PageTitle - GulfToday

Expo 2020 World Majlis session held in Rwanda


The Expo 2020 Dubai World Majlis at Kigali Public Library on Tuesday.

KIGALI: The Expo 2020 Dubai World Majlis initiative held its latest session in Kigali, Rwanda to discuss the exchange-value between large global companies and smaller enterprises. A formal and inclusive gathering, the World Majlis brought together current and aspiring thought leaders from across Africa and the UAE at the Kigali Public Library, Innovation Village, Kigali, Rwanda.

The session, titled ‘Borderless Talent: How do the global economy and local change-makers connect?’, was hosted by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau and moderated by Georgie Ndirangu, from BBC Africa. Participants included Mohammed Dewji, CEO, MeTL; Claudette Irere, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda; Amin Gafaranga, CEO, Innovation Village, Kigali; and Dr Shivon Byamukama, Deputy CEO, Babyl Rwanda.

Expo 2020’s World Majlis series is designed to address 21st century challenges through the long-established Emirati and Arab tradition of the majlis — a gathering place where people from different backgrounds gain new perspectives by engaging in conversations that matter to their communities.

The Rwanda edition delved into the changing nature of how talent is developed and mobilised, and how Africa is playing a leading role in connecting small and large businesses, as well as governments and independent platforms.

Henry Umunnakwe, Co-founder, Compound55, said: “For corporates, governments, private sector or SMEs to survive we all need to work in the same environment and we all need to work in a way that’s collaborative because [an SME’s] success is our success, the government’s success, the private sector’s success.

“Rwanda is a start-up nation, you come with some ideas, you test your ideas, you have the space to do it from the government, but that’s not enough; the corporates also need to see how they can get involved. For instance, how can they support the ecosystem through simple things like what events they sponsor for people to connect, because if you’re not connected at the lowest lower how can you take an idea to the next level?” Adam Jones, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard, said: “As an organisation that operates in the tech sector, particularly the financial sector across Sub-Saharan Africa, we see that there’s small, nimble organisations that can act far more swiftly than we ever could but we can bring to them potential scale, network capabilities and stakeholder discussions that then means they can grow very rapidly. Then it becomes about how can you foster that dialogue to be able to take it as a repeatable, scalable function around the world.” The Expo 2020 World Majlis programme chose to host its latest session in Africa in recognition of the entrepreneurs transforming the economic landscape across the continent, and as African nations prepare their pavilions for the next World Expo, which will be the first ever to ensure each country has its own pavilion to showcase its achievements and aspirations.

Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “As the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 has the potential to positively influence the world beyond the borders of the UAE, through programmes such as the World Majlis.

Better Future

Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday unveiled its latest global marketing campaign, called ‘Welcome the Future’. Celebrating humanity’s many achievements and calling on the world to come together to create a better future, the video-led campaign is an open invitation for all to join Expo 2020 on its exciting journey, with the clear message: ‘We’re not done yet’ in making progress.

 Building on Expo 2020’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the campaign amplifies the message that everyone on the planet has a contribution to make.

 Expo 2020 will transport visitors to new worlds through its immersive pavilions, including those of 190 participating countries, who will each showcase their innovations, cultures and aspirations