Africa’s leaders are missing in Davos but the continent still manages to get good mention
Many of Africa’s leaders are missing at the 2020 annual meeting of the world economic forum in Davos bout the continent of over one billion people is still managing to get a mention among the elites gathered here.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is missing and so is his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa and the continent’s flag is being flown by President Masisi of Botswana.
European Union leaders say they will soon unveil a new pragmatic mechanism for dealing with the continent to promote better governance, transparency, bolster institutions and cut corruption so the aid money pouring into the continent can work better.
There was a major session on Africa on the first day of the meetings in which Masisi participated, calling attention to the slow emergence of young dynamic leaders in a continent controlled for decades by the sit tight leaders who did nothing to promote the cause of their people.
On Wednesday another session on Africa held with Bryant Ojiakor, chairman of Seplat as one of the panelist and among the audience were Angela Emuwa, Chairman of Punch, Onyeche Tifase, CEO of Siemens Nigeria and Oscar Onyema CEO of the Nigeria Stock Exchange.
It was perhaps the most optimistic of all the sessions on Africa and it wound up with focus on what the moderator called greenshoots and there were quite a few.
Ojiakor spoke of the rise of African indigenous firms in the oil industry and especially in Nigeria where they now account for some 15% of daily oil production. The ratio is better in the gas sector he said.
Other speakers called attention to the youth bulge as well as a new tendency in the continent to bring down barriers to trade via the free trade agreement.
There is also the growing hope from Ethiopia which is hosting the 2020 WEF Africa meetings and whose young Prime Minister is pushing political and economic reforms that will see the country’s GDP growing 10% in 2023.