Addis Ababa, 16 May 2019 – The African Union has advanced preparations for its participation at “Expo 2020 Dubai”, as it seeks to explore opportunities to expand and consolidate win-win partnerships in the implementation of Agenda 2063. Following an invitation by the Government of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) to participate in the six-month long Expo to be hosted in Dubai in 2020, the African Union has been designated as a key partner and stakeholder in the co-creation of activities and events leading to the highly anticipated international event.
Under the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", with its three sub-themes, “Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability”, Expo 2020 will run from the 20th of October 2020 to the 10th of April 2021, in Dubai. It is expected to bring together over 192 countries and 25 million visits.
A two-day preparatory workshop convened at the African Union Headquarters between officials of the Expo 2020 Dubai, the AU Commission, AU Organs, Specialized Agencies, AUDA-NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities, Financial Institutions, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations and the Academia has concluded. Deliberations focused on strategizing, building synergies and intensifying collaboration around the various concepts and ideas in preparation for the successful participation of the African Union at Expo 2020.
Speaking at the meeting, the African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, Amb. Kwesi Quartey underscored the need for ample preparations to ensure AU and its stakeholders, speak with one voice in all engagements during the Expo. He also observed that AU’s participation at the Expo would have tangible and visible benefits in areas of innovation, science and technology, blue and green economies, business ventures, livelihood of future generations and collective development objectives. He added that a series of regional workshops and roadshows would be organized to solicit the desired and required buy-in and support from the African citizenry, both at regional and national level. The upcoming workshops would also be an opportunity for AU to propagate its work through showcasing its programs, projects and innovations.
Dr. Levi Uche Madueke, Head of AU Strategic Partnerships (PMCD) and Commissioner General for the African Union at Expo 2020 Dubai, also noted that this meeting had special significance as it aimed to discuss and agree on the content and programming of the AU Pavilion, initiate and brainstorm on the activities that will take place during the Expo period in Dubai and mobilize efforts in resource mobilization to sustain the AU participation and its Stakeholders as well as enable the AU Commission to map a strategy for resource mobilizations and continental roadshows to mobilize the regions.
Mr. Ahmed Al Badawi, a representative from the U.A.E Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, reaffirmed U.A.E’s keenness to advance the partnership with the African Union based on the principle of mutual respect, in supporting the implementation of Africa’s Agenda 2063 development framework.
Echoing similar sentiments, Ms. Hind Alowais, Vice President of international participants at Expo 2020 Dubai, noted that the six- month event is an opportunity to advance the view of the African continent, globally, as a source of creativity, innovation and an arena for business and investment. She further noted that close collaboration with AU at all levels in the preparation for the Expo, was key in defining the objectives and deliverables of Expo 2020 and in providing assistance in logistical, operational, programmatic and content management as well as developing the core thematic statement of the overarching African Union’s participation.
The African Union is rallying the support and participation of its stakeholders, to take an active part in Expo 2020 Dubai, to explore opportunities to advance their respective commitment to sustainable development, as well as explore potential partnerships required for the socioeconomic transformation of the continent.
Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region since their inception in 1851. The purpose of the Expo is to bring participants and businesses closer to the world’s fastest growing markets, and create opportunities for accessing a region of more than 3.2 billion people with a collective GDP of more than US$ 6.5 trillion.