2013 World Economic Forum on Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. WEF is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

The Africa program is held annually in May in rotating African cities and engages African head of states, business leaders and academic scholars in various topics directly related to African growth and development.

The 2013 edition will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from May 8th to the 10th, 2013.

Kofi Annan - Opening Plenary - World Economic Forum on Africa 2009
Kofi Annan – Opening Plenary – World Economic Forum on Africa 2009

The theme of this year is Delivering on Africa’s Promise.

With an expected annual growth of 5% in 2012-2013, sub-Saharan Africa continues its transformative journey from a developing continent to a hub of global growth. According to the World Bank, almost half of Africa’s countries have attained middle-income status. At the same time, the continent’s positive outlook is threatened by fluctuating commodity prices, rising inequality and youth unemployment. To build on its achievements, Africa’s leaders need to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness, foster inclusive growth and build resilience in a volatile global environment. Accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking talent are critical success factors in this new leadership context.

Under the theme “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”, the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa will provide an important platform for regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to deepen the continent’s integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development by addressing the following themes:

  • Accelerating Economic Diversification
  • Boosting Strategic Infrastructure
  • Unlocking Africa’s Talent
Goodluck Jonathan at the World Economic Forum on Africa
Goodluck Jonathan at the World Economic Forum on Africa
Ebrahim Patel at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2011
Ebrahim Patel at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2011



Highlighted agenda topics for this year include:

Mapping the African Growth Landscape
What sectors and industries hold the most promise for growth and diversification in the next decade?

Agriculture: Investing in Transformation
How are partnerships in the region accelerating investment in agriculture?

Digital Technologies: Unlocking Transformational Growth
With over 650 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa, how are communication technologies catalyzing open, sustainable and inclusive development in the region?

Click here for a full program list.


For several reasons, attending the World Economic Forum conference has been a goal of mine for several years. Though I will not be attending this year, my plan is to make it happen within the next year or two. There’s so much to learn and gain from attending this forum, I can’t even begin to put it into words.

The World Economic Forums occur in various regions around the world. For example, this year, there is also a Latin American program occurring in Lima, Peru and a Middle East and North African forum occurring in Dead Sea, Jordan.

Cost of attendance can be steep and is often by invite only or through a corporate sponsor. However, even if one cannot attend in person, it is very worthwhile to read the transcripts after the conference to stay abreast of economic developments around the world.

World Economic Forum 2012
World Economic Forum 2012


Will you be attending?

Related posts: