Top stories from day two of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017

Ally Angula, co-founder and managing director of Leap Holdings, Namibia

Anna Bruce-Lockhart, Editor, World Economic Forum

This article is part of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017


  1. President Zuma calls for economic equality

“As leaders, we have not addressed adequately how we are going to close the gap between rich and poor in the world and achieve meaningful, inclusive growth,” South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma told participants in Durban.

The president also said that more needed to be done globally to combat “economic crimes” such as money-laundering and profit-shifting.

2. What does values-based leadership look like?

Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, is a man who has met many leaders. But none impressed him as much as Nelson Mandela, a man who, he says, “incorporated three important values”. These are:

1) Respecting human dignity and diversity.

2) Serving the community more than self interests.

3) Being a trustee for future generations.

3. A three-point plan to end famine

Winnie Byanyima, Executive-Director of Oxfam, outlined the essential steps to avoid needless deaths from famine, as the continent faces concurrent crises in north-east Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia.

First, governments had to put pressure on fighting groups and bring them to the table for peace. Second, fighting parties had to respect the rules of war and allow humanitarian workers to help people. And third, the international community must stop selling arms to conflict zones, and ensure that the aid it promises is actually delivered.

Image: Economist

In the same session, Dyborn Charlie Chibonga, CEO of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi, said small farmers held the key to more resilient agriculture. “The future belongs to the organized,” he said. “We need to organize and scale up the ideas that are working on the African continent. That means scaling up small-holder farms as businesses.”

4. Meet Africa’s gay imam

Muhsin Hendricks has founded a mosque where LGBT Muslims can worship in peace, away from the condemnation of orthodox faith leaders, many of whom see homosexuality as a sin. Read more about his work, and his relationship with the Muslim community, here.

5. Africa’s most competitive economies

Africa is brimming with brilliant, educated young people. In fact, with the number of working-age people expected to grow to 450 million over the next two decades, Africa’s engines of job creation are struggling to keep up. The result could be a worsening crisis of youth unemployment.

According to the Africa Competitiveness Report 2017, published today, Africa needs to push forward structural reforms that boost productivity and create more opportunities. Some countries are already doing that better than others. Here’s a list of the top performers:

6. The flying doctor delivering emergency healthcare

After losing her sister because of a lack of emergency care, Ola Orekunrin launched Nigeria’s Flying Doctors, a network of helicopters ferrying medics to overlooked rural areas.

7. Forest Whitaker on saving lives in South Sudan

“Youth are the nation. They will build it and rebuild it,” the artist and UNESCO Special Envoy told an audience in Durban, where he was speaking on the plight of South Sudan, a war-torn nation where the majority of people are under the age of 30. “There is a passion and an energy that young people have that makes them a catalyst for change.”

The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative trains young men and women to break the cycles of violence and oversee educational projects in their communities. You can watch the full press conference here, or find out more about the work of his foundation in this article.


Originally published at www.weforum.org.