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Robert de Niro in Gabon: need for a more stable business climate

New York Forum AFRICA / Report on the second day

June 11, 2012– The second day of the first New York Forum AFRICA which is being held in Libreville, capital the Gabonese capital, was the opportunity for the issues of economic investment and development opportunities to be tackled by the entire continent.

At the initiative of Richard Attias & Associates, under the aegis of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, and in partnership with the government of Gabon, more than 600 international opinion leaders from business, economics, and politics have been meeting since Friday 8 June to attend the first New York Forum AFRICA which ends this evening.

The innovative idea that underpins New York Forum AFRICA is to bring together international investors and business leaders on the continent, some for the very first time, in order to foster crucial connections for potential partnerships, with very concrete applications.

“Is there such a thing as an African economic model?”

This second day opened with a fundamental question: is there such a thing as an African economic model? “Everyone seeks to construct a model. We’d like green growth and we’d like inclusive growth. That means growth that protects our environment and that similarly affects all layers of society”, declared Gabon’s Minister of the Economy, Luc Oyoubi, during the discussions.

Africa, continent of the future: “In 20 years’ time, Africa will be where Asia is today”.

Lord Mandelson, former cabinet minister and European commissioner thus set out his vision of Africa in 2030 in a special address:

“In 20 to 30 years’ time, I can see Africa being a direct competitor to China, and Africa becoming the equivalent of where Asia stands today in the new world order. The advent of this continent could be one of the great historical events of the 21st century. (…) With production costs lower than those of China or other Asian countries, Africa should become the new international workshop.”

The invited guests from more than 50 countries have shared their ideas and suggestions during themed workshops focusing on the key areas of Africa’s economic development.

The Debates and Taskforces covered regional integration, natural resources, finance (and access to funding for the private sector), tourism, leadership (how to foster the return of African elites), technology, and relations between the United States and Africa.

 The American actor Robert de Niro, on his first visit to Gabon, also conveyed a real message of hope for the continent to the delegates of New York Forum AFRICA. Mentioning the film industry within the African continent and its future investment, the American actor called for a more stable business climate.

First partnership announcements

“The New York Forum AFRICA is a unique opportunity for negotiating partnerships and agreements in some unexpected areas: social housing, water, or even the media. If all of these projects are conducted, they will and should create jobs”, noted Richard Attias, the event’s founding chairman.

Gabon’s Energy Minister, Régis Immongault, notably set out the development project of Gabonese mining potential before an audience of some 50 investors. “We’ve already begun developing the mining sector, in particular with our long-standing partner, Comilog, a subsidiary of the French group Eramet, on the construction of the Metallurgical Complex in Moanda with an investment of 270 million USD”, he observed. “We have the potential, with 900 mineral showings carried out, and we need your assistance to maximise this potential”, addressing the business leaders who were in attendance.

With the participation of Lee White, Executive Secretary of the National Agency for National Parks (ANPN), a round table also brought together leaders from the tourism sector. “Gabon has an opportunity to become a world leader in the tourism sector”, remarked Jerry Inzerillo, chief executive officer of IMG Artist and former boss of Kezner Entertainment, one of the world leaders in seaside resorts.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Richard Attias & Associates.

For further information on New York Forum AFRICA. Please consult here:

Contact in the USA:

Josh Harris, Richard Attias & Associés

Josh.harris(@)richardattiasassociates.com +1-212-794-8802

Contact in AMEA: Romain Grandjean Romain.grandjean(@)richardattiasassociates.com

About New York Forum

The New York Forum®
was established with the conviction that business has arrived at a crossroads. It is crucial to send a strong optimistic message about the world economy’s future, to work towards redefining corporate governance, to create long-term value, and to re-invent business models through uniting all economic stakeholders. Our goal focuses on consolidating the link between economic growth and job creation, on the importance of cities as key drivers of dynamism and innovation, on the challenges that are business leaders have to meet within a climate of volatility and uncertainty, and on the special opportunities created by the growth of emerging economies.

The recent history of the SABC has not been a particularly happy one, what with financial problems, management issues, programming problems - and it seems they might not be ending anytime soon. According to a Sunday World report, two of its top executives, Itani Tseisi and Lerato Nage, have tendered their resignations.

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Theron in "Mad Max: Fury Road"


…Fashion model-turned-actress Charlize Theron is sporting the bold look for her starring portrayal of Furiosa in "Mad Max: Fury Road," an action-adventure film currently in pre-production.

For those who live outside Tinseltown who have been watching Theron strut red-carpet events in Hollywood recently to promote her last two box-office hits, "Prometheus" and "Snow White and the Huntsman," it may have been a bit shocking to see the 36-year-old stunner sans her signature long hair.

But it is a different viewpoint in The Entertainment Capital of the World, a place where serious actors put their heads, so to speak, into their chosen craft and the dramatic character roles they play.

The Oscar-winning performer put it best in an interview she gave to Film Journal International in 2011.

"When I'm figuring out a character, for me it's easy, since once I say yes to something, I become super-obsessed about it – and I have an obsessive nature in general. How I want to play it starts at that moment," Theron told Frank Lovece.

"It's a very lonely, internal experience. I think about [the character] all the time – I observe things, I see things and file things [in my head], everything geared to what I'm going to do. I'm obsessed with the human condition. You read the script and become obsessed with [a character's] nature, her habits. When the camera rolls, it's time to do my job, to do the honest truth."

Theron earned an Academy Award for Best Actress in her unattractive role of a serial killer in the 2003 film "Monster," becoming the first South African to win such an honor in a major category.

The new mother, who adopted a boy in March, 2012, has dual citizenship in South Africa and the United States.
Source: examiner, 12 June 2012.