Monday, 2 June 2014

NYFA 2014: Thinking Transformation, Making A Commitment To The Continent

The third edition of the New York Forum Africa took place in Libreville between the 23rd and 25th May 2014 in the presence of 800 Gabonese delegates and numerous experts from around the world. During the official closing session, President Ali Bongo Ondimba said that hard work is "fundamental". For taking charge rather than remaining submissive. Because "the future of Africa lies in the hands of young people and their potential for hard work". The contracts demonstrate this point. We are already looking forward to the NYFA 2015 next year.

Ali Bongo Ondimba used his NYFA closing speech as an opportunity to assess the forum's impact on transformation in Gabon. Over the course of three days, delegates from 58 countries held some 500 bilateral meetings and nearly 30 thematic workshops. This led to the signing of 5 contracts (direct investments and committed development funds) worth around one billion euros, and the creation of thousands of indirect jobs.

During the 72 hours of the NYFA, numerous critical negotiations took place and the following contracts were signed (to the value of 1 billion euros):

    1. Gabon-France (€165 million on sanitation and road infrastructure - the Gué- Gué catchment area, the construction of 11km of concrete infrastructure to drain rainwater, the construction of 13km of roads to open up under-integrated areas, the renovation of areas used for waste bins and garbage trucks and the construction of public toilets - and the renovation of route nationale 2 between Ndjolé and Medoumane).

    1. Gabon-African Development Bank – Plan to set up a business incubator to support SMEs.

    1. Gabon-Morocco (Microsoft IT Academy with the target of certifying 5,000 people/year).

    1. Gabon Oil Company-Samsung (Port-Gentil refinery, 400 direct jobs, 3,000 indirect jobs).

Gabon Iron Ore (mining of an iron ore deposit near Kango, 100 direct jobs).
    1. Gabon Iron Ore (mining of an iron ore deposit near Kango, 100 direct jobs).

Sharing the Experience

Almost all of this year's debates were centred around education, experience-sharing and the virtues of learning. Target: young people! Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, was present to stress the importance of thinking before acting. His vibrant speech before the New York Forum will not be soon forgotten, nor will the matches he played with several school children at the same time. Basketball star Dikembe Mutomba, the centre player mentor, also said a few words, paying homage to the virtues of hard work.


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