GBM Blog

Meeting the Challenges of Africa’s Transformation

August 4, 2014 - 12:35PM
Published by Communications

The African Leadership Forum 2014

31st July, 2014 - Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa convened a one-day, African Leadership Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The overarching theme of the forum, which was coordinated by UONGOZI Institute, was “Meeting the Challenges of Africa’s Transformation”.

The Green Belt Movement, Executive Director, Ms. Aisha Karanja participated in the African Leadership Forum which brought together former Heads of State and/or Government from the South, as well as leaders from business sector, government, civil society and academia. This forum provided a platform in reflecting on the journey thus far and takes stock of challenges and opportunities as well as forecast prospects for the future. It was against this backdrop that Key note addresses were made by H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeri, H.E. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, and Former President of Botswana participated in the high-powered forum. Former Secretary General of the OAU and Chair of the Julius Nyerere Foundation, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim was also present.

 The African Leadership Forum was organized in four main sessions.  

Plenary Session: Meeting the Challenges of Africa’s Transformation

Ms. Aisha Karanja, GBM Executive Director with H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South AfricaAfrica needs to transform its economies to create wealth, reduce poverty, minimize inequalities, strengthen productive capacities, enhance social conditions of its people and achieve sustainable development. Economic transformation will ensure that Africa makes optimal use of its natural resources which are exhaustible.

Session I: Managing Diversity in Africa

As part of efforts to appreciate the nexus between Africa’s development ills and its enormous endowment of diversity, this session will explore diversity in Africa and the complexity of associated issues that incite conflicts. The aim is to provide the basis for recommendations that can transform Africa’s present regrets about diversity into an opportunity for tomorrow’s development and conflict resolution.

Session II: Managing Natural Resources to Ensure Prosperity in Africa

Africa’s endowments of natural resources are of world significance. The discovery and extraction of these resources has the potential to finance rapid, sustained and broad-based development.

Session III: Strategic Partnerships for Realizing the Transformation Agenda: How Should Africa Engage with Others?

The aim of this session is to reflect on the possible way forward for strategic global partnerships and initiatives to better support African owned objectives and strategies. How can Africa ensure that different partners' approaches will converge towards African-owned development objectives and strategies? These and many other related issues will be addressed.

Africa’s transformation is upon us. The future looks bright-Africa promises to be a competitive emerging market and powerhouse for the world’s sustainable growth.