The Africa Roundtable is a new forum for decision-makers from politics, business and society on European-African cooperation. The current urgent questions and challenges of the neighboring continents as well as partnership approaches and models of future cooperation are discussed.
Despite historic financial commitments made at the summit, COP27 left many observers feeling that issues concerning Africa fell under the table. Central to the debate is the reconciliation of climate action with economic growth. While Europe is working on its Green Deal, many African countries face a major challenge: electrification – about 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to electricity. Based on existing raw materials, technology and infrastructure, many African countries are also more reliant on conventional energy sources such as coal and gas. Here, policy needs to shift from a green transition to a just green transition that takes into account Africa’s particular need for affordable energy and industrialisation. At the same time, African countries hold manifold underused potentials for green energy generation such as solar, hydropower and green hydrogen which can be harnessed to realise electrification, growth, and exports.
Given the ongoing war in Ukraine and disruptions in global trade, many African countries want to increase their agricultural output and become self-sufficient. To sustainably secure livelihoods, this agricultural intensification should go hand in hand with the green transformation and the preservation of natural environments. Climate protection also means protecting soils, ecosystems, and biodiversity. Here, adequate and locally tailored solutions must be found, financed and implemented in terms of economic and development policy. Regional and international agricultural markets must also be accessible to African producers so that the widespread subsistence agriculture becomes more profitable.
High-Level Side Event: Empowering Women to Feed a Continent
The food security of millions of people worldwide is acutely threatened due to the many overlapping crises, and some regions in Africa are experiencing food emergencies. Simutaneously, women and children are disproportionately affected by malnutrition and undernourishment. The side event will focus on the lack of focus on the role of women in food systems, women as changemakers in food and nutrition security and the missed opportunity for global health.
A long-term balanced diet is essential for human health and resilience. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), empowering women and children is the most important lever for transformative change: women are disproportionately involved in growing, buying and preparing food, while their malnutrition has far-reaching health consequences for themselves and their children. Addressing the various factors of food systems and adopting a holistic approach can improve the nutrition and thus the health of millions of children and women in the long term.
Selection of speakers:
- H.E. Sönke Siemon, Ambassador
- Kossivi Tiassou, Journalist (DW)
- Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, Executive Vice-President, African Center for Economic Transformation
- H.E. Oulimata Sarr, Minister of Economy
- Dr Ingrid Hamm, CEO Global Perspectives Initiative
- Koen Doens, Director-General International Partnerships, EU Commission
- H.E. Dr. Aissatou Sophie Gladima, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Senegal
- Hauke Engel, McKinsey Nairobi
- Dr Vera Songwe, Chair, Liquidity & Sustainability Facility
- Dr Jörg Kukies, State Secretary & G7/G20-Sherpa, German Federal Chancellery
- H.E. Thokozile Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development of RSA
- Maciej Golubiewski, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Agriculture, EU Commission
- Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Managing Director, GIZ
- Mo Ibrahim, Entrepreneur & Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
- Christine Mhundwa, Anchor & Correspondent, Deutsche Welle (DW)
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