Thought Leadership

Absa at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024

scroll for more

Absa Group is a Strategic Partner Associate of the World Economic Forum and will be attending the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, Davos, from 15 to 19 January 2024.

As a proudly African bank with a rich heritage across the continent dating back more than 100 years, Absa’s participation is important. The meeting provides a high-level platform for leaders to engage in constructive, forward-looking dialogues and identify impact-oriented solutions that will contribute to a better world, while also discussing priorities for the year ahead.

Chief executives and chairs of the Forum’s 1 000 Partner companies will actively engage in initiatives and communities such as the International Business Council, Community of Chairpersons and Industry Governors. Participants include:

  • Public figures from across the world
  • Heads of international organisations
  • Leaders from the foremost civil society
  • Media organisations
  • Top thinkers and academics
  • Members of the Global Innovators and Technology Pioneers community
  • The Community of Global Shapers
  • The Forum of Young Global Leaders
  • The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

Africa will be represented by heads of states, senior government leaders as well as executives of major corporations, representing different industries.

This year’s event takes place amid a “polycrisis”, a term that describes the coming together of multiple crises, such as climate and biodiversity, the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the Middle East crisis and concerns over rising cost of living.

The meeting will primarily focus on exploring the opportunities enabled by new technologies and their implications on decision-making and global partnership. WEF 2024 convenes under the theme Rebuilding Trust to provide the crucial space to step back and focus on the fundamental principles driving trust, including transparency, consistency and accountability.

The WEF 2024 programme outlines four interconnected thematic priorities that will drive inclusive and forward-looking dialogue:

  • Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World – How can we effectively deal with security crises, such as the current situation in the Middle East, while at the same time putting the floor under the structural forces of fragmentation? How can we identify areas where co-operation is essential to ensure a win-win scenario for all stakeholders, building on the Forum’s long-term and structured engagement with governments, international organisations and experts from all regions?


  • Creating Growth and Jobs for a New Era – How can government, business and civil society come together around a new economic framework to avoid a decade of low growth and put people at the centre of a more prosperous trajectory? How can we minimise trade-offs and maximise synergies in a situation where traditional measures seemingly fail?



  • Artificial Intelligence as a Driving Force for the Economy and Society – How can we use AI to benefit all? How is the divergent regulatory landscape balancing innovation with societal risks? How will AI interface with other transformative technologies, including 5/6 G, quantum computing and biotechnology?


  • A Long-Term Strategy for Climate, Nature and Energy – How can we develop a long-term systemic approach to achieve the objectives of a carbon-neutral and nature-positive world by 2050 while providing affordable, secure and inclusive access to energy, food and water? How do we balance these trade-offs to achieve social consensus?