Ethiopia will host the next edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as it hopes to attract more investments. The East African nation will become the first country in Africa to host the annual summit, which brings together business and political leaders across the globe, usually held at Davos in Switzerland.
The announcement was made following a meeting between the country’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed and Prof Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF, at this year’s ongoing summit.
“The PM & Prof. Schwab have discussed the importance of a collaborative approach among government, the private sector, civil societies in addressing key global challenges. They agreed that Ethiopia will host WEF in 2020,” the Prime Minister’s Office twitted.
This marks a significant milestone for the African nation credited with remarkable economic reforms and transformation championed by Prime Minister Abiy since taking office last year.
Abiy woos investors
In related developments on the sidelines of the 2019 summit, Abiy met with and called upon investors in Davos to take advantage of the huge business opportunities available in the country.
The Ethiopian leader, who was attending the summit for the first time, met the interim President of the World Bank Group, Kristalina Georgieva.
“PM Abiy appreciated the robust & strong technical & financial support & asked for the support of the World Bank Group to be sustained. The World Bank Group remains Ethiopia’s reliable partner for development finance & expertise. The Parties shared views on a new pipeline of projects that have both regional and national dimensions,” the Office said.
During his meeting with Bill Gates, co-Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he thanked Gates for the work of the Foundation in health, agriculture and state capacity building. They further agreed to enhance cooperation in Agriculture irrigation and technology sector.
The Prime Minister also met with Jack Ma, Chair of the Alibaba Group. They both discussed the future of disruptive technologies in markets & society. Jack Ma agreed to consider potential investment in a tech city in Ethiopia that will impact the daily lives of the people in the region.
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.
The annual Davos World Economic Forum is the gathering of over 1,000 business and political leaders across the globe, to chart fresh pathways for global economic growth. Africa will be hosting the WEF for the first time since the inception of the summit in 1974.
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