The 2018 ADF was held on 2nd & 3rd March 2018. Organized under the theme of 'Transitions', the Forum generated conversation on the changing political, economic, and socio-cultural structures that are shaping Africa’s transitions both
externally and from within. The discussion was placed within the broader framework of the interplay of integration, migration, and innovation in the continent. It explored the interface between migration and historic relics such as modern-day slavery, reviewing its implications for the transition towards an ‘integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa’. This interplay was further explored in the context of socio-cultural transitions in Africa by a youth panel. Lastly, looking towards the AU’s 2063 vision, the Forum looked at the transitioning economic policies and political dynamics in the movement towards sustainable growth and development on the continent.
ENERGY AND AGENCY: FUELING AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT
The 2017 ADF was held on 18th March 2017 in the Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS. It hosted a series of panel discussions on Resource Conflicts, Climate Change, and Women’s Power. Speakers included: Tomi Oladipo, BBC Africa’s Security Correspondent; Padraig Carmody, Author of ‘The New Scramble for Africa’; Dame Rosalind Marsden, a British diplomat with such postings as British Ambassador to Sudan and Afghanistan; Yacob Mulugetta, Professor of Energy and Development Policy (UCL) and formerly with the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he helped set up the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC); Dr Chukwumerije Okereke, Professor (University of Reading), Founding Project Director of the Rwandan National Strategy for Climate and Low Carbon Development project; Betty Makoni, a Zimbabwean gender activist who founded a charity focusing on Zimbabwe’s young sex abuse victims; Rainatou Sow, a Guinean woman who founded ‘Make Every Woman Count’, and many more.
INCLUSIVE GROWTH: STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICA
The 2016 ADF was held on 12th March 2016 in the Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London. The conference explored issues around the concept of structural transformation within the African context, with a particular focus on the role that new technology can play and how the question of environmental sustainability will play out.
Speakers included: Dr Antonio Andreoni, Senior Lecturer in Economics (SOAS); Stephen Gelb, Senior Research Fellow (Overseas Development Institute); Jason Hickel, Anthropologist (LSE) & Author of "The Divide"; Prof. Machiko Nissanke, Professor of Economics (SOAS); Sally Gear, Senior Education Adviser (DFID); and Nanki Kaur, Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development.
AFRICAN SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: DEVELOPMENT FROM WITHIN
The 2015 ADF was held on 14th March 2015 at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS. The goal of the event was to celebrate the successes of social enterprises in Africa, discuss how various movements are inspiring change trans-regionally and nationally, and to assess the capacity of social enterprise to drive future socioeconomic growth. Speakers included: Debbie Ariyo, Dele Fatunla, Ida Horner, Paul Payne, Mariama Kamara, Alieu Fofanah, Suzy Elneil, Rob Wilson, Nikki Wilson, Paula Woodford, Emily Darko, Paul Asquith.
The 2014 SOAS African Development Forum took place on 15th March at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London. Under the banner of ‘Creative Africa’, the forum focused on the potential of the creative and cultural industries to contribute to development on the continent and assess the challenges and roadblocks standing in the way of creatives. In the run up to the 2014 ADF, two creative professionals in the industry were interviewed about their experiences. This podcast was produced in cooperation with SOAS Radio London.
AFRICA'S NEXT GENERATION: A BRIGHT FUTURE?
The second African Development Forum focused on harnessing the potential of youth for the continent’s development. Addressing this context, the Forum consisted of two interactive panel discussions – ‘Mobilizing Youth’ and ’Innovating Africa’. Speakers included Lanre Akinola – Editor of the Financial Times, Yasmin Al Gharbawie – Legal director at Microsoft Egypt, Amina Adewusi – Africa investment analyst, Mariéme Jamme – Co-founder of Africa Gathering, Edward Watkiss – Head of Operations at Farm Africa, Rahma Ahmed – Executive Manager at Somali Relief and Development Forum.
AFRICA: DRIVING ITS OWN GROWTH
The inaugural African Development Forum (ADF) at SOAS, entitled, “Africa: Driving its Own Growth” aimed to provoke discussion around the recent growth rates seen in some African countries and the implications of this for broader development. The Forum examined the distinctive ways in which information and communications technology (ICT), financial services, agro-production, mining and oil/gas are driving growth in Africa. By bringing together business and policymakers, the forum offered participants access to different approaches to thinking about Africa.