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World Economic Forum on Africa focuses on continent's transformation
                 English.news.cn | 2012-05-08 15:58:44 | Editor: C_Luan

World Economic Forum on Africa focuses on continent's transformation

ADDIS ABABA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- More than 700 participants from over 70 countries are scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa from Wednesday to Friday in Ethiopia to address the continent's transformation and seek solutions to challenges facing the land.

Africa is on the brink of a major transformation in which regional leaders are mulling measures to sustain the relatively fast economic development when the West is grappling with recovery.

Over the last decade, the continent, which was often associated with poverty, hunger and disease, is home to six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies. The number is expected to rise to seven in the five years to 2015, according to the projection by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"Africa is emerging as a major growth opportunity in the world, " Elsie Kanza, WEF head of Africa, told a conference held in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday.

The World Bank forecast the growth rate of gross domestic product for the sub-Saharan Africa to be 5.3 percent for 2012 and 5.6 percent for 2013, higher than the 4.9 percent for 2011. The IMF put its estimated growth rate for the region at 5.5 percent for 2012.

"Right now we are seeing a stagnation of global economy, but the outlook for Africa is still very high," Kanza told Xinhua after the conference, adding the growth spurt over the past decade is expected to continue.

Despite the increasingly volatile global economy, African leaders are pursuing measures that will transform the region into the next global growth pole, she said. The forum will be a platform for them to develop new ideas and actions to achieve "further sustainable and inclusive growth," she added.

According to the organizers, eight African heads of state or government among 90 public figures will take part in the forum, including top leaders from Nigeria, Gabon, Djibouti, Rwanda, Tanzania and others.

Africa's economic rise has been boosted by exports of raw materials including oil and gas, which makes the economy vulnerable to price volatility.

"For growth to be more sustainable, we need to diversify the economic drivers, we can't be dependent on single commodities, and particularly primary commodities," Kanza said.

She said the political and business leaders at the forum will discuss how to move forward the environment and the activities that relate to value addition for more manufacturing in the continent and how to reduce barriers to investment in new areas such as retail, telecommunication and financial service.

Africa's promising economic prospect makes it an attractive investment opportunity, she said.

The WEF touches topics on Africa's transformation and is expected to generate new ideas to achieve further development on the continent.

Under the theme "Shaping Africa's Transformation", the Meeting' s agenda will integrate three pillars: strengthening Africa's leadership, accelerating investments in frontier markets, and scaling innovation for shared opportunities.

"Africa is experiencing strong growth and despite the increasingly volatile global economy, African leaders are pursuing measures that will transform the region into the next global growth pole. In this context, the WEF on Africa will seek to leverage the positive political, economic and social progress of recent years by providing a true multistakeholder platform to develop new ideas and actions to achieve further sustainable inclusive growth," said Kanza.

The meeting also attracts 61 Global Growth Company participants, more than 35 media leaders, and more than 30 young leaders from Young Global Leaders and Global Shaper Communities.

 综述:世界经济论坛非洲会议聚焦非洲转型

 

新华网亚的斯亚贝巴5月7日电(记者马述昆)第22届世界经济论坛非洲会议将于5月9日至11日首次在埃塞俄比亚举行。在欧美经济危机阴云未散之时,非洲经济持续发展无疑是一大亮点。届时将有来自70多个国家的超过700名代表参加会议,聚焦非洲经济转型和发展。

当前,非洲正处于重大转型的关键时期。近年来,非洲继续呈现较快经济增长势头,面对国际金融危机冲击,仍保持相对稳定的增速。这块大陆正在摆脱“贫穷”、“饥饿”和“疾病”的长期困扰,逐渐成为全球最具发展潜力的地区之一。

“非洲正成为具有重大发展潜力的大陆。非洲国家的领导们正在探索如何将非洲打造成下一个世界经济的增长极,”世界经济论坛非洲事务负责人埃尔西·坎扎告诉记者。

“非洲已经从依靠国外援助来维系发展,成长为当今世界发展不可缺少的伙伴,”他说。

数据显示,过去10年间,全球范围内10个增长最快的经济体中,有6个是非洲国家。国际货币基金组织预测,2011年到2015年间,全球经济发展最快的10个国家中将有7个来自非洲,包括埃塞俄比亚。

世界银行日前发布报告指出,尽管全球经济持续动荡,新兴经济体增长趋于放缓,但撒哈拉以南非洲地区今年预计经济表现良好。报告预测2012年撒哈拉以南非洲地区国内生产总值或将增长5.3%,预计明年为5.6%,均高于2011年的4.9%。国际货币基金组织预计该地区今年经济增长5.5%。

然而在高增长背后,是以出口资源和能源等原材料和初级产品为支撑的经济增长模式,非洲仍未能建立有效的经济内生增长机制。这导致非洲出口产品结构单一,附加值不高,易受国际市场价格波动影响。

“非洲需要多元化其经济增长的推动力,不能仅仅依靠单个商品的出口尤其是初级产品的出口,需要思考如何建立一个良好的环境来发展高附加值产品,”坎扎说。她同时呼呼非洲各国打破投资壁垒,大力发展制造业、零售业和金融服务业。

坎扎说,作为今年世界经济论坛非洲会议的东道主,埃塞俄比亚就是非洲经济增长的典型例子,同时埃塞俄比亚是撒哈拉以南非洲第二个人口大国,其在发展中面临的挑战也代表着非洲其他国家面临的挑战。

据主办方介绍,今年的世界经济论坛非洲会议将围绕三个主题展开讨论,分别是加强非洲领导能力、加快前沿市场投资以及加大创新。坎扎说,来参加论坛的700多名代表中,约有500名是商业领袖,还有8名非洲国家领导人,包括尼日利亚、加蓬、卢旺达等国总统。

 

 

 

(Note: The above is the same story reported in English and Chinese respectively, and is not literal translation.)

 

 

 

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World Economic Forum on Africa focuses on continent's transformation
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