6 May 2011

Africa: Ethiopia to Host 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa

Photo: Matthew Jordaan
The World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 held in Cape Town, South Africa, 4-6 May 2011.

Ethiopia will host the next World Economic Forum's Africa meeting a year from now. At a press conference in Cape Town, Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said he is delighted that the WEF - host of a high-level global conference in Davos, Switzerland, each January - has chosen his country for its annual Africa conference. He said all attendees, including journalists, will be welcome.

The status of journalists in Ethiopia became an issue at the press conference when a Nairobi-based correspondent said journalists are abused and harassed by the Ethiopian government. He questioned whether opposition parties would be welcome at the conference and asked for guarantees that human rights and freedom of expression would be respected in Ethiopia. The deputy prime minister responded that the questioner's facts were wrong, saying that a distinction must be made between legal opposition and parties affiliated with armed struggle and terrorism. "Ethiopia is an island of stability" in the Horn of Africa, he said, and the rule of law must be observed.

Ethiopia is predicted to have one of the world's fastest growing economies over the next decade. Among the reasons for holding its Africa forum in Addis Ababa, said a WEF spokesperson, are that it is a diplomatic hub - including hosting the African Union, it is extending development to the rural poor, with lessons for the rest of Africa, and it has never been colonized.

More on This

'Tellers and Cashiers' of Africa's Wealth Are Key to Development

When it comes to development policies, alongside all the statistics of hunger and need, and the totals of dollars spent,… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2011 allAfrica.com. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.