World Economic Forum Coming To Africa For The First Time: Ethiopia To Play Host

By  |  January 28, 2019

Ethiopia will be hosting the World Economic Forum next year, accommodating political leaders, business executive and decision makers in international organizations from around the world.

The main event is usually held in Davos, Switzerland. Other regional, minor events are, however, held in Asian, African and Latin American locations. As the outcome of a meeting between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and WEF founder Professor Klaus Schwab, the 2020 edition of the forum will be held in Addis Ababa.

While being the first African country to host the event, Ethiopia again carries the flag for the continent and records a great milestone for economic opportunities. With hopes to attract more foreign investors and attract more investments, Ethiopia’s business scenes are being scintillated in a myriad of ways.

At the 2019 Davos event, Abiy Ahmed is reported to have hed talks with world leaders. Interim President of the World Bank, President Kristalina Georgieva, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Alibaba leader Jack Ma were among the attendants who the Prime Minister urged to identify investment opportunities in Ethiopia. That marked the second time the country expressed interest to facilitate the international summit.

Reiterating Ethiopia’s plans to liberalize the previously state-controlled sectors of telecommunications, banking, and aviation among others, Abiy pledged to do more to make it easier to do business for anyone planning to invest in Ethiopia.

“In order to enforce our up word trajectory and achieve even more rapid and sustainable growth, Ethiopia has embarked on a comprehensive reform process since last April,” he said.

WEF is expected to bring benefits not just to Ethiopia but the East African region, by way of the league of world leaders that would be visiting the country. Hospitality, transport, security, and tourism make the top of the list for the business segments expected to be impacted positively by the forum.

Since WEF’s inception in 1974, this is the first time it will be coming to Africa. There have been opinions spread around that Davos isn’t quite delivering anymore for the forum, which has likely prompted the change of environment.

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