In this intersectional world people hold numerous identities and these influence the way they interact with the world. This panel will explore issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and nationality, and examine how these various identities interact and conflict in Africa and the African diaspora. This panel draws on a range of issues from the criminalization of homosexuality in various African countries, to the rise of religion-based terrorism led by groups such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, to the prevalence of conflict relating to ethnicity throughout the continent. In this panel, we will think constructively about ways to address discrimination and persecution in a way that is inclusive and truthfully to people’s different lived experiences.
With the rise and fall of democracies across the world, it is important to examine the ways in which this institution operate in African countries. With this comes the exploration of the role that elections, transparency, freedom of speech and civil society play in contemporary African politics. This panel will explore the role of democracy in Africa, through the lenses of human rights, political stability and economic development. Furthermore, this panel will take a deep look at issues of social justice, including the role of the International Criminal Court, LGBTQ and women’s rights, issues of land and access, as well as civil society.
Business and Technology
There is incredible innovation and creativity coming out of Africa. This innovation takes many forms, ranging from from M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based finance service, to Nairobi X, a video game set in Kenya’s capital, to the CardioPad, created in Cameroon to monitor heart disease. This panel will look broadly at African start-ups, entrepreneurship and technology. We will consider economic factors and access, with regard to ability to create and solve problems with technology. Furthermore, we will delve into problems entrepreneurs face, and celebrate the success of some of the world's best businessmen and businesswomen who have come out of the continent. Overall, we will explore the role of entrepreneurship in resolving problems on the continent, and how as citizens, we can, and are, taking the initiative to find creative solutions/to create workable solutions.
The projected population of Africa in 2050 is 2.5 billion; now is the time to think about how to grow our continent sustainably. Indeed, this is a pivotal moment for sustainability in the world; not just on an environmental forefront, but also relating to public health. In this panel, we will address some of the world’s most pressing issues, especially those that affect society’s most marginalized and underrepresented groups. We will think about climate change, the pollution of rivers, HIV/AIDS, and nutritional diseases, all within an African context. We cannot continue to live as we do, and so this panel will explore ways in which Africans can prepare for the future in a responsible and beneficial way.