What Africa wants from Europe

04 June 2018 - 15:00 - 19:00
Richard Amor, Christoph Beier , Annicent Busingye, Arancha Gonzalez , Elisabeth Guigou, Latifa Salissou Hassane, Mo Ibrahim, Shada Islam, Sindiso Khumalo, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, Frank Matsaert , Esther Nakajjigo, Jean Philibert Nsengimana, Günther Nooke, Lapo Pistelli, Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr, Carole Wainaina

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. 

Whilst the continent is home to seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world, its continued growth and development still faces many challenges. The EU-Africa Summit held in Abidjan in November 2017 focused on building more resilient states and societies and creating more and better jobs, especially for young people. The EU has said it pursues several interrelated political objectives in Africa, including stronger mutual engagement, notably on global governance issues, migration and security as well as Africa’s sustainable development. Yet, little is being said about what African want from their partnership with Europe.

This event is part of our Development Policy Forum (DPF), which brings together a number of important development actors, including the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the United Nations and the World Bank. Reflecting the growing role of the private sector in development, the DPF has now welcomed Coca-Cola and Eni to the forum. The DPF contributes to the global and European conversation on inclusive development. Through its activities and publications, the DPF reflects the rapidly-changing global debate on growth and development and seeks to encourage a multi-stakeholdered, fresh, up-to-date thinking on the multiple challenges facing the development community.

Photo Gallery

Africa Summit 2018 - What Africa wants from Europe?

Should you not be able to view the gallery, please click here.

Event recording

Related content:

IMAGE CREDITS: Ankevanwyk - borgogniels -  itpow - harvepino/Bigstock


Please note that the Africa Summit will now start 30 minutes earlier


Welcome & registration



Africa, with its changing economic, political and demographic landscape, remains high on the EU agenda. Africa and Europe talk about these and other issues in myriad fora including the Europe-Africa summit as well as the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement. Europeans make no secret of their interest in engaging African governments on migration, governance, development and security challenges. Meanwhile, Agenda 2063, adopted by the African Union in 2013, sets out the vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” The Agenda says little, however, about what Africans want from their partnership with Europe. And the voice of African civil society representatives, including business leaders, parliamentarians, local authorities, young people and women, is drowned out by European interlocuters and African officials. Their views are of key importance, however, if Africa-Europe relations are to thrive in a rapidly-transforming world.

  • What are Africa’s three key priorities in its relationship with Europe? 
  • Can Europe work in ways which are better or different compared to other development partners? 
  • What is the future of Africa-Europe relations in a changing global landscape?
  • How can civil society be given a stronger voice in shaping Africa-Europe relations?

Conversation with:
Mo Ibrahim, Chairman and Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation 

Speakers include:
Elisabeth Guigou, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue
Esther Nakajjigo, Uganda’s Ambassador for Women and Girls
Günther Nooke, Commissioner for Africa and the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr, Liberian Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection 
Lapo Pistelli, Executive Vice President for International Affairs, Eni; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy (2013-2015)

Moderated by:
Shada Islam, Director for Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe


Coffee Break 

16:40 -17:35


The creative and high tech industries in Africa offer massive potential for continent-wide job creation and GDP growth. The textile and clothing sector, comprising a majority of women in their workforce, together represents the second-largest sector after agriculture, with great scope to hire more young people. Also, given their interest in and adoption of the latest technology, Africa’s youth are poised to drive massive digital innovation, creating more employment and growth. Across the region, businesses and governments are taking steps to ensure Africa can compete in the digital age. As it changes the way people live and work, digitalisation is expected to bring an additional $300 billion to Africa by 2026.

  • What role does Africa have in shaping the global digital revolution and what effects can this role have for other regions, such as Europe? What about its creative industries?
  • What are the main challenges for Africans, specially youth when entering into creative and digital industries?
  • How can governments, international organisations and the private sector help to address these challenges and facilitate access to education, training and financing?
  • What impact does the digital revolution have on African economy and society and how can African communities, companies and countries better prepare for these changes?

Speakers include:
Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, International Trade Center
Sindiso Khumalo, Designer and Founder of Sindiso Khumalo Fashion, working towards promoting sustainable and ethical African creations
Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, Managing Director, African Innovation Foundation and Programme Director of the Innovation Prize for Africa and Innovation Ecosystems
Latifa Salissou Hassane, Miss Geek Africa 2018
Jean Philibert Nsengimana, Special Adviser to the Executive Director of Smart Africa; Minister of Youth and ICT of Rwanda (2011-2017) 

Moderated by:
Shada Islam, Director for Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe


Coffee Break




Africa and Europe can and should learn from each other’s’ experience in tackling economic challenges. With African economic growth set to accelerate strongly in 2018 to reach 4.1%, Africa is forecast to be the second fastest growing continent in the world, after Asia (6.3%). The good news, however, masks the stark reality that growth across the continent has not been inclusive, with many countries, sectors, jobs, and people left behind. Meanwhile, after years of economic stagnation, Europe’s economy  is expected to grow by 2.3 % this year, its fastest pace in a decade. But social inequalities and job creation pose continuing challenges. Additionally, both Africa and Europe are seeking investments in infrastructure, trying to promote trade liberalisation and seeking to make it easier to do business across borders. The EU’s experience in building a single market can be valuable as African countries embark on the establishment of  the ambitous African Continental Free Trade Area.

  • How can Africa and Europe expand their trade and investment links in order to tap the full potential of their economic partnership?
  • Can Africa learn from Europe as it sets out to create a single continental market for goods and services as well as the free movement of people and investments?
  • Is the European External Investment Plan helping to make European businesses become more pro-active in seeking investment opportunities in Africa, including in infrastructure.
  • To what extent is poor governance – the absence of a society where everyone has a fair chance – a driver of migration?

Speakers include:
Richard Amor, Head, Global Partners Operations Directorate, European Investment Bank (EIB)
Christoph Beier, Vice Chair of the Management Board, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 
Annicent Busingye, Operations & Maintenance Director, Frontier Energy, a leading investor in the African renewable energy market
Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer, Trademark East Africa 
Carole Wainaina, Chief Operating Officer, Africa50

Moderated by
Shada Islam, Director for Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe

Richard Amor
Head of the Institutional and Implementation Unit, Global Partners Directorate at the European Investment Bank (EIB)
After joining the EIB over 10 years ago, Richard Amor worked on a number of landmark project finance transactions, most notably in Africa, where he focused on projects relating to renewable energy, telecoms, infrastructure and industrial sectors. More recently, Amor was part of the task force within the EIB that was responsible for the creation and design of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the joint initiative between the EIB and the European Commission. Through its presence in Africa, the EIB seeks to enable and enhance entrepreneurship and innovation, create new jobs and quality outlets for youth, in addition to promoting the best practice among financial institutions.
Christoph Beier
Vice Chair of the Management Board, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Christoph Beier began his professional career working for the Ministry of Economics in the Saarland, being responsible for European policy and regional development programmes. He subsequently went on to teach economics and social geography at the Ruhr University Bochum, and advised the Indonesian Ministry of the Interior on decentralisation issues. Currently member of GIZ’s Management Board, Beier oversees GIZ’s priorities and activities across the globe, including in Africa, where a focus is put on peace and security, good governance, infrastructure and the promotion of agriculture. 
Annicent Busingye
Operations and Maintenance Director, Frontier Energy, a leading investor in the African renewable energy market
A certified accountant and mathematician by training, Annicent Busingye is specialised in Power Purchase Agreements, hydropower development, risk management and environmental analysis. Prior to joining Frontier Energy, a leading investor capitalizing in the development, construction and operation of renewable energy projects across Africa, Busingye worked on a hydro power project for nine years under TronderPower Ltd (now Bugoye Hydro Ltd), serving as Managing Director and Board Member in the last years. Busingye started off her career at Stanbic Bank in Uganda.   
Arancha Gonzalez
Executive Director, International Trade Center
A lawyer by training, Arancha Gonzalez acquired a range of experience from the field before joining the International Trade Center. Having begun her career as an associate advising companies on trade, competition and state-aid matters, she then went on to holding several positions within the European Commission, including being the spokeswoman for trade and advisor to the European Union Trade Commissioner. Since her time in Brussels, Gonzalez has been closely involved in setting up the WTO Aid for Trade initiative and served as the WTO Director-General’s representative (Sherpa) at the Group of 20 (G-20). Alongside her current position, Gonzalez co-chairs the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on the Future of Trade and Investment. 
Elisabeth Guigou
President of the Anna Lindh Foundation Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue
Elisabeth Guigou is President of the Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, a network of civil society organisations dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean region. Before this appointment, Guigou served as French minister of European Affairs, MEP and member of the French National Assembly, among numerous other posts. In addition to this, Guigou was the first female to be appointed Minister of Justice in France, where she distinguished herself for her fight for a more independent justice system. She is also a trustee of Friends of Europe.
Latifa Salissou Hassane
Miss Geek Africa 2018
21 year old Latifa Salissou Hassane from Niger was selected out of a group of 200 women from across the continent and crowned ‘Ms Geek Africa’ by a high level panel of tech industry heavyweights. Her winning design is the “First responder” app, which facilitates communication between people caring for accident victims and emergency services. It also allows medical staff to give advice on basic first aid before they arrive at the scene. Ms. Geek is a continental competition, designed to inspire African girls to be part of solving the continent’s challenges using technology and encourage them to choose a career in science, ICT, engineering and mathematics.   
Mo Ibrahim
Chairman and Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim built his fortune in telecommunications, landing him a place on the Forbes 2011 Billionaire list. One of his many successful ventures was Celtel International, operating as one of Africa’s leading mobile telephone companies which pioneered mobile services in the continent. In 2006, he established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in order to support good governance and exceptional leadership on the African continent. His approach is two-fold: to reward responsible leaders through the annual Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, and to highlight countries with good governance through the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). In shedding light on democracy and human rights in African nations, Ibrahim aims to re-brand Africa and change the perceptions many have of the continent. 
Shada Islam
Director for Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for issues related to the Future of Europe, Migration, the Asia Programme and the Development Policy Forum. Shada is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin) where she teaches Asia-Europe relations and has been selected as a fellow by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has been named as one of twenty most influential women in Brussels by Politico. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian and Migration issues at the European Policy Centre. She is one of the authors of Friends of Europe’s much-read “Frankly Speaking” commentary and is sought after as a speaker, commentator, columnist and moderator at high-level European and global events. Shada also continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications and academic journals.
Sindiso Khumalo
Designer and Founder of Sindiso Khumalo Fashion, working towards promoting sustainable and ethical African creations
Fashion and empowerment is what Sindiso Khumalo feels very passionate about. She founded her eponymous label with a focus on creating handmade modern sustainable textiles with a strong emphasis on African story telling. Over the years, she has developed a uniquely colourful visual voice, which draws upon her Zulu and Ndebele heritage, and also speaks to the land of Kwazulu Natal, where she is from. She cooperates very closely with NGOs in developing handmade textiles for her collections and currently works with the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative. Khumalo has already showcased her work in South Africa, the UK, the US and Denmark, and won the Vogue Italia "Who's On Next Dubai" competition in 2015.
Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl
Managing Director, African Innovation Foundation and Programme Director of the Innovation Prize for Africa and Innovation
Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl has a passion for African people, and dedicates her efforts to their economic and social empowerment by promoting entrepreneurship and home-grown innovations. Her current work at AIF aims to catalyse market-orientated solutions for African-led development across the continent, building innovation ecosystems that will invigorate economic growth across Africa. Koelbl has over 15 years of international development experience with various UN bodies and international organisations in Africa, Europe and the US. Parallel to her work at the AIF, Koelbl also serves as a board member of the Flame Tree Initiative, a US-based NGO that uses ICTs to address the digital divide through collaboration with African universities. 
Frank Matsaert
Chief Executive Officer, Trademark East Africa
Frank Matsaert is an experienced senior economic development and private sector specialist with an extensive track record in strategy, programme delivery and management in Africa and Asia. Prior to joining Trademark East Africa (TMEA), Matsaert worked in Nairobi for the DFID as the Senior Growth, Trade and Investment Adviser for East Africa. Thus far, he has created and overseen over 40 major innovative programmes totalling over $1 billion in the fields of trade, financial sector development, privatisation, investment climate reform, market development and skills development. Matsaert is well-positioned to discuss African-EU economic cooperation as his work at TMEA focuses on promoting regional trade and economic integration within East Africa. 
Esther Nakajjigo
Uganda’s Ambassador for women and girls
At 17, Esther Nakajjigo was named Uganda's Ambassador for Women and Girls. She donated her university tuition and started a community health facility with a Teenage Centre supporting child mothers. She owns a popular reality television show on teenage pregnancy called “Saving Innocence Challenge” applauded by the EU in Uganda as one of the best self-sustaining girl-lead models in the world, championed as well as financed by local girls for local girls. Amidst the world's refugee crisis,  Nakajjigo is championing “Lift up her Voice” expedition where girls from selected universities around the world innovate for a decent life for refugee women and girls in a Global Girls Movement. She has won five National Awards and a Geneva Women's World Summit Prize. Her passion is to give migration a human face.
Jean Philibert Nsengimana
Special Adviser to the Executive Director of Smart Africa; Minister of Youth and ICT of Rwanda (2011-2017)
Prior to joining Smart Africa, Jean Philbert Nsengimana served successively as Cabinet Minister of Youth and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Government of Rwanda for 6 years. In that capacity, he spearheaded several flagship initiatives including TransformAfrica Summits and YouthConnekt Africa Initiative. Nsengimana led the design and implementation of the Smart Rwanda Master Plan with policies on broadband for all, digital Literacy, cybersecurity, digital Health, education, Governance, and Innovation in the 4th Industrial Revolution. His 15 years’ experience includes successful stints in the private sector and international development as well as academia where he started his career.
Günther Nooke
Commissioner for Africa and the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
The German political figure Günther Nooke, dubbed as ‘Merkel’s man in Africa’, has long been involved in EU-Africa relations. Prior to his current position, he was appointed federal commissioner for human rights policy and humanitarian aid in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has been critical of both sides when examining economic cooperation. Whilst stating that the African Union needs institutional change, he likewise has been stern on the EU, arguing that the Directorate General for Trade in Brussels must change in order to improve relations with the African Union. With his considerable political experience in the German government, Nooke provides a unique opinion on the future of Africa-EU relations. 
Lapo Pistelli
Executive Vice President for International Affairs, Eni; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy (2013 to 2015)
Having been a member of the Italian as well as the European Parliament, as well as Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 2013 to 2015, Lapo Pistelli has a wealth of experience in European and international affairs. During his time as MEP he was the president of the EU-South Africa Delegation and a member of the Italian Delegation to the OSCE, where he conducted several monitoring missions in transitional democracies. Pistelli regularly contributes to research centres specialised in international relations whilst he also is a board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.  
Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr
Liberian Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection
Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr  has been recently appointed as the Liberian Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection. She has a passion for human rights, equality, social protection and inclusion. Previously Saydee-Tarr was the Executive Director of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa where she promoted the importance of women and girls education and its invaluable benefits to society. She is also the Founder of Deahkonti WEST Consultancy, which supports community and education development by providing strategic direction, knowledge sharing and transfer to non-profits. 
Carole Wainaina
Chief Operating Officer, Africa50
Having worked for the private and public sectors in both Africa and Europe, Carole Wainaina provides an expert voice to the discussion on economic cooperation between the continents. She has held senior positions at the Coca-Cola Company and Philips, and was the former Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources of the United Nations. In her current role, Wainaina leads the multi-disciplinary Africa50 team, which is the pan-African infrastructure investment platform capitalised by the African Development Bank. Africa50’s work actively contributes to Africa's growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalysing public sector capital, and mobilising private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact.

Development Policy Forum:

  FoE AFD GIZ JICA World Bank




UN EIB Coca Cola eni    
Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 23

This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media.
For more information, please contact Sarah Bentz, Programme Manager at Friends of Europe.

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact our Head of Communications, Angela Pauly, at
Contact form
To register or if you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the form below.