The city of Izmir, Turkey is asking for support from the African Union (AU)
member countries who participated at the 20th AU summit which ended on January 28 as part of its aim to host the World Expo 2020. The expo’s theme will be “Health for All” and “New Rules for A Better World”.
Hasan Guven a specialist at the Secretariat of Expo 2020 Izmir, said the city is striving hard to organize the expo which is the third biggest event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
The last World Expo was held in Shanghai, China in 2010 and an estimated 73 million people visited the expo which lasted for 6 months. The World Expo is held every five years.
The election for a city to hold World Expo 2020 will be conducted in November 2013 in Paris, France and 163 countries, out of which 43 are African countries, are expected to vote. These countries are members of the International Exhibition Office (IEO) the body responsible for organizing such events.
Guven said Ethiopia isn’t a member of IEO but its influence on other African countries is significant, and as such is their second reason for coming to Addis Ababa.
Izmir was a candidate for the 2015 World expo but lost to Milan, Italy. Another Turkish city will organize a smaller international expo in 2016 focused on Botanic.
“The expo is a very big event and we are currently campaigning, if we win this time we will construct different infrastructure around the city, specifically dedicated for the event,” said Guven.
He also said the relations between Turkey and Africa is increasingly developing after Turkey became a strategic partner to the AU since 2008.
Guven said many African countries have pledged their support for Izmir’s candidature.
He however acknowledged that it’s going to be very likely a tough competition, but added that Izmir is up to the challenge.
Other cities vying for World 2020 expo are Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ekaterinburg, Russia and Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Izmir is a city located on the shores of the Aegean Sea, with four million inhabitants and the third largest city in Turkey.