Panels

Continental Governance and Africa’s Response to the New Scramble for Africa

Africa’s development will not be in isolation. As Africa progresses in the new decade, interactions between Africa and the world’s old and emerging superpowers will only grow.

This panel examines the relationships between Africa, China and Europe and interrogates the role and power that Africa has within these interactions, exploring how to make its position advantageous. It looks at what Africa can do to better protect itself from potentially exploitative international dealings, which can have long lasting effects for posterity, and questions what Africa can do to benefit from global dealings in the new decade.

Importantly, are institutions like the African Union and the African Free Trade Area realistic avenues to protect Africa’s interest in this globalised era?

Turning Up the Heat: Exploring Africa's Role in Dealing with Climate Change

The African continent stands to be most affected by the harmful effects of climate change. Out of the world’s top 10 countries most vulnerable to environmental change, seven of these will be in Africa.

From severe changes in weather patterns and an increase in the incidence of natural disasters to increased food insecurity, climate change is one of the most significant challenges that Africa will face in the new decade. But is Africa equipped to deal with this reality?

This panel ardently calls for Africans to address this pressing issue whose effects will be and are currently felt by millions of people on the continent. It will explore the contributions and conversations Africans are having on mitigation and protections and reflect upon what steps are being taken to address this issue in the next decade.

Empowering African Women: Beyond Participation

There is a disconnect between increased women’s participation and the violence and discrimination that African women continue to face.

While the last two decades have seen a marked increase in African women’s participation in politics and the economy, and increased female literacy and workplace participation across the continent, recent protests against femicide in South Africa and increasing rates of domestic and gender-based violence reveal that African women still face oppression and discrimination.

Indeed, continued violence against African women is a pressing issue that impacts millions of women and must be urgently addressed. So, what needs to be done to address this issue?

This panel attempts to reveal, interrogate and reconcile the disconnect between increased women’s participation and the lived experiences of violence and subjugation that women across the continent continue to face. Moving into the new decade, it asks what steps we should really take to further African women’s rights and empowerment.

1 Billion More by 2050: Risk or Opportunity?

Africa’s population is projected to increase by an additional 1 billion people by 2050. If not adequately prepared, this increase in population stands to overwhelm African states and negatively impact the social and physical environment for future generations.

This panel looks at what needs to be done to prepare for this inevitable population burst. It investigates how Africans can prepare in terms of infrastructure, spending, politics and more, to ensure that the continent capitalises on this surge in population for potentially momentous ends.

#TheRevolutionWillBeDigitized

From #FeesMustFall and #BlueForSudan to #ThisFlag, the previous decade has shown us the power of digital campaigns to magnify voices and drive political and social change in Africa.

This panel evaluates the role of digital activism as a mobilising tool and a potential driver for change on the continent in the upcoming decade as Africa moves towards toppling deleterious political and social structures.

It will draw on the lessons learned from ‘Africtivists’ and explore how Africans can best harness the digital space as a tool to strengthen democracy and magnify progressive voices on the continent. It will also seek to understand how the online space can be kept free from political manipulation or interference.

Digital Entrepreneurship: Africa’s Panacea or a Band Aid Solution?

In order to focus on, and overcome, new challenges in the decade ahead, African nations must find lasting solutions to the problems of poor healthcare, unemployment, poverty and access to finance that continue to hinder African development.

In the last decade, digital entrepreneurship has emerged as a strong solution to these pressing challenges. Digital entrepreneurs have provided solutions to Africa’s challenges through mobile apps, mobile banking and other technological apparatuses.

Many have praised the continent’s move towards technology driven development and have welcomed these digital innovations with great enthusiasm. Yet, what real and sustainable impact can these new technologies have in nations lacking proper infrastructure and strong governance to deliver them? Does the over-reliance on fragmented digital solutions risk providing band-aid solutions to failed systems instead of truly fixing them?

This panel critically examines the potential and limits of digital entrepreneurship and technology driven development in addressing Africa’s basic problems as it enters a new decade. 

African and _______

African is not a singular identity. The experience of an African exists at the nexus of multiple intersecting identities that include gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, ethnicity and so many more.

This panel breaks away from limiting and binary constructions of identity to explore the marginalised and oppressed identities that come in conjunction with ‘Africanness’.

We are African and gay, African and trans, African and dealing with mental health issues, African with albinism – the combinations are endless, and they are endlessly important.

Changing the Face of African Leadership

Arguably, effective African leadership is central to overcoming the challenges and changes that Africa will face in the new decade. Indeed, good leadership could hold governments accountable, inspire populations and thus propel Africa to new heights of development and productivity in the new decade.

This panel critically examines who defines the narrative on leadership in Africa, and moves to redefine what leadership by Africans and for Africans will look like in the new decade. Looking forward, this panel aims to explore how we can begin to prepare spaces for young and emerging leaders to challenge the status quo and represent Africa’s growing youth population.

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