Tuesday 8th May 2012 - Addis Ababa/Geneva: Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General of the International Federation of 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 Mr Geleta will be co-chairing the Forum with six other high-level global figures, including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Mr Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. As the representative for civil society, Mr 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."
Video stream from the first plenary session
Throughout the three day Forum, which has a central theme of 'Shaping Africa's Transformation', Mr 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 Mr 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.
About WEF Africa
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the second most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa and a prime example of the continent’s fast-growing economies. Home to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa will offer an exceptional opportunity to bring together global and pan-African leaders to shape the region’s transformation.
For full details of the World Economic Forum schedule please click here
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil¬lion people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
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