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World Expo 2025

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World Expo, known officially as International Registered Exhibitions are organized every five years by the Paris -based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). The exhibitions draw tens of millions of visitors and last for six months and  international participants can build their own pavilions on the Expo site. The themes of the   World Expos are configured to raise awareness of universal challenges of our time and find responses to them. The most recent World Expo was held in the city of Milan in Italy in 2016 under the theme: “Feeding the planet, Energy for life”.

The bid for which nation to host the World Expo 2025 opened in September 2017 when a quartet of four countries namely France, Russian federation, Japan and Azerbijan lodged their competing bids with the BIE. France submitted its bid dossier under the theme, “Sharing Our Knowledge; Caring For Our Planet”. But by January 2018 France dropped its bid because of budget reasons. The government said it could not jeopardize public finances by giving guarantees for the event . The exit of France left the BIE with three countries as candidates to bid for the   2025 World Expo host . The Russian federation ( in Ekaterinburg), Japan ( in  Osaka), and Azerbijan ( in Baku) .

The Russian Federation came to present its bid to the BIE General Assembly under the theme, “Changing The World: Inclusive Innovation for Our Kids And Future Generation”. Russia came with a five-man delegation that included its first Deputy prime Minister, Anton Siluanov; the minister of Finance, Evgeny Kuyvashev; the Olympic athlete, Angelika Timanina; and the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeev. 

The delegation emphasized support for the Expo project, saying “For Russia, Expo 2025 is a project of primary importance… it finds a response in the hearts of Russian people”. A video message from the country’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, reaffirmed his support expressing confidence that Expo 2025 in Ekaterinburg will be one of the most outstanding World Expos”. Ekaterinburg, Russia’s fair capital is located at the cross roads of major transportation ways connecting Asia and Europe and its bid is concentrated on innovation and how they can influence the lives of future generations. Kuyvashev outlined to the BIE Assembly Ekaterinbutg’s capacities to host the event, which would take place on a 555 hectare site on the bank of the Verkh-Irefsky pond, and would be transformed into a smart city after the Expo. This smart city, in line with the proposed theme would be “a place where existing and innovative developments will be tested and implemented”. Support for the project also came from the International Space Station, with another video message addressed to the General Assembly from cosmonauts sergei prokopyer and Oleg Artemyev.

Japan’s Expo 2025 bid was presented to the BIEGeneral Assembly by five speakers who included Shinya Yamanaka, the Researcher and Nobel Laureate; a medical student and ‘Inochi Gakusei’ project founder, Ayako Kawatake, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Hiroshige Seko. Both Minister Seko and Mr. Yamanaka highlighted their own experiences as children visiting Expo 70 Osaka, with the minister telling member states of their “shared dream… of hosting the life changing Expo once again in our hometown”. With the proposed theme of “Designing future society for our lives, “Expo 2025 Osaka would aim to bring new ideas together from across the World and be “a great laboratory highlighting the beauty of i-no-chi (life), indicated Yamanaka

The delegation highlighted that the World Expo 2025 officially known as Osaka-Kansai would take place on the arterial Island of Yumeshima on the Osaka Bay. To reach Yumeshima, new transportation infrastructure including extended train lines and widened roads will have to be built at an estimated cost of at least 173m dollars. The 2025 Expo in Osaka-kansai, the delegation said “will be focusing on people to people participation in wellness and life science issues, so its continuing legacy will likely not only be human life and health but also leave a legacy of increased tourism and greater recognition with a shift away from the Tokyo-centric perception of the country. “

Despite being a lesser known and smaller country, Azerbaijan bid to host Expo 2025 in Baku under the theme “Developing Human capital-Building Better Future”. Its delegation led by Prime Minister, Mammador, included his minister of Finance and the Assistant to the First Vice president. The prime minister told the BIE General Assembly that its Expo bid is a national priority and that “organizing it” will be the realization of our potential”.

The finance minister affirmed that “every aspect of our vision and planning starts and ends with human capital,” highlighting the importance of the theme “which is timely and potentially attractive to a large number of countries and that it takes into account current human , economic , and social transformation and challenges.

As the Azerbaijan bid team unveiled its site plans to BIE members, the team explained how Azerbaijan is committed to and would ensure inclusive participation of developing countries in the project and how the event would contribute to the growth strategy of Azerbaijan’s capital and the country itself.

While the 170 member states of the BIE ponder the competing bids of the three countries as they await the election of the host country at its 164th General Assembly in November 2018 , Japan’s tax payers have raised concerns about who will bear the cost of construction of their Expo site if Osaka does not get the Expo. The government is however calming their nerves with their plan to turn the site to casino resort. The people still are asking how much can Osaka make from a Casino resort. But there is a growing strong consensus that the lot could easily fall on Russia to host World Expo 2025 given its experience of hosting landmark international events like the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. That would be a natural and logical progression to enhancing its status as a host for international events and partnering with her Expo 2025 theme in this turbulent times of “Changing the World {Inclusive Innovations For Our Kids And FutureGenerations”

– Yakubu Ibrahim wrote from Abuja. 



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