African nations, food and culture spotlighted at Expo 2020 Dubai this week – ZAWYA

DUBAI – With four African countries celebrating their National Days at Expo 2020, along with the much-anticipated Global Business Forum Africa, a host of cultural performances and the opening of ground-breaking African dining hall Alkebulan, the eyes of the world will be on Africa in Dubai this week.
For the first time in the 170-year history of World Expos, every African nation is participating, each with its own pavilion, while the African Union also has a pavilion – a colourful arena devoid of national borders, showcasing Africa’s vast potential and ambitions, reflected in its Agenda 2063 aspirations, which address agriculture, transport, science and technology, and health.
From 13-14 October guests are invited to connect at the Global Business Forum Africa (GBF Africa), which is bringing the trade and investment community back together to explore bilateral trade opportunities between Dubai and sub-Saharan Africa.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), Expo 2020 Dubai, an illustrious line-up of speakers at GBF Africa includes HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai; HE Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita, Mozambique Minister of Industry and Trade; Kebour Ghenna, Executive Director, Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Naspers.
HE Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; and Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Vice President of Zimbabwe, will all attend the high-level event on game-changing partnerships and the broader lessons for trade, integration and entrepreneurship in Africa.
This week, Morocco will also be presenting its new identity, ‘Morocco Now’, and its Vision 2025, positioning itself as a business and financial hub to Africa, while highlighting investment opportunities throughout the country.
Senegal’s Investments and Business Opportunities forum on 14 October at DEC will connect CEOs and investors with African government officials to gain deeper insight into their countries’ economic development strategies, while showcasing the vision of the Emerging Senegal Plan 2035, and honing in on the country’s tourism potential. Senegal is additionally taking part at GBF Africa, where HE Amadou Hott, Senegal Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, will speak at Made in Africa II: Manufacture to Recover.
Senegal celebrates its National Day at Expo 2020 on 13 October, following on from Eswatini’s on 12 October and the Gambia’s on 11 October, while Sierra Leone marks its National Day on 14 October. All four nations will host dedicated programmes to highlight their unique cultures, at Al Wasl Plaza, their Country Pavilions and across the Expo site.
Food is one of the best ways to discover new cultures and Alkebulan, which opens in full this week, is an exciting new dining hall that captures the essence of Africa. Transporting visitors on a journey across the continent’s social and cultural diversities and gastronomy scenes, it is a celebration of contemporary African cuisine and music. The culinary concept is curated by award-winning chef Alexander Smalls, a classically trained opera singer-turned-restauranteur.
The Expo site will be filled with the sounds and rhythms of Africa with percussion performances courtesy of Angola at 2020 Plaza on 12 October and traditional Senegalese Bakalama dance performances from 12-16 October at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, while vibrant Senegalese Afro-pop duo Maabo, made up of husband and wife Mia and Abdoul Guisse, invite audiences to celebrate love at Al Wasl Plaza on 13 October at 1545.
With Africa’s rich natural resources, ingenuity and youthful population, there are many opportunities for development, and the platform of Expo 2020 will help to amplify both awareness and growth for world’s youngest continent.
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