Expo 2020 Dubai chief says Africa represents the future – not just for Africans, but for the entire world
For the first time in the 170-year history of World Expos, every African nation will participate with its own pavilion at the Dubai edition, which opens in October.
Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase the continent’s vast potential – including its innovations, business opportunities and incredible art, culture, heritage and natural beauty.
For six months from October 1, more than 190 participating nations, including every country in Africa, will gather in the UAE to broaden horizons and exchange ideas that inspire action to tackle real-life challenges and spur positive change.
Expo 2020 is expected to open up new markets, offering an unrivalled opportunity for African countries to reach an international audience, seek investments and forge new partnerships that will reinvigorate their economies.
Africa’s participation at Expo 2020 is testament to the long-standing friendship between the UAE and Africa, a statement said.
Africa’s population of more than 1.3 billion is predicted to double by the middle of this century, potentially rising to four billion people by 2100.
How the continent embraces its accomplishments and overcomes its challenges – from the global health pandemic to climate change, sustainable food supplies, and equal access to the basic human rights of education, digitalisation and healthcare – will have enormous implications in the continent and beyond.
Reem Al Hashimy (pictured above), UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Africa is the future – not just for Africans, but for the entire world. The youngest, fastest-growing continent on the planet is brimming with promise, and the global community has a shared responsibility to ensure it grasps that opportunity for the good of us all.
“Huge strides have been made since the Organisation of African Unity was founded in 1963, and we will continue that momentum at Expo 2020, where Africa and everything it has to offer will be accessible to the world in new and unexpected ways – encouraging connections, boosting collaborations and helping drive widespread progress and prosperity.”
Visitors to Expo will be able to taste Ethiopia’s next big super-grain and chocolate from Ivory Coast, invest in Kenya’s croton nuts energy and explore Gabon’s space ambitions.
They will witness Rwanda’s remarkable transformation into a tech-centric hub and model of African progress, discover how Ylang Ylang drives the perfume industry in the Comoros, and how Seychelles’ pioneering blue bond has set the agenda for creative ways to safeguard our oceans.
In another first, the African Union will host a pavilion at Expo 2020 – a colourful arena devoid of national borders that will highlight the continent’s vast potential and ambitions, reflected in its Agenda 2063 aspirations that address agriculture, transport, science and technology, and health.
Dr Levi Uche Madueke, Commissioner General of the African Union at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “With our rich natural resources, ingenuity and youthful population, there are many potential areas for growth. Africa has a lot to offer. It is time for us to reach out to the world, for the world to understand us and see how they can collaborate with us. Expo provides the best platform for us to tell this story and promote a continent that is ready to move forward and a secure place to do business.”
Many African nations have already revealed glimpses of the exciting programming they will bring to Expo 2020.
Visitors to the Ethiopia pavilion will meet a replica of ‘Lucy’, the world’s oldest human fossil, while Nigeria will share its Afrobeat music and burgeoning ‘Nollywood’ film scene as it showcases the abundance of opportunities available in its agriculture, manufacturing, minerals, ICT, energy and creative industries.
Expo 2020’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability go to the heart of the future aspirations of Africa – ensuring jobs, education and healthcare for all, easy and equitable access to transport and ideas and balancing development with preserving the environment for future generations.
Expo Live also supports projects offering creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives or help preserve the planet. The programme is providing funding, guidance and exposure to 140 grantees from 76 countries, including 36 grantees that are making a significant impact in Africa.
Source: Arabian Business