The second edition of the Geneva African Summit of IHEID

June 2024 Geneva

Tomorrow Foundation once again accepted to support the second Geneva Summit on Africa as a Swiss-based foundation active in Africa. The event was held in the building of The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), a pioneer in the exploration of global issues with the core missions of academic research, teaching, expertise, and forum activities as they produce and share knowledge on international relations, development issues, global challenges, and governance.

The 2024 edition of the Summit organised by the African Students’ Association of IHEID, themed "ON THE WAY TO THE AFRICA WE WANT," in reference to the African Union's (AU) Agenda 2063.  The goal of the forum is to exchange ideas, arguments, and discussions focused on identifying innovative solutions and providing a voice to African voices in current affairs related to the continent. 

The Keynote address was done by H.E Dr. Athaliah Molokomme, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Botswana to the UN where she mentioned the AFC Free Trade Agreement and emphasised the immense challenges it will bring in terms of political stability and transparency through an increase of legal framework. During her speech, she also reinforced the importance of education through the empowerment of women seeing the current youth dividend in Africa.

The thematics of the African economy, education as well as peace & security were explored throughout the panels. Starting with the economy panel, where panellists expressed their vision on the young, dynamic and creative population increase in Africa yet filled with challenges as it is needed to bring them opportunities.

The first panel on the economy was analysed by: 

  • Dr. Walter Mandela: Lead: Regional and Global Cooperation, WEF
  • Ms. Aissatou Diallo: Chief, Office for Africa, International Trade Center
  • H.E Mr. Colin Murdoch: Ambassador, Permanent Mission of OECS
  • Mr. Augustine Agyeman-Duah: Co-founder, APNS

Dr. Mandela has stressed the government’s need to provide opportunities for a structural transformation in the economy. He remarked that the Intre Africa Trade influences the external trading environment through WTO, emphasising a vision of a pluripotent world, along with opportunities such as global green transits. Ms. Diello underlined the fact that the private sector is not always aware of AFCFTA as well as the need for infrastructures to help MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises). She accentuated the need for a healthier business ecosystem since MSMEs' export issues occur due to high taxes by empowering business-supporting organisations. Mr. Murdoch highlighted that the practicality and manageability of programs are essential, therefore AFCFTA is too large to implement. He also stated that attracting international investors is primordial therefore building on major economic sectors, including bilateral agreements to remove the risk of expropriation. Mr. Agyeman commented that the mitigation of climate effects is necessary for economic development through the government's investment in climate-resilient infrastructures.

During the second panel on education, Dr. Khonje stated that the perspective of African education needs a shift in mindset where access to education clashes with housing leaders which creates challenges for leadership. On the subject of virtual learning, she stressed the importance of direct interactions with professors for the cultural mindset shift. Ms. Nkoth emphasised that the youth must feel their culture through de-learning Western concepts. She also mentioned the importance of practical experience and catering to the firm’s needs for unemployed graduates and youth. She also shared the same vision as our Foundation on how models and corporate leaders from the private sector must rise to positively influence government and policies. She also reminded the fact that women-led businesses need more support as it is usually more transformational with a higher societal impact.

The last panel on peace & security included Dr. Arnauld Akodjènou, Senior Adviser for Africa Kofi Anna Foundation and Mr. Audu Kadiri, Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Nigeria to the UN. The panellists have all reinforced how the control of immigration throughout the continent is essential to the reduction of conflicts and increase of security for the further development of Africa. 

Tomorrow Foundation is highly thankful to the organisation of this summit, the sponsors, the panellists, and the participating students. The messages communicated throughout the event perfectly align with our foundation’s values of a confident Africa taking into account macro objectives along with the improvement of education of its growing youth. The Foundation will closely follow IHEID's initiatives related to Africa and will continue to support them.

Photo gallery (click to enlarge)