PANELS

Identity

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.

 

Democracy

With the rise and fall of democracies across the world, it is important to consider the ways in which these institutions 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 innovative films coming out of Nollywood. This panel will look broadly at African start-ups, entrepreneurship, creative industries 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 businesspeople who have emerged from 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. 

 

Sustainability

The projected population of Africa in 2050 is 2.5 billion; thus it is incredibly important 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. There is enormous innovation and problem-solving relating to these gaps in sustainability in Africa, and this panel will aim to explore that. We will consider how people are thinking about the future of the continent in a more wholistic and sustainable way.