Ahead of the 23rd World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, Malawi President Dr. Joyce Banda advised her nationals to take farming as serious business. She made the appeal before departure at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre for the WEF running from Thursday May 9 2013 under the theme ‘delivering on Africa’s promise’.
According to WEF, the assembly offers a platform for delegates to deepen Africa’s integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development, and it is expected that the participants would engage on issues such as strengthening the continent’s competitiveness, creating inclusive and sustainable growth, and accelerating infrastructure development and economic diversification.
A 2013 Global Competitiveness Index shows that South Africa is leading in Africa when it comes to economic competitiveness as it proudly stands at 52 out of 144 countries with Mauritius at 54 and followed by Rwanda on number 63. Botswana, Gabon, Morocco, Namibia, and Seychelles follow on the ladder, in that order, but the report exposes Africa as contributing 14 out of the 20 world’s least competitive economies.
WEF Chief Economist Jennifer Blanke describes ‘competitiveness’ in this regard as an extent to which countries have in place institutions and factors to make them productive, and the information is released by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Denmark Foreign Affairs Ministry.
President Banda told Malawians before departure for the summit that she was obliged to attend considering that agriculture is one of the issues to be discussed. And looking at the fact that the meeting is also being conducted in preparation for a June 2013 G8 summit that Malawi will also be required to attend.
The Malawi leader, who Thursday told delegates in Cape Town that her country has made commendable reforms aimed at providing better environment for doing business disclosed, told her countrymen that her country is the fifth nation chosen by the G8 block to be assisted on issues of agriculture.
At the summit President Banda said that her government is ready to support investors in the agriculture sector and that her government was strengthening livestock production as a way of boosting Malawians income.
Ethiopia hosted the 22nd Forum in Addis Ababa and focused on leadership, innovation and shared opportunities as well as increasing investment in frontier markets.
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