Held on the eve of the European Development Days, this high-level conference will look at the challenges and opportunities Africa must grapple with to ensure resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth. The continent is home to seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world, but its continued growth and development still faces many challenges. With over two thirds of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and half of Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCS) situated on the continent, breaking the vicious circle of poverty and conflict is vital to ensuring a more prosperous future for millions of Africans. In addition, with more than half of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, urbanisation is key to growth and development in Africa; whilst rural development will be central to the quantum leap in the rate of progress required for LDCs to achieve the SDGs. With some of Africa’s top politicians and decision-makers in attendance, we will be debating ways of further re-energising the region’s growth and development.
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- Friends of Europe: EU-Africa relations: strategies for a renewed partnership
- Event summary
- Event report
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Europe’s relationship with Asia and Africa is expanding, reflecting the increasing global importance of emerging economies. We track these developments through our Asia Programme and Europe-China Forum, and through our work looking at the EU vision and strategy towards China, India, Japan and ASEAN, and its role in the Asia-Europe Meeting.
15.00 – 15.30
Welcome coffee and registration of participants
15.30 - 17.00
SESSION I: RECONCILING URBAN AND RURAL
With more than half of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, urbanisation is the key to growth and development in Africa, bringing about considerable opportunities for structural transformation. If harnessed by adequate policies, urbanisation can help advance economic development through higher agricultural productivity, industrialisation, services stimulated by the growth of the middle class, and foreign direct investment in urban corridors. It also can promote social development through safer and inclusive urban housing and robust social safety nets. Meanwhile, the pivotal role of young Agripreneurs must also be recognised. In rural areas, young people can be important drivers of agri-business and be key to positive rural transformation. Yet their potential remains largely untapped. With more than two thirds of people in LDCs living in rural areas, rural development will be central to the quantum leap in the rate of progress required for LDCs to achieve the SDGs. Rural development is essential, not only to poverty eradication, employment generation and economic development, but also to sustainable urbanisation.
- What can be done to ensure Africa’s urbanisation is sustainable, inclusive and resilient?
- Are governments doing what is needed to create employment in rural communities as well as rapidly expanding urban centres?
- What role is there for the private sector in ensuring sustainable and inclusive African agriculture, improving food security and establishing global production networks?
- How can new technologies be used to help Africa’s urbanisation and rural development?
- With women being key contributors to food production in Africa, are there special policies in place to help women farmers?
Margaret Agama-Anyetei, Head of Division for Health, Nutrition and Population at the African Union Commission
Hiroshi Hiraoka, Senior Advisor for Food and Nutrition at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Caroline Kawira, Food Security Expert at the African, Caribbean & Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN)
Celestine Ketcha Courtes, President of the Network for Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) and Mayor of Bangangté, Cameroon
Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (2009-2017) and Member of the Global Agenda Council on Food Security of the World Economic Forum
Vimal Shah, Chairman of Bidco Africa
Diederick Zambon, Head of Division for the Public Sector in Africa at the European Investment Bank (EIB)
17.00 – 17.30
17.30 - 19.00
SESSION II: INVESTING IN AFRICA’S FUTURE
Africa is home to seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies, but also to over two thirds of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and half of the Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCS) of the world. Poverty and conflict are intertwined in ways that reinforce each other: conflict impoverishes communities, and poor communities are more vulnerable to conflict. This vicious cycle condemns millions of Africans to a less prosperous future. While government policies and cooperation with international development partners are essential, ending fragility and building peaceful and resilient societies requires the engagement of local authorities, civil society actors, religious and cultural leaders as well as women and young people. Private enterprises also have an important role to play by creating jobs and growth, thereby enhancing incentives for peace and development.
- What are the necessary conditions for private sector investments in fragile and conflict-related situations in Africa?
- Despite the negative headlines, are there business opportunities which can help bring peace in Africa’s most sensitive hotspots?
- Are there African success stories of transition to economic growth and prosperity that the rest of the continent can learn from?
- What can Africa learn from other conflict-affected regions of the world?
- How can governments and the private sector work together to consolidate peace?
- What is the role of civil society actors, including women and young people, in the fight against poverty and conflict?
Evelyn Anite, Ugandan State Minister for Investment and Privatisation
Olivier De Boysson, Chief Economist for Emerging Markets at Société Générale
Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Neil Gregory, Head of Thought Leadership at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Hans-Joachim Preuß, Managing Director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Antonella Santilli, Head of Sustainability at Enel Green Power
Tel: +32 2 893 98 12
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