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From Live-Aid to a lion economy

Posted by Ethio Tribune on May 12, 2012

Three decades ago, the likes of Bob Geldof came to the rescue of millions of famine-stricken Ethiopians. Fast forward to the present, over 700 global mover and shakers of which 500 plus were corporate leaders descended on Addis to claim their share of the investment pie that Africa offers.

The 22nd World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa brought together politicians and business leaders who rather seemed to be worlds apart from each other for the three days the forum ran. From the corporate bigwigs of global heavyweights like Walmart to Africa-based investors like the Dangote group, from global humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross to UN agencies global players congregated at the forum. Aside from the main panel discussions and formal talks, members of the business community as well capitalized on the sideline business talks as the forum provided the platform to cement business deals, agree on sought after joint ventures and secure valuable partnerships. In fact, no wonder the price tag to attend the forum was 3,500 Swiss francs. According to reports, even though the business community in Ethiopia had shown at the preparation stage an interest to participate, they a large number changed their mind after learning of the steep entrance fee. Among the sideline discussion in the forum was the one between former British PM Gordon Brown and the Ethiopia’s PM Meles Zenawi. The two deliberated on the education sector performance in Ethiopia. Brown praised the Ethiopian education sector saying that it is in a better position compared to other African countries. Furthermore, he also said that Africa’s foreign direct investment to the rest of the world, which currently stands at 2 percent, should increase given its potential.

(Ethiopian Reporter)

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