CAPE TOWN - More than 3,000 participants from over 110 countries will descend on Davos in the Swiss Alps next week to discuss key issues, including the growing need for inclusiveness amid a period of instability brought on by technological disruption and the realignment of geo-politics and economics.
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 takes place under the central theme "Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution".
Among the participants are South African head of State Cyril Ramaphosa who leads a delegation made up of representatives from government, business and labour as he seeks to attract investment to kick-start a stuttering economy.
Ramaphosa will be joined in Davos by other continental leaders, including Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minster of Ethiopia, Faiez Al Serrag, Prime Minister of Libya, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, and Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe.
Other international leaders who will be in attendance this year include Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation 2019 and Federal Councillor of Finance of Switzerland, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, Wang Qishan, Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy, Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, Barham Salih, President of Iraq, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria, Ivan Duque, President of Colombia, Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jacinda Ardem, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, Martin Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo, President of Peru, and Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Viet Nam.
In a statement, WEF said the annual meeting will be looking to identify new models for peace, inclusiveness and sustainability to suit a world where further global integration is inevitable and where existing models of global governance struggle to foster concerted action among the world’s powers.
"This fourth wave of globalization needs to be human-centred, inclusive and sustainable," said Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF.
"We are entering a period of profound global instability brought on by the technological disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the realignment of geo-economics and geopolitical forces. We need principals from all stakeholder groups in Davos to summon the imagination and commitment necessary to tackle it."
The programme of this year's annual meeting has been organised in a series of global dialogues, including on geopolitics in a multiconceptual world, the future of the economy to better reflect the structural changes inherent in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, on industry systems and technology policy to define the principles for new and emerging technologies to ensure that they are underpinned by a values-based framework, on human capital and society to revisit the notion of work and well-being and to move away from consumption and materialism to a more humanistic focus, and
Among other notable global leaders from business and civil society who will be attending are Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Roberto Azevedo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, Denis Mukwege, Founder, Panzi Foundation and 2018 Nobel Peace Laureate, Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, Marco Lambertini, Director-General, WWF International, and Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GF).
The Annual Meeting takes place 22-25 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, and brings together more than 3,000 leaders from business, government, civil society, academia, arts and culture, and media, as well as the foremost experts and young leaders from all over the world.
- African News Agency (ANA)