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An International Meeting for African CEOs and Investors Called Off

A high-level business conference due to take place in Côte d’Ivoire next week has been postponed, signalling heightened concern over the spread of coronavirus in Africa, which has registered relatively few cases. But as infections spread across Asia, Europe and the United States and led to the cancellation of conferences and sporting and cultural events around the world, Nigeria and Senegal in West Africa reported five cases in the past week. The Africa CEO Forum had some 1,800 participants last year, and this year’s edition included appearances by the presidents of Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal as well as Nigeria’s vice-president. Senior officials from companies including Huawei, Total, Air France, General Electric, Mastercard, Maersk and Societe Generale were expected to attend. But in an email on Wednesday, organisers of the event, which was due to be held in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan on March 9 and 10, said it was on hold. No coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Cote D’Ivoire, which is French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy.