Commonwealth Summit seeking to unlock economic potential of Africa

Unlocking Africa’s economic potential by increasing trade and collaboration within the Commonwealth will be a key talking point at next month’s 5th Annual Commonwealth Africa Summit 2018 in London.

Organised by the Commonwealth Africa Initiative (CAFI) and supported by The Ghana Society, the three-day event kicks off on Commonwealth Day (12th March) – under the theme ‘Common Good’.

The Summit aims to spark new thinking on how to promote collective action, achieve shared prosperity and common good for Africans. Through a series of discussions the event will encourage dialogue on how to strategise and mobilise valuable African resources that are critical to shaping the continent’s emerging economies.
Key themes and conversations will include:
• Exploring intra-Commonwealth trade and investment in a post-Brexit world
• Discussion on responsive and responsible leadership across Africa
• A focus on the clean energy revolution across the continent
• Learning from global growth models
• Education and youth empowerment
• Party supremacy and internal democracy
• Enabling environments and youth-friendly laws
• How African nations embrace new systems and technologies

With more than 300 global and African thought leaders in government and business expected to attend, the stage will be set for discussion on issues ranging from trade and investment, entrepreneurship, job creation, economic development, health, security and counterterrorism, and energy.
Invited speakers drawn from across the vast continent and representing the political world, business, commerce, and the media are lined up to participate. They include former president of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and former Ghanaian president Dr John Mahama; Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations; and Professor Patrick Lumumba, Director of the Kenya School of Laws.

Africa’s political future
How Africa’s growing youth population can transform the continent will be the subject of a forum taking place on the final day of the Summit. Over 100 key players in the African youth development sector are expected to meet to explore reshaping the agenda for youth participating in political leadership on the continent.
Under the theme: ‘opening the space, taking the place’, the Forum on Africa’s political future will focus on the Agenda 2063 and its aim to socio-economically transform the continent through full implementation of the African Youth Charter. Part of that aim is for full gender parity with women occupying at least 50% of elected public offices.

Other panel discussions will look at disruptive innovation and the future of youth development in Africa, and the potential role of the Diaspora in sponsoring and promoting youth political participation on the Continent. There will also be a chance to look at the role that Africa’s private sector plays in supporting the reform of the continent’s geo-political landscape.

“This year’s Summit is a chance to explore many of the pertinent topics that are and will impact on the African continent in coming years,” said Maria Lovell, founder of The Ghana Society. “As with much of Africa, Ghana has seen its youth population increase since its early independence years and with it, an impetus to deliver change that can transform the country and her people. These panel discussions touch on elements where, though discussion, on gender parity, the role of the private sector, Brexit and engaging the youth in political leadership, this transformation can be achieved.”

The event is organised by the CAFI in association with Oxford Business Group, The Ghana Society, GLEEHD Foundation, Ben TV and other partners. CAFI promotes the socio-economic interest of Africa in the Commonwealth.

The Summit takes place at Cavendish Convention Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, Marylebone, W1G 9DT.

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