Xenophobic attacks: Jim Ovia withdraws from World Economic Forum



Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia on Thursday withdrew from further participation at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ovia said he was responding to the “hypersensitivity” that the recent xenophobic attacks had generated.

The WEF, which began on Wednesday, will end on Friday.

In a statement, he said: “Following the hypersensitivity of the issues surrounding the lives and well-being of Nigerian citizens living in South Africa and to contribute his voice against the poor state of security regarding foreign nationals living in Africa, the Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia has withdrawn from further activities at the World Economic Forum Africa 2019, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Before making his exit, Mr Ovia stressed the need for youth empowerment and better government policies to curb continual attacks on persons living within and outside Africa. He belaboured that until positive change towards collective growth happens on this front, the continent would not reach its potential.

“Mr Ovia added that full support should be rendered in vocational education of the young persons living in not just Nigeria but Africa. According to him, the Jim Ovia Foundation has taken up a stance on this issue, having empowered over 3,500 students and entrepreneurs since its inception. He called on other members of the private sector to join hands and solve this menace plaguing the African continent.”

Nigeria, Rwanda, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo have already withdrawn from the event while Zambia cancelled a scheduled friendly match with South Africa.

Nigeria has also withdrawn its high commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Yusuf.



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