| A call to action
1-3 June 2005, Cape Town, South Africa
The Summit focuses on the recent Commission for Africa report. The report is a strong call on the G-8 to boost African efforts to improve governance and institution-building by doubling aid. This will have an unprecedented impact on African constraints in trade, infrastructure and capacity.
Read the Summit report.
Mbeki: time for Africa to seize the moment
Power to the people
A new brand for a new Africa
Investing in better African business
Aid to Africa: how to spend it
Creating win-win solutions in the African supply chain
Africa is open for business
South African business praised for HIV response
Water Business Alliances to develop Africa water projects
Perspectives on Africa
Mbeki: time for Africa to seize the moment— South African President Thabo Mbeki has called on the developed world to deliver pledged resources to Africa as business leaders at the Africa Economic Summit formally pledged to invest in growth on the continent, a key tenet of the Commission for Africa Report.
"What must happen now is that the necessary resources are committed. The Commission for Africa Report should be very useful in getting the G-8 to make specific commitments to turn rhetoric into reality," Mbeki told hundreds of participants at the close of the Africa Economic Summit.
"Let's give President Mbeki something to take to [the G-8 summit next month in] Gleneagles," said Lazarus Zim, Chief Executive, Anglo American Corporation of South Africa, referring to a 'Business Endorsement of Recommendations of the Commission for Africa', signed by almost 400 African private sector leaders at the Summit.
"We must step up to the plate rather than wait to be asked," said Niall FitzGerald, Chairman, Reuters. A priority action for business after the Summit should be continued business support of the Commission for Africa.
Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller, United Kingdom, urged African governments to "create a level playing field and then get out of the way" to let the business of Africa be business.
Session summary I Press release I Business Endorsement of the Recommendations of the Commission for Africa
Power to the people— "1.6 billion people in the world do not have access to energy and 30% of these people live in Sub-Saharan Africa," said Carlos Poñe, CEO and Head of Sub-Sahara Region, ABB Holdings at the Africa Economic Summit. He discussed cheap ways to connect people to power in off-grid communities, one of the goals of the Energy Poverty Action (EPA) task force of the World Economic Forum.
The EPA task force was initiated by a group of eight energy CEOs during the 2005 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos with the aim of contributing to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on energy.
"The solution is a model where sustainability is at the core and has to be independent from further aid dispersement," said Anders Ellegard, Senior Analyst, Renewable Energy, Environment and Socio-Economic Issues, SwedPower International, also an EPA member.
One major challenge is to reach the many isolated communities. "Lesotho is 90% rural in terms of distribution of the population," noted Monyane Moleleki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lesotho. He praised the initiative of the EPA.
A new brand for a new Africa— Africa is a changing continent, declared Lazarus Zim, Chief Executive, Anglo American Corporation of South Africa and Co-Chair of the Africa Economic Summit. It needs to trumpet its successes and build a new brand based on the many good things now happening on the continent.
The value of friends in other countries as brand ambassadors for Africa was highlighted by Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of Shanduka Group, South Africa. "The greatest success can be found in getting those who support our cause to help us build [Africa's] brand and tell our story as it should be," he said.
Pat Davies, Chief Executive Designate of Sasol outlined the role the private sector can play. "Governments and local business must work together. The more we locals invest, the more we will encourage foreign investors and so build this brand," he told participants in the plenary session.
Session summary I Press release
Investing in better African business— Participants at a packed session devoted to the NEPAD Investment Climate Facility (ICF) largely agreed that facilitating investment will best be done by breaking down the barriers that hinder trade and free flows between African countries.
Demba Ba, Sector Manager, Private Sector Development, World Bank, said the IFC was a new instrument to address investment climate issues. He posed the question of whether the ICF should focus on improving the economic data on which countries base their economic programmes.
Sir Nicholas Stern, Director, Policy and Research, Commission for Africa and Second Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury, United Kingdom, said participation in the ICF should allow African countries to change the perspective of the G-8. Fresh perspectives are crucial to improving the investment climate of the continent.
Aid to Africa: how to spend it— The Commission for Africa has recommended doubling or trebling aid flows to the continent. But do existing financial institutions and governments in Africa have the capacity to absorb aid? "Yes" was African leaders' answer.
President of Tanzania and a Commissioner of the Commission for Africa, Benjamin William Mkapa, said aid had noticeably helped his nation expand the education and health deployment systems and infrastructure development.
Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance of South Africa and a Commissioner of the Commission for Africa, told hundreds of participants in the Summit that the Commission proposes to maximize the predictability and coordination between donors and recipients so that there is adequate accountability. He stipulated that aid must be untied.
On the issue of debt relief, Steve Booysen, Group Chief Executive, Absa Group, South Africa, said: "You are putting your ratings at risk if you accept debt relief". He made the point that a country's credit rating and consequently its future investment flows is tarnished by debt relief.
Press release I Session summary
Creating win-win solutions in the African supply chain— It was a time of sharing and learning for participants at a session devoted to winning supply chain formulas in Africa. It is in businesses' interest to operate in a way that serves more than the bottom line and meets some of the basic needs of the local community, participants agreed.
Gareth Ackerman, Chairman, Pick 'n Pay, South Africa, shared his company's experience of jewellery training centres which ultimately led to more skilled and wealthy customers for the giant supermarket chain.
Embracing and uplifting communities to become partners with business should be part a company's strategy, said Dennis Burton, Member of the Executive Team and General Manager, Sales, South African Eagle Insurance Company, South Africa.
Africa is open for business— Africa is on the move and open for business, declared corporate and political leaders on the opening day of the Africa Economic Summit in South Africa. There was acknowledgement of the Commission for Africa's call for the private sector to play a pivotal role as a driver of the continent's economic regeneration.
"African business is ready and willing to take up the challenge," Sam Jonah, President and Director, AngloGold Ashanti, South Africa, told some 700 participants from 42 countries participating in the Africa Economic Summit.
Trevor Manual, Minister of Finance of South Africa and Commissioner of the Commission for Africa, challenged the international community to relieve Africa's debts: "Unless you close the gate, you won't have sufficient resources for development."
The key short-term milestones along Africa's development path, said Paul Boateng, High Commissioner Designate of the United Kingdom to South Africa, will be the Millennium +5 meeting, and the next Doha Round of trade negotiations in Singapore.
Session summary I Press release
South African business praised for HIV response—
South Africa-based companies lead the way in the response to HIV/AIDS according to a World Economic Forum study of 1,552 companies being shared at the Africa Economic Summit. 91% of South African firms have an HIV/AIDS policy in place, however the study shows there is little room for complacency across the continent.
On average, African companies are not responding quickly enough to the epidemic, as only 38% have either a written or informal HIV/AIDS policy in place and up to 93% already feel the impact of HIV/AIDS on their revenues, according to the study.
Press release I Survey I Session summary
Water Business Alliances to develop Africa water projects—
Political, business and civil society leaders have decided to engage the private sector in tackling Africa's water problems by launching Business Alliances in Uganda and Mozambique. The alliances will serve as a catalyst for the development of water projects with the involvement of the private sector and serve as a model for other African countries.
The decision was taken by the World Economic Forum's Africa Water Project Exchange as African leaders participated in the Africa Economic Summit in South Africa. "Africa's water problems can only be solved in cooperation with business," said Uganda Minister of State of Water Maria Mutagamhba, who also chairs the African Ministerial Council on Water.
Perspectives on Africa
"Let's give President Mbeki something to take to [the G-8 summit next month in] Gleneagles,"Lazarus Zim, Chief Executive, Anglo American Corporation of South Africa
"If there was any more of Africa we'd be investing in it."Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller, UK
"I don't like how Africa is branded...The reality is that the landscape is changing immensely in terms of democratization and accepting the need for accountability, delivering growth and creating an investment climate in our countries."Benjamin Mkapa, President of Tanzania; Commissioner, Commission for Africa
"Women are the backbone of Africa and the Millennium Development Goals cannot be reached without addressing their problems and making them part of the solution."Hilde Johnson, Minister of International Development of Norway
"Business cannot be divorced from the community in which it operates."Gary Ralfe, Managing Director, De Beers Group of Companies, South Africa
"We lack capital and skilled manpower and by supporting the creation of capital in our countries we could contribute to developing more people and resources."Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique
Niall FitzGerald, Chairman, Reuters, United Kingdom; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum
Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller, United Kingdom
Lazarus Zim, Chief Executive Officer, Anglo American Corporation, South Africa