Delegation to participate in WEF discussions on investment, Africa’s development, and the Just Energy Transition.
Johannesburg, 11 January 2024 | South Africa will fly its flag to mark 30 years of democracy with a series of events at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Klosters, Switzerland. This was at a send-off breakfast to announce the delegation held in Johannesburg today. The forum takes place from January 15th to the 19th.
The South African delegation comprising government, business, and civil society leaders will be led by the Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana. He will be joined by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Mondli Gungubele, Minister of Electricity Kgosientso Ramokgopa, and Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla.
The business delegation will include business leaders and captains of industry for various sectors, including the financial sector, telecommunications, mining, agriculture, agro-processing, and green energy, among others.
Brand South Africa, the country’s official marketing agency, has partnered with Old Mutual and South African Breweries (SAB) and Naspers to support the program and build on the success of the recent post-pandemic, in-person attendance of WEF.
“We are proud and ecstatic that South Africa’s voice will be heard in Davos,” says Brand South Africa’s Acting CEO Sithembile Ntombela. “With three decades of democracy, South Africa has transformed into the most industrialized and diverse economy on the continent. Our presence at Davos aims to highlight the country as a competitive business and investment destination.”
Ntombela describes WEF as a global platform that drives private-public cooperation and gives South Africa a chance to add its voice to discussions about global issues.
The program of the 54th Annual Meeting of WEF will discuss critical issues across four interconnected thematic priorities: 1) Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World; 2) Creating Growth and Jobs for a New Era; 3) Artificial Intelligence as a Driving Force for the Economy and Safety; 4) A Long-Term Strategy for Climate, Nature, and Energy.
The Annual Meeting will offer new and upgraded platforms for dialogue, building stronger partnerships, and developing agile policy frameworks. It will also offer possible solutions on the effective deployment of technologies that can lead to practical and implementable gains for society, across both short-term and strategic horizons.
Ntombela adds that public–private partnerships are critical in elevating South Africa’s voice at WEF. It is for this reason that we are grateful for our partnership with Old Mutual who are on board for the second year, South African Breweries, and Naspers. The partnerships help to showcase some of the best that South Africa has to offer.
Ian Williamson, the CEO of Old Mutual says, “We are honored to be part of impactful discussions at WEF. We look forward to exploring how collaboration can help the continent address challenges such as the energy supply challenge, high inflation, stagnating or low growth, as well as the climate crisis.” Williamson says Old Mutual is particularly excited to tap into the continent’s youthful entrepreneurial energy and has helped invest in start-ups.
Richard Rivett-Carnac, the CEO of South African Breweries says, “As the biggest brewer in Africa, we believe that beer is an engine for economic growth and development. In a study we commissioned in 2022 on the country’s beer sector, we found that 1 in every 66 jobs in the country was linked to economic activity in the beer industry. WEF serves as an opportunity to share our approach to contributing to South Africa’s domestic growth by leveraging the power of partnerships and local sourcing, with 95% of our raw materials being sourced locally. We feel honored to be part of the South African delegation and look forward to engaging in meaningful ways to drive positive, sustainable economic development.”
“2024 is a pivotal year for South Africa. We have to use South Africa’s democracy to mobilize the necessary investment to help realize our National Development Plan goals and to create inclusive growth. The World Economic Forum is a critical platform to drive these conversations and for us to showcase what South Africa has to offer as a business and investment destination. We are excited to help drive this engagement and partner with the government in helping our country grow,” said Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers.
South Africa will report on its progress in implementing economic reforms, promote the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, and report on its Just Energy Transition Investment Programme (JETIP). The country will also highlight how it intends to use the expanded Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa bloc (BRICS) to drive development on the continent through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Brand South Africa, in partnership with the abovementioned partners, will be responsible for managing the Team South Africa program on the sidelines of the Forum.
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About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotis