The conference “Africa: In the Heart of a Globalised World” was the focal point of the S&D Group Africa Week, that took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 5-11 April 2016.
The aim was to facilitate an open and thought-provoking discussion on how Africa and the EU can re-shape their relations to make them more balanced, for the benefit of both sides, in the coming years and in the post-Cotonou era.
Moderator: Wendy Bashi
Africa-EU relations: Past, present and future
Welcome by Gianni Pittella MEP, President of the S&D Group
Keynote speeches by Martin Schulz MEP, President of the European Parliament, Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Aissata Tall Sall, Member of the Parliament of Sénégal and Hon. William Nokrach, Member of Parliament of Uganda
Concluding remarks by Victor Boştinaru MEP, S&D Vice-President in charge of Africa
Panel 1 Viva Africa - Africa in the eyes of Africans
Africa is an enormous continent inhabited by people with diverse social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Nonetheless, we are currently witnessing the emergence of a new pan-African identity. At the same time, modern Europe seems to be facing one of the most profound identity crises in its history. With our guests, we would like to debate these two parallel processes, and try to define what it means in 2016 to be "African" and "European".
Panel discussion with John Mary Vianney Mitana, Leadership Consultant, Yashpal Tandon, Economist, Eric Gitari, Human Rights Activist and Consuelo Cruz, Grupo Federal Afrosocialista
Chaired by Linda McAvan MEP, Chair of the Committee on Development
Conclusions by Knut Fleckenstein MEP, S&D Vice-President in charge of Development
Panel 2 Gifted Africa - The Africa of talents
Africa is in the midst of a remarkable demographic shift with profound consequences for the continent's future. It is about to benefit from a sharply rising ratio of people of working age to dependents. When Asia experienced a similar demographic revolution three decades ago, it gave a powerful boost to economic growth. However, much more is needed to unleash the full potential of the African people, and this panel discussion will be an opportunity to share views on how Africa and Europe can collaborate to create more favourable conditions for the talents to flourish, as well as to support education, human development and entrepreneurship skills.
Panel discussion with Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga, Energy Engineer, Soraya Aziz Souleymane, Mining Entrepreneure, Claude Grunitzky, Media entrepreneur and Marc-Arthur Zang, Medical Entrepreneur
Chaired by Norbert Neuser MEP, S&D Coordinator for Development
Conclusions by Marie Arena MEP, Co-Chair of the Women's Forum of the ACP-EU JPA
Panel 3 Changing Africa - New waves of citizens' activism for democracy and human rights
Far-reaching ambitions of young democratic movements in Africa are often confronted with harsh realities of undemocratic regimes. It is thus essential to draw our attention to these movements by discussing ways of supporting democratisation and promotion of human rights by youth activists in the continent. We believe that the European Union is capable of playing a greater role in this process, and also the perspectives of African youth activists can greatly enrich the European understanding of democracy and human rights.
Panel discussion with Floribert Anzuluni, Filimbi - RDC, Serge Bambara, Balai Citoyen - Burkina Faso, Aliou Sane, Yen A Marre - Sénégal and Cécile Kyenge MEP, Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Burkina Faso
Chaired by PierAntonio Panzeri MEP, S&D Coordinator for Human Rights
Conclusions by Elena Valenciano MEP, Chair of the Committee on Human Rights