Malawi, Rwanda withdrew from WEF - but not due to Joburg attacks, spokesperson says

The governments of Malawi and Rwanda are not attending World Economic Forum Africa meeting, a spokesperson from the forum confirmed.

This week leaders from 28 African countries are expected to converge in Cape Town for the World Economic Forum on Africa where several issues relating to their economies will be discussed.

On the sidelines of a briefing on Wednesday, head of strategic communications and member of the WEF executive committee, Olivier Cann confirmed that Malawi and Rwanda are not attending the forum.

There have been rumours that the African countries, including the DRC, are not attending in protest against the xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg this week. 

But Cann said the countries withdrew before the attacks, so it can be assumed the withdrawals are linked to other reasons.

Shops owned by citizens from other countries have been looted in recent days, while truck drivers from neighbouring countries have also been targetted.

Read: 'Enough is enough.' Nigerian government wants to protect its citizens in Joburg

The government of Nigeria has issued a strong warning that it will take "definitive measures" to ensure the safety of its citizens in South Africa. and protection of her citizens.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's government will dispatch a delegation to Pretoria to express "deep concern" over attacks on Nigerians.

The first day of WEF meetings, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, has seen large protests from hundreds of people who want the SA government to take action against violence aimed at women.

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