African innovators were recognized at the recently-concluded EurAfrican Forum, a high profile event that seeks to promote ties between Europe and Africa. For the second year, Portugal was the stage of the 2019 edition of the event, which gathered 450 participants from Europe and Africa this July, under the theme ‘Partnership of Equals: Sharing Values, Sharing Prosperity’.
The affair marked a new approach and paradigm for the relationship between Europe and Africa, changing the narrative for both continents to create an accountable, prosperous and sustainable future together.
“A shared imagination is behind some of society’s greatest achievements: technology, space travel and political ideas continue to be driven by groups of people who have the courage and faith in each other to come together and answer the question: what if…?” Siyanda Mohutsiwa, Satirical Writer from Botswana and living in the USA stated.
During the two day event, many relevant topics were brought to discussion, including: African entrepreneurs driving inclusive innovation and growth; From donor-recipient towards equal participation; Changing the narrative: valuing talent and diversity from migrant flows; Africa: the new frontier for impact investment and innovation; and Legacy to growth: rehabilitating the heritage, culture and tourism.
Also, four parallel breakout sessions deepened related topics, namely: rebuilding Mozambique; security, migration and talent; tools and strategies for women and youth empowerment; and EU-AF economic integration and digital infrastructure for Africa.
“The mission of the Portuguese Diaspora Council was until today to help Portugal. We think today we should go to the next step: to motivate the African countries to create their own Diaspora Councils,” commented Filipe de Botton, President of the Board of the Portuguese Diaspora Council.
“There’s a lot of activity happening in Africa. 80% of young people want to be entrepreneurs. If we look at the dynamism of what is happening – in agritech, in fintech, in lots of issues, even in social entrepreneurship – I mean, this is incredibly important, and that is where Europe and Africa need to link up,” explained Koen Doens, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission.
With the contribution of 40 international speakers, the Forum had the participation of 450 participants, from 17 European countries and 24 African countries, including the participation of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, and His Excellency, the President the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
By invitation-only, the EurAfrican Forum is a networking and discussion platform underpinned on the power of Diasporas for connecting people, cities, regions and continents, gathering prominent and influential people that are forging enduring ties between the two continents – government officials, high profile business personalities, investors, young entrepreneurs, activists, social influencers, NGOs and media.