The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2017 opened in Durban, South Africa on Wednesday 03 May, gathering more than 1,000 delegates from over 100 countries, representing business, government, academia, civil society, media and the arts. Held at the Durban International Convention Center, the three-day event is running under the theme of "Achieving inclusive growth through responsive and responsible leadership."
Among the key issues that comes under the spotlight at this year's forum are food and water security, preventing the deforestation of tropical forests, securing investment to tackle Africa's large infrastructure gap, bridging the digital divide, improving delivery of healthcare, helping Africans gain access to financial services, and facilitating better intra-regional trade.
Key participants from the region include South African President Jacob Zuma, King Mswati III of Swaziland, Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, Senegalese President Macky Sall, and Prime Minister of Namibia Saara Kuugongelwa.
Her Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim spoke on the contribution of the European Union as a great and committed provider of development cooperation and assistance worldwide. She also emphasized on how Mauritius is diversifying its economy in order to achieve economic independence through Foreign Direct Investment, in the absence of a large market and natural resources.
She also delivered key remarks on "Transforming pharmaceutical regulatory landscape for increased investment in Africa" and is quoted as saying:
" A large amount of expenditure on health in Africa is attributed to the use of medical products, mainly pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
These products are obtained mainly from abroad and almost 70% of medicines consumed are imported from abroad. We must redouble efforts to change this dynamic. First and foremost, producing medical products in Africa is not only good for health; it is good for economic development.
The focus should not be only on producing medicines, the focus should be on producing quality assured medicines. Quality is not luxury. It is an imperative for positive health outcome."