African Union Challenges Conference: Shaping the African Emergence at the United Nations headquarters in New York

February 2020 United States

Tomorrow Foundation was invited to the 2nd Edition of the African Union Challenges Conference: Shaping the African Emergence, held on February 21st 2020 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The event was organized by the Amadeus Institute, Moroccan independent think tank with a strong expertise in economics, geopolitics and global issues related to African continent, and the Italian Diplomatic Academy, a higher education institution, member of the United Nations Academic Impact in New York and directly affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The Italian Diplomatic Academy plays an important role in promoting United Nations activity and programs, especially within universities and civil society organizations.  

The event brought together more than 200 participants and 15 speakers – experts and government representatives – including our founder Mrs Maggie Gu. Two main topics where discussed in dedicated conferences: resolving the peace and security issues in Sahel, Ecowas and SADC regional areas and the integration process of African continent with the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Regional Economic Communities.  

Present as a speaker for the conference on the African continent integration, our founder stated that the ACFTA is a strong engine for structural transformation of Africa as removing progressively tariffs on a large variety of goods will not work if non tariffs barriers remain a constraint: infrastructures, energy capacities, security, circulation of people, customs procedures, business environment, capital flows and education need to be significantly enhanced.

She highlighted the fact that Africa will need its youth more than ever in the future context of economic diversification that would be brought by the ACFTA.  Growing sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and services will need trained people, talents, specialized skills and leaders.  That is why the work of the Foundation for youth entrepreneurship is very important. Besides, it shows that Africa youth as an extraordinary motivation, love for their countries and capacities to learn and progress. 

A lot of financial resources will also be necessary to diversify economies and built infrastructures. Africa cannot continue to rely heavily on its public debt and needs to develop private investment, non-debt solutions and new partnerships.

Finally, Mrs Gu concluded on the fact that ACFTA will require a strong further cooperation between African countries and coordination with the support of international organizations, African institutions, NGOs, business leaders and investors.

  Tomorrow Foundation is a partner of the Amadeus Institute on economic development issues and international cooperation in Africa. The Foundation would like to thank again Mr. Fassi Fihri, President and Founder of the Amadeus Institute and all his staff for the invitation and the event organization.

Photo gallery (click to enlarge)