At the ongoing annual summit of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nigerian business leaders Tony Elumelu and Aliko Dangote are expected to participate in a number of high-level panels all geared at promoting the African private sector. These discussions are expected to add flesh to the theme of this year’s summit, “The New Global Context.”
This year’s event sees a whole new level of strategic and proactive engagement from Africa, and this makes sense given the increasingly complex global problems of today’s world. Against the backdrop of volatile, interconnected global challenges, Africa can pose a veritable solution.
Mr Elumelu is expected to participate in, at least, 5 sessions at the summit, one of which he will co-chair with Mr Dangote. At the others, he will participate with the likes of Alpha Conde, President of Guinea; Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Kandeh Yumkella, Under Secretary-General and Special Representative of the United Nation and other African heads of state.
Three of these sessions will be to “brainstorm” global trends. They include “Confronting the Challenge of Catastrophic Outbreak” where critical lessons from the Ebola epidemic will be gleaned, “Closing the Energy Gap in Africa” which seeks to explore innovative financing mechanisms and policy interventions that can provide sustainable energy on the continent and “Unlocking Global Institutional Capital for Africa” where the world’s biggest brands, potential investors and key international business partners will converge.
Other sessions include “Heirs Holdings Celebrate Africa Cocktail Party” which is a special invitation-only networking session and the “Africa Energy Leaders Group Press Conference” geared at building momentum for a sustainable energy transition in Africa.”
Tony Elumelu and Aliko Dangote, both from Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, represent some of the richest nationals and most generous philanthropists on the continent. Together, these two have donated, a minimum of $190 million to charity and continue to establish funds and initiatives to better the lot of African entrepreneurs.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has assembled more than 2,500 participants from 140 countries, hundreds of journalists, an estimated 40 heads of state, and other politicians. Additionally, an estimated 1,500 business leaders from the world’s top global companies are reported to be in attendance. Overall, these prominent personalities have flown in about 1700 private jets to Davos.
By Emmanuel Iruobe