The 2019 Africa Advancement Forum London Global Summit Held At The Prestigious London Marriot Hotel, Regent Park.
The hugely anticipated Global 2019 Africa Advancement Forum Summit; held in London with the theme: “Building a Prosperous Africa on the Pillars of Peace, Security, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development”. The event held at the prestigious London Marriott Hotel, Regent Park, London, UK on the 31st day of October, 2019.
It was indeed a landmark day, a day not to be forgotten in a hurry in the annals of Diplomacy, Advocacy and the discuss of Afro-centric issues, the challenges bedevilling Africa’s desire in advancing the course of the Continent was at the front of every discussion, the requirements for building an enduring “Global Partnership” on the pedestals of Sustainable Development, Good Governance, Accountable Leadership and Economic emancipation was also emphasized in all the keynote addresses.
The Global Summit may have come and gone, but it’s impacts and significance has continued to re-echo resoundingly within the Media and Business Community in the UK and Africa. The delegates at the summit didn’t hold back their desires to see more interactions of this nature as they argued it is perhaps for the first time the Continent’s issues were tabled in the most frank and objective manner and exhaustively addressed by some of the very highly regarded and extremely informed discussants most of whom have in the past worked tirelessly in the interest of advancing the development of the African continent and promoting partnerships with the continent.
On the day, various keynote Speakers delivered papers amongst the lists were Hon. Henry Bolton (OBE); Leader of Our Nations Party of Great Britain, who spoke on the UK-AFRICA business relations and how Brexit will impact on the partnership, he argued that many African countries will become a formidable partners to the UK after Brexit is fully sorted. H.E Justina Mutale; Founder, Justina Mutale Foundation featured prominently with a call for Africans to look inward and hold their ground against invasion and dominating partners who have a history of abusing the continent and her resources.
She added, “Africa will build a new foundation for economic prosperity leveraging the new Africa Single market. Keith Stokes-Smith FCIS, ACMA; A Magistrate, Consul for Lithuania and President of Common Wealth Birmingham, explored the strategic relations and new partnership opportunities open to Common wealth nations and Africa, he made calls for countries to engage as there is much to do and gain from purposeful partnerships.
The first panel of discussion was focused on unpacking the African Free Trade Agreement with view to understand why it has so far not yielded any good sign or progress in trade across the continent. The panel chair, Dr Richard Itama, an international development economist from Kings College London, opined that the trade agreement must be reworked to include concerns that some countries have expressed in recent times. Issues of immigration and protecting the local economy, inflow of goods from Europe through sister countries, “these are not issues to be trivialised”, he submitted.
Other prominent participants on the panel includes; H.E Justina Mutale; Founder of Justina Mutale Foundation, Ayam Mahamoud (MBE); Head of Somaliland Mission to the UK, Ms. Saeeda Begum Ahmed; Special Adviser to the President on Strategy, Collaboration and Resource Mobilization Puntland State of Somalia, Alister Soyede CEO of BenTV London, Mr. Boma Douglas who is President of The Central Association of Nigerians in The UK, and Mr. David Smith, an investor with interest in Africa.
The second panel featured a discussion that was focused on the potentials for the use of technology to advance good governance for the advancement of economic prosperity on the continent. The Chair of the second panel, Tokunbo Olorundami, argued for better internet penetration as a means for access and integration for the wider populace on the continent. Other members of the panel includes; Mr Mohammed Ibrahim Jega of VoguePay, Mr Santhosh Palavesh a Digital Consultant and Jean-Francois Groff who played a significant role in developing the world wide web, they explored the use of technological solutions and block chain technology for an improved service delivery in finance and governance.
One of the panellist Mr Mohammed Jega, who is the Chief business development executive for vogue pay, expressed his satisfaction with the capacity of local tech companies in Africa, and prayed for the playing field to be much more levelled for African Start-ups on the continents to participate. The growth experienced in the tech-sector in Africa must be contextualized to protect the rich value system and cultural heritage of the continent, this was the closing remark of the panel.
After each panel, a Q&A session followed, and it was a great chance for participants to express their views and ask questions.
The CEO’s fire chat session featured 3 exceptional CEOs who are leveraging their entrepreneurial achievements to elevate the continent and these individuals were; ENGR. EMMANUEL AUDU-OHWAVBORUA, DR. MRS. ELIZABETH TEIN JACK-RICH TEIN JR and HRH Dr. EBUKA ONUNKWO.
The summit proper ended at about 7pm, and deserving distinguished persons and organizations who have made indelible mark by their contribution to the advancement of the continent were recognized and celebrated.