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Kigali conference to discuss Africa’s economic transformation, empowerment

Hundreds of leaders and scholars from Africa and around the world will gather in Kigali, Rwanda, from 30 October to 2 November to debate the continent’s prospects for sustainable and inclusive growth in the context of the international economic crisis.

Organised each year by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the 7th annual African Economic Conference will be held in Kigali under the theme “Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty.”

The conference is the most comprehensive event held each year on Africa’s economy and development, discussing macroeconomic prospects, as well as trade and finance and development policy in a global context.

Africa has grown strongly over the past decade. Having weathered the economic crisis, the continent’s average growth is expected to rebound to 4.8 percent in 2013.

The region now faces the challenge of translating that growth into effective poverty reduction and sustainable human development, through employment creation, the establishment of quality social services, and expanding opportunities for political and economic participation.

The Kigali conference will examine the possibility of pursuing these objectives in the face of a worsening international economic environment, volatile food and fuel markets, and falling levels of exports, remittances and official aid.

“African policy-makers are by and large continuing to realise their quest for growth and improved well-being in their countries,” said AfDB President Donald Kaberuka, “However, in a difficult international environment, the question is how to meet the investment requirements to continue to forge ahead.”

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