over the last 25 years, as well as share insights on the present landscape and identify innovative approaches to bring about sustainable development in the future.

On 04 June 2015, a session pertaining to “Where Next for Africa’s Frontier Markets?” was convened,where it was noted that African capital markets attract only about 1% of global private equity flows. In the face of such an insignificant share, it is critical to find answers to important questions such as: ‘How can the region’s capital markets deepen and broaden?’ In addition, the  forum seeks to address the critical paradigm of integrating and harmonising cross-border market regulation under sessions titled:“Increasing long-term corporate and government bonds”and “Advancing initial public offering activity.”

The appended picture shows a discussion panel at the WEF, which has proposed action along the lines ofsupportive regulatory frameworks, that it noted are critical for capital markets across the continent, as well as the need to commit private wealth to reduce cost of business for SMEs.

04.06.15-WEF 2

Other discussions during the day will revolve around “Designing Smarter Cities” which is a session that seeks to addresshow cities can be designed to be more liveable, inclusive and sustainable. The session’s objective is to promote the importance of urban planning, develop green strategies for pollution and rethink traffic gridlock.

Moreover, sessions will also be held around “Catalysing Capital for Africa”which encompasses far-reaching queries such as – “How can we finance inclusive growth and prosperity in Africa?”  The session also seeks to address issueson creating enabling investment environments, blending finance across industries and de-risking new market opportunities.

There will also be a discussion around“Launching the Blue Economy”, which could prove to be of great benefit for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Mauritius, Seychelles and Cape Verde. It may be noted that Africa’s bodies of water, comprising its blue economy, are three times the size of its land mass.What actions are needed to drive the sustainable management of the oceans, seas and lakes? In the course of the session, additionalparadigms to be addressed include ideas to unlock growth and employment opportunities, managing maritime trade and security, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability and integrity.

Finally, another important topic that will be raised is:“Africa Mining Vision: How can transformations in the mining industry deliver genuine shared value?”with session objectives being to leverage mining demand for energy investments, strengthen contract negotiation as well as maximize revenues and local content.

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