South African president Jacob Zuma
Tunis, Tunisia – The eighth African Economic Conference, jointly organized each year by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), holds in Johannesburg, South Africa, 28-30 October.
According to a press statement, the conference, whose theme is “Regional Integration in Africa”, will bring together top policy-makers, heads of state, leading researchers and experienced development practitioners from Africa and around the world.
It said that participants will discuss issues arising from African countries’ efforts to pool resources and integrate their economies for the development of their regional and individual economies.
The conference will examine the efforts being made in different sectors and areas, including finance, road transport, power pools, water resource management, fiscal convergence and labour mobility, the statement indicated.
It said discussions will focus on issues specific to middle-income countries and those peculiar to fragile states.
Constraints facing effective integration – the poorly developed network of regional infrastructure, especially in transport, energy and communications, and the unsuitable array of legal, institutional and regulatory frameworks, all of which cannot be ignored, are also being discussed.
Analysts say the 2013 conference will also provide a unique forum for in-depth presentations of policy-oriented research by both established academics and emerging talents from the continent.
According to the organizers, the opening session of the conference will be graced by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa; Helen Clark, Administrator of the UNDP; Donald Kaberuka, President of the AfDB; and Abdalla Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the ECA.