Political and business leaders gather for World Economic Forum meeting

More than 650 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia gathered Wednesday for the World Economic Forum on Africa. The meeting, called "Going for Growth," will focus on how to sustain the continent's unprecedented growth rate of 5.3 percent. In particular, it will look at the impact of China and India and the commodity price boom underpinning much of Africa's growth, and assess the challenges of boosting the physical and social infrastructure needed to sustain the region's resurgence.

The economic growth rate has failed to translate into increased jobs in many countries, which remain dogged by high levels of unemployment. For instance in South Africa, the economic and political powerhouse of the continent, an estimated 40 percent of people have no regular work.

Negative perceptions about the continent, which is wracked by conflict and corruption, also hinder investment and trade. Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Armando Emilio Guebuza of Mozambique and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania are among the government leaders attending, as are heads of major African companies and multinationals with operations on the continent. The forum runs through Friday, reports the AP.

N.U.