IN PICTURES: The World Economic Forum and Africa over the years

Mandela credited the first WEF Africa meeting with inspiring his reversal of ANC policy on nationalisation of the mining industry.

WORLD Economic Forum (WEF) meetings are convened so that political, business, and civil society leaders can come together to discuss global, regional and industry challenges in the spirit of public-private cooperation. 

Every year regional meetings take place in Africa, enabling close contact among corporate business leaders, local government leaders and NGOs. By learning lessons from the past, and bringing together the greatest minds of the present, the Forum seeks to act as Africa’s trusted partner in transformation as it faces the challenges that will shape its future.

Here we take a look at some of the continent’s participants and the issues they’ve addressed since the World Economic Forum’s first Africa meeting took place in Geneva in 1990. 

South African President F. W. de Klerk meets with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 1992 in Davos, Switzerland. This was their first joint public appearance outside South Africa and a milestone in the country’s political transition. Mandela chose Davos to make his first speech on South Africa’s economic future under the ANC and credited the occasion with inspiring his reversal of ANC policy on nationalisation of the mining industry.

Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, captured during the Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa, June 4, 2008 

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and Harish Manwani, President, Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Unilever, United Kingdom, at the Plenary on Africa as the World’s potential Breadbasket at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa, June 11, 2009.

Julie Gichuru, Group Digital Business manager and TV Host, Royal media Services, Kenya facilitating discusion on changing global landscape and identifying the opportunities that can unlock Africa’s growth potential and barriers to social and economic progress in coming years at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 5, 2010. 

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa dances during the session “A Conversation on the Future of Africa” at the Congress Centre at the Annual Meeting 2010 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2010

Eleni Gabre-Madhin (CEO, Ethiopia Commodity Exchange), World Economic Forum on Africa 2010 at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 6, 2010.

Jakaya M. Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, New York, at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 7, 2010. 

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations (1997 - 2006), Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, with Graca Machel, captured during the Africa Progress Panel Report during the World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 held in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank, Washington DC, captured during the Building South-South Relations session at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 held in Cape Town, South Africa, 4-6 May 2011

Morgan Tsvangarai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, during his press conference on the SADC summit and State of Affairs in Zimbabwe during the World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 held in Cape Town, South Africa, 4-6 May 2011

Elsie Kanza, Director, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum, Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013

Participants discussing “Accelerating Economic Diversification” at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013.

Nkosana D. Moyo, Founder and Executive Chair, Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), South Africa; Global Agenda Council on Population Growth reflects during the session “Africa Context- Building Resilient Institutions” at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2013

Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony. Patrick Awuah, Ashesi University, Ghana at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria 2014

Animal art decorates the World Economic Forum Africa, 2015

All images courtesy of the World Economic Forum/flickr.

-IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RMB.

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