Engendering an Inclusive Africa: Inspired by ‘Africa Together’
When more than three hundred million men, women and children still live in poverty on the African continent, a land with so much wealth and potential, we must ask ourselves what our role (as Africans living in the Diaspora) is in ‘Engendering an Inclusive Africa ’. This was the question the African Society of Cambridge University aimed to answer at the 2016 Africa Together conference. Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development, set the tone for the day with the words “Development starts with people, not structures. We must invest in our people”.
The day involved discussions on everything surrounding an ‘ inclusive Africa ’, from why business and development matter in Africa’s inclusive growth to the decolonising of education. Informative and vibrant panels explored how Africa can turn its abundance in resources into a blessing, the role of African voices in telling Africa’s story and a rare topic – the role of religion and spirituality in African development. Last (but definitely not least) gender equality and women empowerment turned into possibly the most heated and passionate panel of the day!
My first time at an ‘Africa Together’ conference was both an overwhelming, and a truly inspiring experience. This was a day spent commemorating Africa Day, celebrating the African continent and its Diaspora. I had the opportunity to celebrate African creativity, innovation and triumphs in a room full of individuals who had three things in common: a passion, a drive and a vision for Africa and its future.
Below are some of the quotes I found the most powerful. Which is your favourite?
“When you invest in a woman, you invest in a community” – Keynote speaker, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze (@knwanze)
“We have a lot of wealth in our people” – Tarik Choho, Managing Director of OCP SA and CEO of OCP Africa
“It’s time for women to take control and not seek permission from anywhere” – Viola Llewellyn (@VALlewellyn), Co-founder and CEO of Ovamba
“I was always waiting for someone to come save us, save Somalia. And then I realised that that person might be me” – Fadumo Qasim Dayib (@fqdayib), Somalia’s first female presidential candidate
“We cannot leave half the population behind and hope to be competitive” –
“We need to come together and ensure that the narrative written in 10 years is positive and sustainable” –
“Education = development” –
– Keynote speaker, Dr. Precious Moloi Motsepe, Businesswoman and philanthropist
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristina Dörr is a first year Business student at Oxford Brookes University and current Intern at Movemeback. Growing up in South Africa and coming to England to study has allowed her to see the true potential of the African continent and its people. Kristina’s time at Movemeback has given her great hope for the bright future that lies ahead for the continent and the role each and every one of us can play in it.