The New Era of African Education
Instruction of youth is like engraving in stone - Moroccan Proverb
With emerging models of strong, educational institutions across the African continent; particularly the African Leadership University, African Leadership Academy and the Ashesi university, we are witnessing a new era of African education. One that seeks to develop highly effective learning and teaching systems with the goal of creating a new brand of African leaders, generated on the continent, who understand and have experienced first hand, issues pertaining to Africa. This panel will focus on discussing the benefits of such education, while simultaneously exploring the increasing tension, between education on the continent and what the African marketplace demands, in relation to the relevancy of skills and employability. Should Africans focus on vocational training versus liberal arts education ? What is the way forward for African education particularly on the secondary and tertiary level?
The Afropolitan and Popular Culture
The term Afropolitan has been defined by Minna Salami –famous blogger behind MsAfropolitan–as "a group of people who are either of African origin or influenced by African culture, who are emerging internationally using African cultures in creative ways to change perceptions about Africa.” This panel will weave together the concept of the Afropolitan, the role they play in diversifying and globalizing the entertainment industry, and the contribution of this institution in changing perceptions about Africa while advancing the development of the continent. The panel will also address the issue of cultural appropriation in the diaspora, as well as the impact of this on the entertainment industry.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Innovation-driven entrepreneurship has played a crucial role in the development of various economies on the continent. With the rise in promising initiatives like MPESA, the Cardiopad, FarmCapital and so much more, it is believed that promoting entrepreneurship is key to tackling some challenges facing the continent. This panel will focus on the contribution of entrepreneurial industries towards the development of the continent, the requirements needed to further innovation-driven entrepreneurship and the obstacles facing most African entrepreneurs.
Women and Government
From Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Joyce Banda, we have seen on rare occasions, African women, take high positions of authority in government. In 2008, the nation of Rwanda elected the world’s first women-dominated legislature and has been greatly commended for this step in the right direction. In this panel we will discuss the role women play in a traditionally patriarchal continent, the necessity of women in government and evaluate the obstacles African women face in participating in the government of African countries.
All across the African continent people are persecuted due to their religion, ethnicity, sexuality, race and gender. Ranging from the mistreatment of the LGBTQ communities in Gambia. Uganda and Zimbabwe to the abduction of albino people in Malawi, social justice initiatives are becoming increasingly important on the continent. There is a lot of good work happening on the continent including Theresa Kachindamoto's efforts in terminating child marriages and the #ThisFlag movement in Zimbabwe. This panel will aim to explore avenues towards fighting for social justice and human rights in African countries. We will highlight stories of Africans fighting for their vision of what the continent could be; a place of equality, freedom of expression and tolerance.