Political and business leaders meet to discuss Africa during World Economic Forum

Increased foreign investment, debt forgiveness and the commodity price boom have helped fuel the growth, but Africa is still likely to miss key U.N. development targets, the World Economic Forum on Africa heard.

"Economic reforms and structural reforms in many of our countries are in place. There is a conducive investment environment," said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. He said inflation was on the way down in many countries and the balance of payments situation had improved.

The "Going for Growth" meeting, which includes leaders of civil society, is to focus on how to sustain growth.

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 AP reports.

Although the economic growth rate is the highest in 30 years, this has failed to translate into increased jobs in many countries, which still suffer 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.

Added to that are problems such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, low productivity, lack of skilled labor, and subsistence farming, which is the backbone of many African economies, Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza told the opening plenary.