The Nigerian Economic Summit Group/ Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
World Economic Forum for Africa Abuja 2014
Nigeria hosted the World Economic Forum for Africa for the first time in May 2014. Our task was to create awareness amongst direct stakeholders such as the organised private sector, international investors and government economic and security agencies and the media and general public. This was amidst heightened perception of government corruption and failure to curtail violent attacks on government targets and civilian populations by armed extremist groups.
We positioned the event as a marker of the success of Nigeria’s economic reforms since the advent of democracy and an opportunity for Nigerian stakeholders to explore with global investors how the reforms could be deepened. More than 60 Nigerians – investors, CEOs, economists, consultants, policy experts, youth activists, etc.-were engaged within a 4-month period to speak on radio and television or write newspaper articles on various themes exploring the links between foreign investment, economic reforms, and socio-economic development in Nigeria.
We largely avoided the pre-identified risk of the World Economic Forum for Africa being perceived as a Nigerian Government event, and communications around it being perceived as an image-laundering effort. We created a sustained discussion around reforms, investment, and growth.