Representatives from across the continent will be in Madrid on Friday as Spain hosts the annual “Africa Forum” in partnership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Victor Harison, the African Union Commission’s head of economic affairs, will join OECD and Spanish leaders in welcoming remarks delivered ahead of a first session on African economic growth. Organizers note that despite the world’s second-fastest growth rate, the possibilities offered by a common market, and a talented and rapidly expanding population, the continent may not be ready for rapid change.
“With pervasively low levels of productivity and a lack of skilled labor, most African firms remain ill-equipped to withstand the competition of global players,” the OECD explains. “How can governments create the conditions for the private sector to grow its muscle, create the decent jobs and supply the quality goods the continent needs?”
That session will feature a panel with ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Togo, and will be led by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, the head of the Women for Africa Foundation.
A second session welcomes global guests from industry and economic development agencies, among them Zephanie Niyonkuru of Rwanda Development Board, to explore challenges Africa faces in reaching international markets.
Image: Casa Árabe