Dubai: All countries in Africa will participate with their own pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Opening on October 1, the world’s greatest show will showcase the African continent’s vast potential, including its innovations, business opportunities, art, natural wonders, and cultural heritage.
Organisers said this is the “first time in the 170-year history of World Expos that every African nation will participate with its own pavilion. Africa’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai is a testament to the long-standing friendship between the UAE and Africa — a relationship that is based on mutual respect and a shared vision”.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Africa is the future — not just for Africans, but for the entire world. The youngest, fastest-growing continent on the planet is brimming with promise, and the global community has a shared responsibility to ensure it grasps that opportunity for the good of us all.”
“Huge strides have been made since the Organisation of African Unity was founded in 1963, and we will continue that momentum at Expo 2020, where Africa and everything it has to offer will be accessible to the world in new and unexpected ways — encouraging connections, boosting collaborations and helping drive widespread progress and prosperity,” she added.
Forging new partnerships
The African continent has an estimated population of more than 1.3 billion, which is predicted to double by the middle of this century. The world gathering in Dubai will open up new markets and opportunities for countries to reach an international audience and forge new partnerships that will reinvigorate their economies.
Organisers said visitors to the Expo will be able to taste Ethiopia’s next big super-grain and chocolate from Ivory Coast, invest in Kenya’s croton nuts energy and explore Gabon’s space ambitions. They will also marvel at Rwanda’s remarkable transformation into a tech-centric hub and model of African progress, discover how Ylang Ylang drives the perfume industry in the Comoros, and how Seychelles’ pioneering blue bond has set the agenda for creative ways to safeguard our oceans.
The African Union (AU) will host a pavilion at Expo 2020 — a colourful arena devoid of national borders that will highlight the continent’s vast potential and ambitions, reflected in its Agenda 2063 aspirations that address agriculture, transport, science and technology, and health.
Dr Levi Uche Madueke, Commissioner General of the African Union at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “With our rich natural resources, ingenuity and youthful population, there are many potential areas for growth. Africa has a lot to offer. It is time for us to reach out to the world, for the world to understand us and see how they can collaborate with us.”
Meanwhile, Expo Live is supporting 140 grantees from 76 countries, including 36 grantees that are making a significant impact in Africa. Grantees include Babyl Rwanda, a mobile health technology allowing access for rural and vulnerable populations to clinical services in a timely and cost-effective manner; Transport for Cairo, a technology that improves public transportation by gathering data about Cairo’s traffic to produce maps and routing applications; and WAVE, that addresses youth unemployment by teaching young people employability skills, opening up employment opportunities in high-growth industries.