AddisFortune: Ethiopia has been selected to host the next World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa.
The announcement of the venue for the 22nd WEF on Africa was made at a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on Friday, May 6, 2011, marking the end of the three-day international conference on Africa’s development theme, “From Vision to Action, Africa’s Next Chapter.”
Ethiopia was chosen for its emerging promise of economic growth, according to Zemedeneh Negatu, managing partner and head of Transaction Advisory Service for East Africa at Ernst & Young (E&Y) in Ethiopia.
Zemedeneh attended the meeting in Cape Town as part of the five-member Ethiopian delegation led by Hailemariam Desalegn, deputy prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
“Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and Africa’s second most populous country with a deep culture and history,” said Robert Greenhill, managing director and chief business officer (CBO) of Forum Africa. “Many of our members are extremely interested in the opportunity to get a view of what is going on in that exciting country. We are very confident that the Addis Abeba meeting will be very successful.”
The WEF, a global discussion forum for major political, economic, social, and environmental issues, are typically attended by the who’s who of global current affairs.
Over 900 participants from more than 60 countries are expected to visit Addis Abeba for the meeting that is slated to be held from May 9 to May 11, 2012, according to Dina Mufti, spokesperson for MoFA.
Seven of the fastest growing economies in the world over the next five years will be in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to Katherine Tweedie, director of Forum Africa. These will include Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Ghana, she claimed.
Over the past five years, Ethiopia’s overall real GDP saw rapid growth at an average annual rate of 11pc. Agriculture, industry, and services registered average annual growth rates of 8.4pc, 10pc, and 14.6pc, respectively.
Ethiopia started the fight against poverty in 1994/95 when close to 49.5pc of the total population was under the poverty line, according to the country’s report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Following the implementation of the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS), poverty levels steadily declined to reach 38.7pc in 2004/05, and declined to 30pc in 2009/10.