'A canvas for action': Gauteng hosts Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue
Gathering of minds not just timely but critical, says economic development MEC Tasneem Motara
The Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue is under way in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, where European and African political and business leaders are meeting to strengthen strategic relationships across both sectors.
This year's theme, titled “Building an exclusive, influential community of leaders for growing their enterprises, their countries and their continents”, is meant to foster interaction between industry and governments and promote growth through a multi-stakeholder approach.
Gauteng economic development MEC Tasneem Motara, welcoming participants, recalled the importance of navigating the complexities of economies with agility and foresight.
In her opening remarks, she told delegates the two regions are at the crossroads of unprecedented global challenges and the gathering of minds is not just timely but critical.
“We again convene, bringing together the finest industry leaders from Africa and Europe to deliberate on strategies that do more than address our present challenges — they set the tone for a future built on robust bilateral partnerships.
“Our collective wisdom is our greatest asset. Let us employ it to craft innovative corporate strategies that not only cope with current obstacles but also harness opportunities to strengthen the ties between our enterprises and continents. This session is not merely a conversation; it is a canvas for action.”
Motara said the objective was to mould a partnership that is firm in its commitment, rich in opportunity and generous in its benefits for all.
“I hope this dialogue bears testament to the age-old collaborative power of our continent in knowledge sharing towards building strong inclusive communities. We in the Gauteng city region look forward to further fostering these ties for the continued benefit of our people.
“Additionally, we are keen to learn and leapfrog from the lessons of our European counterparts, who over the last 75 years since the signing of the Paris Treaty have embarked on an ambitious multinational political and economic union to create the largest economic bloc in the world.”
The MEC urged CEOs to remember that sitting around and holding a dialogue is an age-old African tool “that we have leaned on to unlock the information bottlenecks that exist around our ability to find solutions to the challenges that face us”.
The dialogue is expected to host a panel comprising the country's political leaders to discuss and debate an agenda for the future of the country and its international role. Discussion points include:
- economic priorities and reforms;
- proposed measures for tackling unemployment and poverty; and
- what to expect in South Africa's 2024 general elections.
The two-day, invitation-only event is limited to 200 CEOs and is organised in collaboration with primary international public and private stakeholders from the two regions. It combines plenary sessions, industry-focused roundtables and side-events, and high-level networking opportunities.
Party leaders expected to take part in the round-table include ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, EFF leader Julius Malema, DA leader John Steenhuisen, the IFP's Velenkosini Hlabisa and ActionSA's Herman Mashaba.
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