Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will be a Co-Chair for this year’s World Economic Forum Africa, which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, between 9th and 11th May 2012.
Ethiopian-born Geleta will be co-chairing the Forum with six other high-level global figures, including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank.
As the representative for civil society, Geleta will take the stage in a number of high-level panel events and address an expected 700 participants from 70 countries – largely from the African political and business sector.
“This will be a great opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with some of the leading figures in government and industry,” said Geleta.
“Representing civil society at the World Economic Forum Africa is both a great honour and also a great responsibility, it is crucial that issues relating to long-term investment, poverty reduction and food security solutions for Africa are brought to the table.
Bringing the Forum to Addis Ababa marks a real shift in the perception of Ethiopia by the international community; a gradual understanding that this is a continent of potential and opportunity, and not just misfortune and intractable problems.”
Throughout the three day Forum, which has a central theme of ‘Shaping Africa’s Transformation’, Geleta will be a keynote panellist for discussions on political stability, youth, and Africa’s future in the world economy. He will also contribute to a number of other sessions and, on the final day, will feature in the World Economic Forum’s ‘An Insight, An Idea’ event, in which he will lead a conversation with the audience on how Africa’s transformation could be shaped.
“It will be crucial that, amongst this gathering of elite and influential leaders and business figures, people are the focus, we need to promote and strengthen the idea of people-centred development,” added Geleta.
”By strengthening and supporting civil society and through partnerships and investment in long-term development, political stability and economic prosperity will come. We have to break this endless cycle of poverty and hunger in Africa and start approaching the problem in a new and collaborative way.”
Alongside Geleta’s participation in the World Economic Forum Africa, he will also mark World Red Cross Red Crescent Day on May 8th by paying a visit to the Addis Ababa branch of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.
World Economic Forum Africa