Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, President of Ethiopia, will attend the 2nd Africa Global Business Forum in Dubai as one of five African presidents on a headline panel entitled “Leading the Continent towards Change” looking at the hope and challenges for Africa in the 21st century.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the forum’s objective is to facilitate high-level dialogue and advice on key strategic directives related to Africa’s economic outlook.

The presidential panel will discuss how recent developments across Africa have inspired hope for the economic emergence of the continent, while considering the challenges of market fluctuations, climate change and rising populations in the equilibrium for growth.

Mulatu was elected President of Ethiopia by a unanimous parliamentary vote on 7th October 2013 while serving as Ambassador to Turkey, after a varied political career that has included stints as Deputy Minister of Economic Development in the mid-90s, Minister of Agriculture from 2001, Speaker of the House from 2002 and as Ambassador to China, Japan, and Turkey.

Born in Arjo, Welega Province in 1955-1956 and educated in China, the President holds a BA in philosophy of political economy and a PhD in international law from Peking University, and has also spent time teaching at both foreign universities and institutions.

Since election, President Mulatu has been actively making use of his in-depth knowledge and experience of China, and in July held he travelled to Beijing in his new capacity for talks with President Xi Jinping of China at the Great Hall of the People, located off Tiananmen Square.

It was noted that Mulatu Teshome had made long-term and important contributions to promoting China-Ethiopia friendly cooperation, and Xi Jinping expressed his appreciation that the Ethiopian leader decided to select China as his first destination since taking office.