I was honoured last week to attend the 2017 World Economic Forum on Africa, which was held in Durban in South Africa. The forum welcomed some of the greatest regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society, who came together to explore solutions to create economic opportunities for all.
Under the theme Achieving Inclusive Growth through Responsive and Responsible Leadership, the forum provided insight from leading experts on how Africa will be affected by the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
A new platform project, called South Africa Internet for All, was also launched and aims to bring millions of South Africans, including those in rural areas, onto the Internet for the first time through new models of public-private collaboration.
These discussions showed that Africa has huge potential, but that a lot still needs to be done in terms of infrastructure and especially in the area of “Internet for All” in order for Africa to fully benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
When it comes to the Travel and Tourism Industry; a proper African Open Skies policy would foment investment and benefit travelers. However, more needs to be done in terms of airport infrastructure, air traffic controls, and especially airport taxes. Added to this, governments need to help by facilitating visa requirements and processes in order for intra-African and regional travel to grow.
Corruption in Africa also needs to be dealt with, as South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized in his closing speech, where he challenged ‘all African leaders to stand up against corruption’.
Said Ramaphosa: “People are demanding that we as leaders must be so accountable that we should not mismanage resources, we should not be corrupt and we should be absolutely committed to improving the lives of our people.”