On July 29-30, 2019 Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC) has held the first of its kind Foresight session Äfrica-2040: Vision of the Future” in Berlin. The event attended by diplomats, academics and businessmen had an objective to define a clear image for Africa’s future and to strategize on how they can contribute to the development of the African Continent. Representatives and Ambassadors of Chad, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Madagaskar, Botswana, Republic of South Africa, Benin, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, DRC, Liberia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda have discussed some of the challenges the continent is facing, providing possible solutions to promote peace, stability, democracy, governance, economic growth and development.
“More than anything, African people need their sovereignty to be respected. It is the foundation on which sustainable and equitable development can be built”, – underlined Dr. Laurence NDONG at the first edition of Africa foresight session in Germany.
According to the AFRIC’s project Coordinator, Clifton Ellis, the world is currently experiencing a shift from Western economies, hence the focus is now drifting to Africa. He explained that Africa now has the opportunity to dream and conceptualize its future.
To him, AFRIC is through this conference offering the opportunity and platform for discussions, by bringing together experts, academic, policy makers and other government officials to have a foresight discussion on the future of the continent. According to Toussaint Alain Political Communication Consultant, what Africa needs most is peace, which is a prerequisite for social and economic development. Acknowledging that Africa had experienced hideous past of coup d’états, civil unrests, regional conflicts, Mr. Toussaint said that it was the moment for all actors to correct the errors of the past and dream an Africa of exemplary leadership, good governance, peaceful and stable. A stable continent would absolutely attract prospective entrepreneurs, underlined Mr. Toussaint.
Equally, Eric Topona, Deutsche Welle journalist for Francophone Africa revealed that much of Africa’s growth is due to improved governance in general, stability and political and macroeconomic reforms. He went further to add that democratic transitions, public financial management and stability have a much greater impact on growth than commodity prices or rising middle-class incomes.
The conference was organized as part of AFRIC’s efforts in contributing to sustainable growth and development in the continent. A Political analyst and member of the LIDER party in Ivory Coast, Nathali Yamb, in an interview noted that the gathering was a unique occasion for participants from diverse backgrounds to share the prospective vision for Africa.
She again stated that Africa can benefit from this gathering in that, the political and economic actors present during the gathering can develop another perspective about the continent through the discussions which can lead to a win-win relationship.
One of the participants, Vaiva Adomaityte – global change expert, CEO and founder of ADMIS consultancy limited underlined that social development, economic transformation, financial prosperity, investment and especially foreign direct investments among others are all factors that need to be addressed properly by African presidents, businessmen and foreign partners if real growth is envisage for the continent by the year 2040. According to Adomaityte, going a step forward is to clearly comprehend the development areas, identify the partners to work with and to exploit that approach for “Africa going forward”.
Egyptian Ambassador to Germany H.E. Dr. Badr Abdelatty, cautioned that for Africa’s vision 2063, elaborated by the African Union, to fully materialize, it is imperative to promote international cooperation and open the continent to real investment that would positively affect growth and transformation. That notwithstanding, ambassador Badr Abdelatty has challenged Africa to tackle radicalization, corruption, bad governance, terrorism and other vices that stand as impediment to investment and growth on the continent.