African nations are attending this year’s Dubai Expo 2020 in force, hoping to project an image of a modern and ambitious continent and shed stereotypes of conflict and underdevelopment.
The six-month mega-event, delayed by the Covid pandemic, is a milestone for the wealthy Gulf emirate.
It has spent some $8.2 billion transforming a barren stretch on the outskirts of the city into an eye-popping site bristling with high-tech pavilions.
As the huge project nears completion ahead of the scheduled October 2021 opening, African delegates touted their ambitions to generate trade and investment at a high-level meeting this week.
With nearly all African states represented for the first time, Expo provides a stage to advertise a “continent that is ready to move forward” and “a secure place to do business,” Levi Uche Madueke from the 55-member African Union told AFP.