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President Zuma is being accompanied on his trip by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.
The theme of this year’s forum is: “The emergence of an African middle class: conditions, issues and challenges”.
A World Bank report released in April said consumer spending accounted for more than 60 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s buoyant economic growth.
Africa’s emerging middle class is a key group for defining the continent’s economic course, although definitions of the African ‘middle class’ seem to vary.
The African Development Bank in a 2011 report said that Africa’s middle class had risen by 2010 to 34 per cent of its population. This was based on a daily per capita consumption definition of $2-20.
The two dollar lower threshold is, however, generally accepted as a poverty indicator.
The South African Presidency said in a statement on Monday that the event was bringing together economic and political decision-makers from around the world to take part in panel discussions on Africa’s development, investment and infrastructure opportunities, as well as job creation and economic growth.
The president was invited to attend the forum by Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-N’Guesso.
The two leaders discussed bilateral ties as well as peace and security in the Central African region.