It was a World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa like no another as thousands of delegates from around the world descended on Cape Town, South Africa from the 4th-6th September. They were there to strike deals, see what the best of Africa had to offer and how its economies are performing. For example, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Namibia’s President Hage Geingob and Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube went into detail during their interviews with CNBC Africa at the World Economic Forum Africa on how their Southern African counties are open for business.
The delegates were also there to discuss and devise polices on “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, a subject both South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Nigeria’s Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II where particularly passionate about.
But while inside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CITCC) things were cordial it was outside the CITCC where the real action was happening.
Hundreds of protesters gathered against gender-based violence, and members of the Nigerian delegation departed on the first day of WEF Africa in protest against the xenophobic violence that rocked the country. Even South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa had to take time out of his busy schedule at WEF Africa to address the continent and investors on these matters.
Delegates at the event spoke out strongly against Afrophobia during their interviews with CNBC Africa, such as:
- AngloGold Ashanti’s Sipho Pityana on how SA is dealing with xenophobic attacks
- South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor: SA embassy shut in Nigeria – Buhari still to visit
- The African Union Commission’s Albert Muchanga: on how mutual tolerance is key in trade, xenophobia & Africa’s shared future.
On the final day WEF Africa was also marked by the passing of an African villain and liberator, Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe, both inside and outside the CITCC people remembered him.