Deep conversations will occur to meet the challenge of a dynamic and prosperous partnership for all. Exploiting synergies and promoting business opportunities with mutual benefits, the event will be sharing initiatives, in search for a common ground.
PERSPECTIVE ON AFRICA AND EU RELATIONS.
The year 2020 marks the beginning of a promising decade for the EU-AU relations. The EU’s members are Africa’s main trading partners, foreign investors and chief source of remittances. Collective action and dialogue among African and European key players are pivotal to improve the livelihoods of all under the blueprint of the SDG, the AfFCTA and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Now is the time to reinforce our partnership to generate sound strategies, attract investment, deepen regional and global engagement for sustaining economic growth. Will the growing AfCFTA elevate the competitiveness of African economies? Is Africa on track for the 2030 and 2063 agendas? What role can Europe fit in when endorsing the African aspirations? Is economic integration key to make the African continent a global player?
MATRIX (ENERGY) JUST TRANSITIONS.
With impressive economic growth rates and a growing, young population, Africa has huge potential to embark upon a low-emission economy. While the EU aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral economy and achieve the Paris Agreement objectives, Africa needs to increase industrialisation capabilities while keeping the lowest level of emissions of today. A fair and global agreement for the energy transition is needed to prevent risks of jeopardising past and future progress. The stage is set for a new wave of dynamism among policy makers and business communities, with falling costs and increasing efficiently key renewable technologies, opening new avenues for innovation and growth. How to achieve the strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy by 2050? Could Africa show the world how to achieve a low carbon industrialisation path? What are the implications of an energy Just Transition for Europe and Africa?
MADE IN AFRICA: EMERGING AND FAST TRACK BUSINESS.
African innovation hubs and entrepreneurs are changing the business landscape across the continent, deepening financial inclusion and unlocking market opportunities in diverse sectors such as entertainment, music, manufacturing, fintech, education, agriculture, and healthcare, attracting international capital. Boosting investment, will further attract private investors, support education and skills development for employability, as well as boost trade and improve business climate. Fast business and impact investment are also contributing to solve acute societal problems in Africa and building bridges towards a sustainable future. Why these fast growth businesses are generating so much interest? Who are their leaders? What are their strategies and business models for disruption of incumbents? What is the role of diaspora networks pulling power to attract investors and mentors? Can Europe and Africa benefit from stronger bonds of their innovation hubs?
AFRICAN CULTURE FEEDING THE WORLD.
African artists and creators are inspiring the world with their colourful and energetic works, exporting trends and connecting emotions. The richness of the African cultures and diverse History, ethnicities, languages, traditions, social realities and identities are increasingly being translated in films, music, writings, designs that the world is increasingly appreciating and loving. It comes as no surprise that filmmakers, actors, musicians, writers are being distinguished in the billboards, awarded and become Netflix’s next success. From the contemporary writers blossoming in the continent to the emergent Nigerian film industry “Nollywood” – considered the third major cinema industry in the world – and the contagious design patterns, the African culture is feeding the world. Is Africa is really becoming a major world cultural power? Why African pop culture exports are becoming more and more accepted and appreciated? What are the cultural traces that most appeal to Europe and the rest of the world? Can these cultural industries change the image of Africa and its influence in the world?
CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTED.
The race to spread solar power across Africa via off-grid solutions is attracting entrepreneurs and investors from within and outside the continent, helping millions of Africans overcoming shortcomings of centrally managed power grids services. Africa is a mobile-first continent. Broadband expansion and digital inclusion is being driven by innovative and last mile solutions as packaged plug-and-play connectivity for rural communities. The growing African Airline industry is fast connecting the major cities and business hubs. Online and virtual education is reaching more and more people, allowing flexible learning options that allow them to work, learn, and earn, all at the same time. Using mobile money, micro-health insurance platforms are connecting low-income earners to healthcare services. These new and innovative infrastructures are connecting and deliver services for million people in need. How these new infrastructures are evolving? Will these meet the demands of a booming population with its specific needs for basic infrastructure and services? Who are the front runners? What is the take-aways and lessons for European policy makers?