Pretoria – South African President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-powered government delegation to the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting taking place in Cape Town from 3-5 June.
In a statement released by the presidency on Sunday, it said Zuma would be accompanied by 12 ministers and a deputy minister, five provincial premiers and the mayors of metropolitan municipalities as well as several business leaders to help showcase South Africa and explore opportunities at the meeting.
Under the theme, “Then and Now: Re-imagining Africa’s Future”, the 25th World Economic Forum on Africa will convene African and global leaders from government, business and civil society to take stock of progress over the last 25 years, share insights on the present landscape and identify innovative approaches to accelerate inclusive growth while bringing about sustainable development in the future.
The participants include vice-presidents, prime ministers, former heads of state and government, ministers as well as chairmen and CEOs of global companies.
“South Africa will use the WEF to showcase the country’s attractiveness as a business destination and that of the African continent in general,” the presidency said. “The President and his delegation will engage business leaders in various sessions to share the competitive advantages and respond to questions raised.
“The meeting will also be used as an important listening forum by government to take notes on issues of concern to business. These will be taken forward in government’s formal interface with South African business, the Presidential Business Working Group, Presidential Small Business Working Group and the National Consultative Forum on the Mining Sector.”
South Africa would market the country within the context of the National Development Plan, the presidency added.
The National Development Plan is a long term plan to develop an inclusive economy, create jobs, enhance the capacity of the state and promote partnerships throughout its society. According to the presidency, the aim of the NDP was to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. It also committed the country to invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium and long-term economic and social objectives.
The NDP also highlighted the importance of Africa in South Africa’s development.
The presidency said South Africa would seek investment in the following job drivers which would be marketed during the WEF;
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries
Mining and beneficiation,
Manufacturing including the incentives provided by government in various sectors for investors
The green economy
The ocean economy
South Africa will showcase the ocean economy through the Operation Phakisa delivery model where four priority sectors had been selected as New Growth Areas in the ocean economy, with the objective of growing these and deriving value for the country and creating jobs. These were:
(a) Marine transport and manufacturing activities (such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment);
(b) Offshore oil and gas exploration;
(d) Marine protection services and ocean governance.
The presidency said Zuma would be accompanied at the WEF on Africa meeting by the following Ministers;
The Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, who would be the lead minister
The Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe;
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane;
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor;
The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele;
The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan
The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa
The Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel,
The Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi,
The Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson
The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina representing Dr Rob Davies.
The Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu, of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle, of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas and North West, Supra Mahumapelo would also form part of the government delegation.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille will also attend, as will Buffalo City (East London) mayor Zukiswa Ncitha, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Mayor Mondli Gungubele, Ethekwini Metropolitan Mayor James Nxumalo, newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan and City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.
“We are pleased and honoured that WEF has chosen our country to host West Africa this year. Both government and the business community welcome the opportunity to showcase our country. South Africa is open for business. The South African delegation will emphasise this message to business from both Africa and the world and showcase the enormous opportunities in our country,” Zuma said.
WEF Africa is the first of two major events South Africa is hosting in June, with the 25th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union set to take place in Gauteng from 7-15 June.
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