Samir is not only a French entrepreneur but also an author and a tech reporter. Passionate about all things digital, he founded EMERGING Valley as an international summit on African innovation to connect tech start-ups with investors, thinkers and decision-makers across continents. He also leads StartupBRICS, a company that provides insights on entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Samir is a former chronicler on African tech entrepreneurs for Le Monde and has also featured in the Huffington Post, Le Point and Les Echos. His book, Startup Lions, chronicles his experience travelling the African continent in search of the most interesting and innovative tech start-ups.
The Africa Europe Foundation is a consortium entity founded by a leading European think-tank, Friends of Europe, and a leading African Foundation, 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.
Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups – Our sectoral focus
The Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups are mandated to build a commonality of purpose from the complexity of sometimes diverging perspectives and approaches across priority domains of partnership; enlarge the Africa-Europe partnership to new and diverse actors; unlock dormant opportunities; leverage joint partnership action; open up space for fresh policy thinking, strategic foresight and a holistic rethink of critical sectors for multilateral cooperation; and reinforce Africa-EU on the international stage.
The Strategy Groups will focus on priority sectors that are central to Africa-Europe cooperation and critical in both the COVID context and in the face of the ongoing climate emergency. We recognise the interconnections across priority sectors and will work to break down silos and promote cross-sector initiatives.
The Strategy Groups will focus on the following priority sectors:
- Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems
- Energy & Green Transformation
- Transport & Connectivity
The Strategy Groups are supported by the High-Level Group of Personalities who provides political and strategic orientations for the Africa Europe Foundation.
Our cross-cutting themes
In promoting a whole-of-society approach we highlight the importance of embedding cross-cutting themes which are pivotal to taking the Africa-Europe partnership to the next level of impact:
Climate Change; Youth; Gender; Education; Mobility; Involvement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES); and Governance.
The research partners affiliated to the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups include IPEMED (Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute), the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), the Next Einstein Forum and FERDI (Fondation pour les Études et Recherches sur le Développement International).
The preparation of the Africa Europe Foundation has been supported by the European Commission and in association with the African Union Commission through the “Debating Africa-EU” series.
The announcement of the Africa Europe Foundation is a call to involve diverse organisations, youth and civil society networks, think-tanks, foundations and institutions working on the Africa-Europe partnership.
Paul Walton — Director
Julie Bolle — Project Operations Director
Amrote Abdella spearheads Microsoft’s investments in Africa across 54 countries, enabling and accelerating digital transformation opportunities. Abdella has worked with the World Economic Forum as an Associate Director for Africa, served as a Financial Analyst at the World Bank, and was involved with the Global Hunger Project. Here, Abdella oversaw projects across eight countries in the continent and worked in driving financial inclusion. She has been named one of Africa’s Top 100 young business leaders and was recognised by Jeune Afrique in 2019 as a top 50 influential leader shaping digital evolution and supporting start-ups in the African continent.
Abdelmalek Alaoui is an editorialist, author and founder of the Guépard Consulting Group, a firm specialised in strategic communications for CEOs and governments. Prior to that, Alaoui founded Global Intelligence Partners, a pan-African consultancy firm specialised in strategic analysis and business intelligence. A regular policy analyst for the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, Alaoui also contributes to Forbes on US policy, North African affairs, and international relations. Alaoui is the author of award winning book “Economic Intelligence and Secret Wars in Morocco” and “Le Temps du Continent”, which won the Turgot Prize for the best French-speaking economics book in France.
Gilles Babinet is a French multi-entrepreneur and a digital visionary. A proven leader in digital excellence, he is the Vice-President of the French National Digital Council and represented France in the Digital Champions group at the European Commission until 2018. Collaborating with the think tank Institut Montaigne on digital competitiveness, digital inclusion, big data, and IoT, Babinet is a professor of Public Policies & Digital at SciencesPo Paris. Babinet’s latest book published in 2020 entitled, “Refondre les politiques publiques avec le numérique“, focuses on how government and public services should embrace the digital revolution.
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.
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 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.
Janet Fofang is an award-winning electrical engineering educator recognised as a pioneer in developing STEM training programs in electronics, robotics, and programming. Throughout her career, Fofang has been a key player in developing the digital skills of thousands of young people, with a focus on girls, in Africa. Her innovative approach earned her the A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award for innovative teaching practices in STEM and computer science, among other awards. Fofang is also the founder of the Tassah Academy, a leading provider of applied STEM curriculums in Cameroon.
Pawel Hansdorfer is an expert in public and private sector mission critical systems, with over 25 years of IT experience. He is specifically focused on emerging markets, seeking to identify solutions to government’s IT requests. Asseco is the largest IT software company in Central and Eastern Europe, operating in eight African countries. Hansdorfer’s work at Asseco focusses on supporting local African IT development, capacity building and knowledge transfer processes.
Paula Ingabire is a Rwandan politician and tech enthusiast. Prior to her appointment, she served as Head of the ICT Business Development Department at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and coordinator of the Kigali Innovation City Project. Ingabire coordinated the creation of SMART Africa, a broadband infrastructure initiative for African socio-economic growth. She was named among the Top 20 most influential people in digital government by Apolitical. Ingabire serves on the Global Council of the World Summit Award Board of Directors, WEF Cyber Security Board and Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Global Network Advisory Board.
An agricultural economist by training, Jaakko Kangasniemi is the Managing Director and CEO of Finnfund since 2002. Kangasniemi has focused on African economic development issues for the past 17 years and is a development finance, development policy and private sector development expert. During his tenure, Finnfund’s investment portfolio has expanded nine-fold, with its primary focus shifting from Asia to Africa. Previously an economic advisor at Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kangasniemi has also worked at the World Bank, and as a researcher in Rwanda.
Natasha Kimani is a lawyer with extensive experience in constitution implementation, devolution and public policy and governance in East Africa. She has developed and reviewed national and regional policies and legislation relating to security, devolution and public finance. Kimani is also an Academy Fellow at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she focuses on gender-responsive devolution in Kenya and East African affairs
Bruno Mettling is French entrepreneur who founded Topics, a consulting firm dedicated to developing smart social and digital transformation strategies. Mettling previously worked at the French telecom Orange Group as Director and Executive Deputy General Manager in charge of Human Resources and Internal Communication. He was eventually appointed CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, leading the consolidation of operations in both regions. In 2016, Mettling was also entrusted by the French Minister of Labour with the development of a seminal report studying the impact of digital technology on the future of work.
Mario is a Professor of Business Administration and Corporate Strategy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, where he is also a Founder of ALTIS, the Graduate School Business & Society, which focuses on impact entrepreneurship and corporate sustainability. Mario also serves as Chief Executive Officer and an Ashoka Fellow at E4Impact (Entrepreneurship for Impact). Previously, Mario was the scientific director of ISVI, Institute for Business Values, a centre of research for corporate social responsibility promoted by important Italian universities, businesses, banks and associations. Passionate about corporate strategy and entrepreneurship, he has not only authored numerous books and scientific articles, but also founded the CSR Manager Network, the Italian association of corporate social responsibility and sustainability managers from the principal Italian businesses.
Keller Rinaudo is an American robotics and autonomous airplane entrepreneur. Before founding Zipline, Rinaudo was a software engineer and built computers out of RNA and DNA that operate in human cells. He became one of the youngest first authors to publish in the Nature Biotechnology journal. His company Zipline aims to provide medical deliveries to all Rwandan citizens and has been hailed by the World Health Organization as a “visionary project”.
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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.
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