The New York Forum Africa 2013 is underway in Libreville in Gabon. It’s the second time the Forum has met in Africa since its beginnings in New York in 2010.
The Forum brings together business leaders and policy makers committed to making Africa a key player in the world economy.
More than 700 people are attending, including seven African heads of state.The focus this year is on how to turn opportunities for investment into actual enterprise.
Ivor Ichikowitz is the founder and executive chaiman of Paramount Group South Africa. He is passionate about the positive changes he sees happening in Africa:
“For many many years, people have spoken about the rise of Africa and it’s been just about to rise. The reality is that Africans are now taking responsibility for their own future, and now the result is it really has become a reality. The fact that the world is flooding into Africa goes to prove this”.
Also high on the agenda, is how to keep the best young minds and talents from leaving the continent.Henri-Claude Oyma is the CEO of BGFI Bank whose headquarters are in Gabon. He believes it’s essential that young Africans are at the forefront of developing opportunities:
“Africa has a young population, that’s very important, and it has important mineral resources. So from now on, the emergence of Africa is not a choice but a necessity. A necessity, because African youth, because Africans, must live in Africa and so, as a result, develop Africa by their own means.”
Euronews correspondent François Chignac is at the Forum and says delegates are optimistic about the future of Africa’s economy:
“While Europe is eaten up with doubt, and its economy is at half-mast, the irony is that it’s here in Africa that there is a green light. The economic emergence of Africa is no longer a myth but a reality, and from now on people will come in droves to ride the wave of Afro-optimism.”