Africa Summit 2019

Africa is a continent experiencing a renaissance in terms of economic growth, inward investment, the emergence of widespread entrepreneurialism, demographic changes, inward and foreign investment, and the development of tech companies. This Summit is intended to expand upon already existing areas of cooperation, and delve deeper into key challenges and opportunities in order to strengthen the EU’s collaborative and effective regional partnership with African nations.

This Summit will be an opportunity to exchange best practice between the EU and African nations in key areas, such as democracy, security, economy, health related issues, emergent technologies, the use of development aid, and developing a future relationship on trade cooperation. This Summit brings together key politicians, commentators, organisations, and experts to discuss these important issues.

08.00: Accreditation open for external participants

08.30: Registration open for all participants (JAN 6Q2)

09.00 – 09.30

  • Welcome remarks by Syed Kamall, ECR Group Co-Chairman
  • Welcome remarks by Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament

09.30 – 10.30: Panel I - Africa and emerging technology

The growth of mobile phone networks, greater access to the internet, and the growth of tech start-up companies in Africa has paved the way for a tech-focused economy of the future. Many global companies such as Facebook and Google are investing in African nations and projects. In May 2017, the European Commission presented its ‘Digital4Development’ strategy, which aims to contribute to the realisation of the objectives in the UN Millennium Development Goals by mainstreaming digital solutions and technologies in EU development policy. This panel will look at how African nations, the EU, and its Member States can use technology in the coming decades, and what the consequences of this are for jobs, the economy and society as a whole.

  • Isabel Dos Santos, Chairwoman of Unitel, Angola
  • Jamil Ahmad, Director of the United Nations Environment Program
  • Dr Wojtek Wilk, CEO, Polish Centre for International Aid
  • Syed Kamall. Co-Chairman of the ECR Group

10.30 – 11.30: Panel II - European support for African Peace and Security Initiatives

Peace and security threats can vary in terms of ideology, the intended and/or real consequences of their actions, or whether their impact occurs on a local, national, regional, international level or on a combination of different levels. A proper examination and interpretation of the threat and the subsequent response is therefore crucial in fighting threats from insurgents, as well as from state actors. Some of the challenges are not exclusive to the affected nations but also key to the EU’s internal and external strategy. In this respect, the EU, different Member States, together with other actors, are panel will look at how the EU and its Member States and the AU and its Member States can better cooperate to find solutions for these mutual security challenges.

  • Ibrahim Sani Abani, Secretary-General of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States
  • Patrice Kouame Kouassi, Deputy in the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, Committee on Security and Defence
  • Joshua Meservey, senior policy analyst, Africa & Middle East, the Heritage Foundation
  • Professor Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Vice-President of the European Parliament

11.30 – 12.30: Panel III - Democracy building and good governance in the 21st century

Africa is a continent experiencing an overall positive trend in regard to democratic changes. In numerous countries, a peaceful change of power has taken place. Different African countries, which experienced war in the past, were able to change the political scene in the process towards a democratic society. Nevertheless, democracy in Africa is facing several challenges. One of the key issues facing democracies around the world is how we can ensure that national sovereign government representation is diverse; and that elections are free and fair taking into account the rule of law, transparency, accountability, human rights, rights of minorities and the demographic dividend. This panel will be a unique opportunity to hear from publishers, journalists and campaigners speak about.

  • Adebola Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of RED Media Africa and StateCraft Inc.
  • Aleksandra Gadzala, senior fellow, Africa Center, Atlantic Council
  • Professor Nicholas Cheeseman, Democracy and International Development, University of Birmingham
  • Mark Demesmaeker, Member of the European Parliament

13.00 – 14.30: Lunch Break

14.30 – 15.30: Panel IV - Health trends in Africa

Investment in Africa’s health systems is key to inclusive and sustainable growth. Strong economic growth in recent years has helped reduce poverty to 43 percent of the population, but now growth is slowing. Many countries still contend with high levels of child and maternal mortality, malnutrition is far too common, and most health systems are not able to deal effectively with epidemics and the growing burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. These challenges call for renewed commitments and accelerated progress towards addressing health trends and challenges. This panel will look at how access to essential basic medicines can be increased in some African nations, and what role government should play in addressing these health trends and challenges.

  • Minister Beata Kempa, Minister for Humanitarian Aid, Poland
  • Nuria Molina, senior program officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Selorm Branttie, Global Strategist, mPedigree
  • Commissioner Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management (video message)
  • Eleni Theocharous, Member of the European Parliament

15.30 – 16.30: Panel V - Building businesses and infrastructure

The African continent is facing the fastest growth of population in the world. This provides an enormous challenge with regard to transport, housing, jobs, services and sanitation. In order for African nations to be able to meet these challenges, there is a need to provide the right regulatory framework for businesses and infrastructure to grow. Some of the key initiatives of the last 5 years in the EU has been the EU Trust Fund and the EU External Investment Plan. The EU External Investment Plan mobilised 44 billion Euros of investment, to make the important link between private enterprise and public money for building long-term sustainable economic growth. This panel will look at how the EU, its Member States and African nations can work together to put the right framework in place.

  • Honourable Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development and Planning, Liberia
  • Former Minister Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Pakistan
  • Doctor Anna Masłon-Oracz, Economist, Warsaw School of Economics
  • Arne Gericke, Member of the European Parliament

16.30 – 17.30: Panel VI - Economic growth in African Nations

Many African nations are experiencing economic growth on an unprecedented scale. Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana were amongst the fastest growing economies in the world in 2017. Issues such as investing, lending, and increasing growth and banking capital are high on the political agenda in African nations. This panel will look at how EU investment political engagement can help create capital growth, and increase the living wage, competitiveness and international trade across Africa. The panel will look at the success stories of some African nations and see how they can be replicated across the entire continent. The panel will also look at what the EU can learn from Africa in its own pursuit for economic growth, prosperity and increased employment for citizens.

  • Minister Mthuli Ncube, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Zimbabwe
  • Jean-Louis Billon, businessman and former Minister of Trade, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Koffi Tutu Agyare, CEO, Nubuke Investment LLP
  • Rt. Honourable Mark Simmonds, Former Minister for Africa, and UK overseas territories, UK
  • Emma McClarkin, Member of the European Parliament

17.30 – 17.45: Closing remarks

  • Closing remarks by Jan Zahradil, ECR Member of the European Parliament

17.45 – 18.30: Closing Cocktail Reception

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