The Ambassadors Series Africa Panel #2: African Solutions to African Problems brought United Nations diplomats together with academics, experts, and civil society to discuss global issues and exchange multiple perspectives. The panel was hosted by the Journalists and Writers Foundation New York on April 16.
Africa is a rich continent with ample manpower and resources; now it just needs to harmonize those resources.
Common theme discussed by the panelists
The panel was moderated by H.E Antonio Tete, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations (UN), and speeches were given by H.E Anatolio Ndong MBA, Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea to the UN; H.E Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN; and H.E Osama Abdelkhalek, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Egypt to the UN.
The panel’s welcoming remarks were given by Mehmet Kilic, JWF’s main representative to the UN. In addition, Dr. Idris Bal, a member of parliament from Turkey, discussed Turkey-Africa relations.
The panel covered the issues of education, health, and culture, as well as peace and security problems. One approach reiterated by the panelists was focusing on political and economic unity among different African nations by fostering better trade agreements and open dialogue.
The speakers chose to look forward instead of rehashing past problems. They recognized African accomplishments in art, math, science, music, and law prior to colonialization, underscoring the importance of remembering these successes as Africa moves forward toward achieving such accomplishments again.
Speakers also highlighted the need for the African Union to stay focused on its ambitious goals for 2050 and work to realize them sooner. The idea of democracy in Africa was mentioned but also that democratization comes in many forms, and Africans need to mold that idea to suit African ways of thinking.
Greater involvement of Africa on a global scale is still needed to improve and solidify current reforms. Not only do mindsets need to change from international perspectives, but also from African perspectives. Africans need to be more accountable to themselves first. The panelists discussed the importance of defining priorities before collaborating with other nations on investment, and they noted that Africa is not asking for handouts. Defining those priorities and making investment decisions require Africa to unite as a whole continent instead of continuing to divide among national, ethnic, religious, and political lines. As part of this discussion, Ambassador Mamabolo shared South Africa’s experience in sustainable development as the only African member of the Group of Twenty (G20), a forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making.
It was a common theme among the panelists that Africa is a rich continent with ample manpower and resources; now it just needs to harmonize those resources.
After the panelists gave their talks, they participated in a Q&A session with the audience.