The Africa Forum on Business and Security’s first day has exceeded the expectations of the organisers both in content and attendance. All panels have had insightful and smart presentations and were punctuated by intense discussions that involved both the attendees and panellists.
Delegates have also appreciated the networking and dialogue opportunities as well as the opportunity to meet actors of the security and business sectors representing 22 countries from all over the world.
Opening session at Africa Forum on Business and Security sets the tone by advocating partnership
“Working together”. These words capture the essence of the speeches delivered during the opening session. All speakers advocated the need to “come together”, “bridge differences” and reassert awareness of the interactions and interdependence that define our globalised world. More importantly, the panel asserted that the relationship between business and security is symbiotic and that only their combined efforts will ensure both development and security not just for Africa, but for every nation in the world.
Welcoming participants in the first Africa Forum on Business and Security, Dr Harold Elletson, Chairman of The New Security Foundation, said: “Many African economies are enjoying unprecedented economic growth. Whilst European and North American economies continue to battle recession, their African counterparts are seeing growth rates of 6 or 7 per cent. Some estimates show that, over the next 5 years, the average African economy will grow faster than the average Asian economy.” Highlighting the opportunity that the people of Africa have to enjoy a significant and sustained improvement in their standard of living, he added, “Economic growth, however, is closely linked to security. And it is a failure to deal with today’s security challenges that could hold back prosperity tomorrow.”
Panel on Information and Communication Technology discusses the Power of Digital
The speakers of the panel on Information and Communication Technology have raised key issues that affect both growth and security. The importance of updated and safe databases, understanding the power of ICT from economic and educative perspectives and more importantly, the reach ICTs have in continents such as Africa and how the human element – the core factor of security – remain the most important factors in a technology-filled world.
It is the interdependence of technology, awareness, knowledge that defines ICT and its power and makes it a very powerful tool, especially in Africa, where such technology is not used for entertainment purposes but as a means for dissemination of information and education.
Day Two promises to be special with contributions from diverse voices including Dr Auma Obama and Kenyan Vice President Uhuru Kenyatta amongst others.