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13 Heads Of State, 1,000 Delegates, In Abuja For Economic Forum
Caption: From Left: First Lady, Patience Jonathan; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; President Goodluck Jonathan and the First Lady Of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, at the Presidential Villa In Abuja on Monday
No fewer than 13 head of state and over 1,000 delegates are expected to participate in the three-day World Economic Forum, WEF on Africa holding in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital for the first time beginning from Wednesday.
Director, head of Africa, Elsie Kanza, disclosed this at a pre-event briefing on the WEF on Monday in Abuja.
She said the number was one of the largest the forum had witnessed in the many years it had been hosted in different countries.
“We are expecting over a thousand participants from over 70 countries, more than half will comes from African countries and many will come from the business communities, NGOs and religious groups,” she said.
She listed some the country’s head of states that would be participating as China, Republic of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Rwanda, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Niger and the U.S.
She said that Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa has a great role to play in the region to ensure positive economic growth.
According to her, Africa by 2040 would have a larger work force than china.
The major focus of the forum would be on how best to ensure that Africa with its positive growth rate could be inclusive, by ensuring that citizens participate in making decisions that can help change communities, as well as establishing better business modules that can help create jobs.
Kanza noted that 59 per cent of African youths were unemployed, adding that private sector participation would help to create job opportunities.
The forum will also discuss security, especially against the backdrop of the abduction of school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
The federal government has assured all delegates that adequate security measures would be put in place during the forum.
Public offices and schools have been mandated to close down from Wednesday, May 7 to Friday May 9, to ease traffic during the forum in the capital territory.