Friends of Europe is a proud co-founder of the Africa-Europe Foundation. The Africa-Europe Foundation was founded by Friends of Europe and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign, and with a multitude of stakeholders from civil society, business, policymaking and the youth sector across Africa and Europe.

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Continue to the Strategy Groups

Strategy Groups

Eunice Brookman-Amissah
Eunice Brookman-Amissah

Vice-President for Africa at IPAS

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Eunice Brookman-Assimah has a consolidated career in clinical medicine, spanning both the public and private sectors in the UK and in Ghana. She is committed to women’s reproductive health issues and champions women’s rights to equity in health care. In 2001, Brookman-Assimah assumed leadership of the IPAS Africa programme, an international not-for-profit organisation working globally to improve women’s health through a focus on reproductive health. Prior to joining IPAS full-time as Vice-President of Africa, she served as Minister of Health in Ghana from 1996 to 1998 and Ambassador for Ghana to The Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Carolin Callenius
Carolin Callenius

Managing Director of the Hohenheim Research Center for Global Food Security and Ecosystems (GFE), and elected representative of Agrinatura, the European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development

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Carolin Callenius is a strong leader with a deep commitment to pro-poor contexts of food systems. In her work, she promotes and supports collaborative research projects on global food and nutrition security. She has extensive experience in the area of sustainable development policies and development cooperation related to sustainable agriculture, food systems and food governance. She serves in the board of directors of Agrinatura, a network of European universities and research organisations on agricultural research for development. She is also a member of the think tank of the EU project Fit4Food2030 and leads a task in the EU Project LEAP4NSSA.

Gunilla Carlsson
Gunilla Carlsson (ex officio)

Co-Chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Health and Vice-Chair of the Strategy Committee

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Gunilla Carlsson is a Swedish politician with extensive experience in developing the global health agenda. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Strategy Committee of the Global Fund, a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), as well as a Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). Carlsson was previously the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and a Member of the European Parliament. Carlsson was also the Chair of the Swedish-initiated Commission on Climate Change and Development, and worked as Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Mervin Chetty
Mervin Chetty

General Manager for Africa at Transnet

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Mervin Chetty brings over 30 years of freight and logistics experience to the table. As General Manager for Africa at Transnet, he specialises in port logistics and financing, as well as the transport infrastructure needs for the SADC region. Chetty focuses on projects that create externalities and positive spillover effects, as well as promoting cross-border and regional integration in Africa.

Dixon Chibanda
Dixon Chibanda

Director of the African Mental Health Initiative (AMARI)

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Dixon Chibanda is a professor in psychiatry and the director of the African Mental Health Initiative (AMARI). He’s based in Zimbabwe, where he works on the Friendship Bench program, a cognitive-behavioral therapy-based approach to kufungisisa, the local term for depression, literally translated into “thinking too much.” At the Friendship Bench, patients receive individual problem-solving therapy from a specifically trained lay health worker which has been successfully scaled up in Zimbabwe and introduced to other countries. He is a principal investigator on several research programs and sits on the editorial board of the Lancet Psychiatry International Journal.

Hastings Chikoko
Hastings Chikoko

Managing Director, Regions and Mayoral Engagement / Regional Director for Africa at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

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Hastings Chikoko has over 25 years’ experience in the sustainable development sector working in Africa and Switzerland. At C40, he cooperates with a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. Chikoko also serves on various advisory and supervisory boards, including the African Centre for Cities and the Global Future Council on Clean Air of the World Economic Forum. His work with local governments started at the City of Blantyre in Malawi. He has also worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including as Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, and Head of IUCN in South Africa.

Omar Cissé
Omar Cissé

Founder and CEO of InTouch

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Omar Cissé is a computer design engineer with the ambition to transform access to mobile payment and digital services in Africa. Prior to launching InTouch, a pan-African fintech firm, Cissé launched CTIC Dakar, the first ICT incubator in Dakar, Senegal and co-founded Teranga Capital, an investment fund for Senegalese and Gambian start-ups and SMEs.

Jon Lezamiz Cortazar
Jon Lezamiz Cortazar

Global Head of Public Affairs at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

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Jon Lezamiz Cortazar has over 15 years of experience in the energy sector, having held leading roles in power solutions for various Africa-focused initiatives and programmes. At Siemens Gamesa, he is responsible for the design and execution of the company’s global public affairs strategy. He was previously a member of the European Commission Task Force on Sustainable Energy Investment and currently chairs the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Africa task force.

Photo of Brian Dames
Brian Dames

Chief Executive of African Rainbow Energy & Power (AREP)

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Brian Dames is a leading figure in the African energy sector, having held a number of different senior capacities in the field. As head of Eskom, Dames gained experience in the operations and management of a large national company, later moving to leading roles in international and local business. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on the Future of Energy, a former member of the Administrative Board of Sustainable Energy for All, and Non-Executive Director of the Nedbank Group and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Olivier De Schutter
Olivier De Schutter

Co-chair of IPES-Food, and since May 2020 is the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

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Olivier de Schutter served as UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food from and was elected to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Olivier was awarded Belgium’s top scientific award, the Prix Francqui, for his contribution to the advancement of EU law, the theory of governance, and human rights law. Previously, he chaired the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, a high-level group of experts which advised the European Union institutions on fundamental rights issues, acted on a number of occasions as expert for the Council of Europe and for the European Union and served as General Secretary of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). Olivier is also a Professor at UCLouvain and at Sciences Po Paris. He has also taught at the College of Europe in Natolin, as a Member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University and as Visiting Professor at Columbia University.

Andre Didace Ciseau
Andre Didace Ciseau

Secretary-General for the Port Management Association of Eastern & Southern Africa (PMAESA)

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Alongside his role at PMAESA, Andre Didace Ciseau is also the current Executive Secretary for the Pan-African Association for Port Cooperation (PAPC). Ciseau brings with him extensive experience in the maritime and ports sector arising from his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), as well as his focus on the development of the Blue Economy for Seychelles by working with the Depart of the Blue Economy established by the Government of Seychelles in 2015. He also served in the Seychelles People’s Defence Force (SPDF) with a strategic role in the development of the Seychelles Coast Guard.

Ntiokam Divine
Ntiokam Divine

Founder and Managing Director at the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN)

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Ntiokam Divine recognises the importance of youth in building a resilient, sustainable and prosperous agricultural sector in Africa. This passion drove him to start CSAYN, of which he is now the Managing Director. Alongside this role, Divine was elected as the African Continental Vice-President of Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubation Network in 2018. In addition, he was nominated as one of the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Coalition International Ambassadors in 2018 and a Food System Champion by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food System Summit.

Anton Eberhard
Anton Eberhard

Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at the University of Cape Town

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Anton Eberhard is an expert with over 35 years of experience in the energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions. His research and teaching focus on governance and regulatory incentives to improve utility performance, the political economy of power sector reform, power investment challenges, renewable and distributed energy resources. Eberhard is also a member of the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty. He was appointed by the President of South Africa to chair a task team to resolve serious financial and technical challenges in the national utility, Eskom.

Anna Ekeledo
Anna Ekeledo

Executive Director of AfriLabs

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Anna Ekeledo leads AfriLabs, a network of over 225 tech and innovation hubs that seeks to bolster high potential entrepreneurs and promote economic growth. Her focus at AfriLabs aligns with its vision of an African continent characterised by open collaboration, African-made solutions and jobs for all, driven by technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Anna also serves on the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity as part of the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council which was established by the President of Nigeria and spearheaded by the Vice-President of Nigeria.

Tunde Fafunwa
Tunde Fafunwa

Lead Advisor to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Digital Centre for Excellence

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Tunde Fafunwa is responsible for leading and building ECA’s digital initiatives across digital ID, trade and economy, co-leading the implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa with the African Union. As Senior Partner of Kitskoo, Fafunwa leads teams that advise and implement digital transformation projects for government cloud services, smart cities, and broadband and mobile platforms for inclusion. He is a speaker, co-author, and contributor on digital growth and inclusion to the World Economic Forum, OECD, World Summit on the Information Society, Tony Blair Institute, and the Pathways for Prosperity Commission, among others.

Continue to Partners

Founded by

  • Friends of Europe

    The think tank for a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-thinking Europe. Friends of Europe is Brussels' most innovative think-tank, and for two decades has been showcasing new ideas on Europe's future while challenging outdated ones.

  • Mo Ibrahim Foundation

    The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) is an African foundation, established in 2006 with one focus: the critical importance of governance and leadership in Africa. It is our conviction that governance and leadership lie at the heart of any tangible and shared improvement in the quality of life of African citizens.

In partnership with

  • The ONE Campaign

    The ONE Campaign, a global movement and international not-for-profit organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease.

  • The African Climate Foundation

    The African Climate Foundation is the first African-led strategic climate change grant-making foundation


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