Post-Mandela Africa seeks practical ideas as Davos ‘jamboree’ loses lustre by David Pilling JANUARY 22 2020
… “Dele Olojede, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Nigerian journalist, feels the allure of Davos is diminishing. “I don’t think it has the magic it once did,” he says. “It doesn’t actually address in a systematic way the kind of challenges and opportunities that African leaders are confronting. It has become a bit of a jamboree.” Last year, Mr Olojede ran his inaugural Africa in the World, invitation-only conference in Stellenbosch, an hour’s drive from Cape Town, where the WEF was holding its annual “African Davos” event. While the latter was boycotted by the Nigerian delegation in a protest against xenophobic attacks on Nigerian nationals in South Africa, Mr Olojede’s alternative forum played host to a heartfelt debate between Nigerians and South Africans about the root causes of tensions.
By inviting people with ideas about how to transform Africa, not just those who can afford to pay, Mr Olojede argues his event is more relevant to the real needs of the continent. Among the topics to be discussed at this year’s follow-up event will be whether malaria can be eradicated through the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes, something that could save hundreds of thousands of lives.”