By Victoria Ruzvidzo
The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa begins here today with Zimbabwe and other African participating nations expecting to deliberate on issues that will shape the continent’s future in terms of sustainable development, innovation, digitisation and governance.
President Mnangagwa arrived here yesterday to attend the meeting, which dovetails with Zimbabwe’s economic diplomacy thrust popularised by the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra.
The meeting will see the convergence of at least 1 000 regional and global leaders in politics, business, civic society, media and the academia.
Under the theme: “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Future in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the meetings comes at a time when the continent is seeking solutions to overcome challenges such as economic inequality, rising unemployment and a growing youth population demanding a fair share of the cake.
Statistics show that by 2025 half of the continent’s population will comprise the youth, hence the need to take serious consideration of this demographic in its development discourse.
Women also need to be given space as key partners in development.
The meeting is expected to launch an Africa growth programme to facilitate enterprise development through securing effective funding from investors and institutions. Funding constraints have affected business growth in most economies on the continent.
WEF Africa 2019 will also explore new models to help the continent achieve success at a time when technology is creating economic and societal shifts.
Other areas of focus here include skills and education, ocean economy, free trade and commerce, and the effects of the drone technology on economies.
A number of Heads of State and Government are expected to attend the three-day meeting.
Zimbabwe is expected to seize the opportunity to enunciate its thrust to the world through the Forum. Already commentators believe hat the representation a the highest level will augur well for the country.
The country has always courted significant interest at such forums with many seeking to understand developments in the southern African country, especially under the administration of President Mnangagwa.
This latest fixture should work in the country’s favour as it seeks to court investors to inject fresh capital in the economy in pursuit of Vision 2030 – to attain Upper Middle Income Status.