Highlights From The 2020 Africa Impact Forum
In late February, the second Africa Impact Forum took place in Accra, Ghana. Fellows from across the Africa Leadership Initiative came together around the theme Building to Last: Leadership verse Systems. Guided by their moderators, 101 Fellows from Africa Leadership Initiatives across the continent, at the forum discussed a variety of topics about the future of Africa.
This year’s theme explored Africa’s needed to evolve from the current state of fire-fighting to taking a long-term view and build pre-emptive, resilient systems and sustainable institutions that will outlive the continent’s most formidable leaders. The forum challenged Fellows to think about Africa’s forward motion, beyond 2020, and what lasting systems and structures can and should be developed to enable and drive the change Africa seeks, including sustainable economic growth, development, and shared prosperity.
“Leadership & Systems: these are a pair of imperatives for Africa” - Olara Otunnu, former United Nations Under-Secretary and John P. McNulty Prize Juror
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“The Africa We Want”
The event kicked off with Africa Leadership Initiative - South Africa’s Dele Olojede welcome remarks and a conversation with guest speaker Yaw Osafo-Marfo, a Ghanaian politician, engineer and banker, on the theme: “The Africa We Want.”
In his remarks, Osafo-Marfos emphasized the theme for was both interesting and provocative as the African continent was challenged in both leadership and systems. Expressing gratitude to the AGLN and ALI Fellows for finding diverse ways to address some of these issues and ventures through public service and various ventures spread across Africa
Inaugural Ali Mufuruki Africa Impact Dialogue Panel Discussion
The inaugural Ali Mufuruki Africa Impact Dialogue panel discussion, which was named in honor of the ALI-SA founder who passed away earlier this year, on Leadership vs Systems, started with a conversation on how leaders and systems are currently balanced and what is the optimal balance for both short term and long term success.
ALI-WA Fellow and board chair, Amina Oyagbola, moderated the discussion with Henry Crown Fellows Shamina Singh, Founder & President of Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Ken Ofori-Atta, founder of ALI-WA, Isaac Shongwe, founder of ALI-SA, and Romeu Rodrigues, the founder of ALI-Mozambique.
After the panel discussions, the program broke down into focused topical dialogues and venture breakouts to help Fellows dig deeper in their discussions. Topics included:
- Working towards a single African market which achieves our highest aspirations.
- Porous borders for development and growth and not illicit practices
- Africa leads the world – why do we look elsewhere?
- The Unseen borders – the ones you know are there, but no-one talks about or admits to.
- Tech for Africa: Closing the Systems Gap.
- Gender Inequities: Closing the Gender Gap.
- The Youth in Africa: Closing the Age Gap.
- Environment and Sustainability: how is Africa dealing with impact of climate change.
At the end of four days, Africa Leadership Initiative Fellows from across the continent left, moved to think deeply about what they can do to help shape the Africa they want moving forward and how they can leverage the Africa Leadership Initiative to work collectively balance systems and leadership to build to last.
“I left with an increased commitment to act and collaborate in the areas of education and next generation ALI; also, a continuation of my development as a leader, a deep sense of hope and eagerly looking forward to the next forum in East Africa in 2022!” - Africa Impact Forum Attendee
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