"African businesses are ready and willing to take up the challenge," said AngloGold Ashanti president Sam Jonah speaking at the opening on Wednesday of the three-day meeting of the World Economic Forum for Africa attended by 650 delegates from 40 countries.

"The 21st century does really offer a unique opportunity for Africa to initiate the right economic policies which will ensure the lift-off of this continent to meet the millennium development goals," said Jonah.

Endorsement

"Yes, we are ready to do business in Africa and the opportunity is golden... we will extract it very carefully," he said.

Delegates at the World Economic Forum are expected to endorse the Commission for Africa report calling for an injection of an extra $25 billion in aid annually while providing 100% debt relief and breaking down trade barriers.

The Commission for Africa report is to be discussed at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland between 6 and 8 July.