Media release

South Africa participates in the Regional World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the Champions 2014

11 September 2014

11 September 2014

Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi has arrived at the first day of the World Economic Forum's 8th Annual Meeting of the Champions 2014. The "Summer Davos" Forum held in Tianjin, China from 10-12 September 2014 under the theme, “Creating Value through Innovation”.
South Africa is participating in this forum for benchmarking and sharing ideas around science, technology and innovation. The annual gathering will also look at issues of unemployment around the world and how it can be addressed.

Minister Muthambi will meet with the Information Minister of People’s Republic of China. “This is a very important platform where we will share and learn how other countries are best implementing science, technology and innovation. The forum will further strengthen the bilateral relations that South Africa has with People’s Republic of China” said Muthambi.
Other Ministers attending the forum are: Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Minister of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande.

Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi delivered a lecture on 08 September 2014 at the University of Hong Kong ahead of the meeting. The Minister outlined strategies implemented to curb the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa as it affects South Africa. The Minister also demonstrated in detail the role South Africa is playing in the fight against the Disease in West Africa and outlined the prevention preparedness in the country and the SADC region.

The Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande will lead discussions for a working session on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skilling on 11 September 2014. The theme focuses on the fastest growing emerging economies in Asia and Africa which are challenged to produce adequate STEM skilled workers to support the growing technology driven industries. Africa has the lowest Research Personnel at only 70 researchers per million people; Asia has 340 researchers per million people compared to North America's 2640 and Europe's 1990. The session will also look at innovative approaches required to scale up globally competitive education systems.

Minister Nzimande will also participate in the session to address unemployment and the future of jobs.
The session will look at more than 200 million people that are currently unemployed around the world, and this number that is expected to rise in the coming years. The focus will also be on the employers worldwide who experience difficulties in finding talent which result in many positions remaining vacant, indicating a growing mismatch between available and needed skills on the market.

The World Economic Forum was established in 2007 as the foremost global gathering on science, technology, and innovation, the Annual Meeting of the Champions convenes the next generation of fast-growing enterprises shaping the future of business and society together with leaders from major multinationals as well as government, media, academia and civil society.

Enquiries: Bongiwe Gambu
Contact: 082 7149 463

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on behalf of The Ministry of Communications

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