First edition of the Geneva Summit on Africa organized by the students of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

October 2022 Geneva

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva held its first Geneva Summit on Africa on October 28th, 2022 and Tomorrow Foundation was solicited to support the event as a Swiss foundation active in Africa. The request was also touching personally the foundation as our founder is a Master graduate of IHEID.

The student-led event brought together leading practitioners, experts, academics, captains of industry, government officials, researchers, students and other leaders from Africa and its diaspora. The Summit focused on Africa’s current affairs, with the primary aim of amplifying African voices, and accentuating new and innovative solutions to catapult Africa’s development.

The thematics of African youth, innovation and African arts narratives were covered during several discussions including the following panelists and participants:

  • E. Prof. Muhammadou Kah, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Gambia to the U.N. Office
  • E. Mr. Emmanuel Kwame Asiedu Antwi, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and Permanent Representative to the European Offices of the UN, WTO and other International Organisations in Geneva
  • Marie-Chantal Umunyana, founder and managing director of Umubyeyi elevate, a Rwandan social health care start-up related to maternal-child health wellbeing
  • Aminata Kone, Director of Environmental Africa, a Kenyan ngo
  • Yacine Rezki, Swiss attorney at law specialized in international corporate and tax law,
  • Obu Gmais, painter artist from Ivory Coast based in Geneva
  • Joseph Kaifala, founder and principal of the Center for Memory and Reparations, facilitating remembrance and common narratives around the Sierra Leonean civil war.

The opening remarks were done by Dr. Marie-Laure Salles, Director of the Geneva Graduate Institute where she highlighted the importance of African Youth as a driver for hope, innovation, creativity and courage. She also shared her conviction that Africa is at the heart of new solution for the future world and this solution needs a “more inclusive, resources conscious, and human-centered architecture”. Humanity can’t be considered without taking into account that we live in a planet with rare and limited resources.  

Finally, the Keynote address was performed by Pamela Judith Angwech, Founder of Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalisation in Uganda and winner of the Impact Award 2021 and EU Human Rights Defender Award 2017. Mrs. Angwech highlighted that Africa’s “rich culture endowed with beauty and nature is what holds us together” and this strong cultural identity needed to be brought to the fore. She also reminded that the recent major floods in Nigeria evidence again that climate change has a huge impact and sustainable development is key.

Tomorrow Foundation thanks again the students for the organization of the event, all the panelists, participants and other sponsors. The messages conveyed corresponded fully to our foundation’s vision of a culturally confident Africa and a continent that will play a major role for innovation and sustainability at global level. We will follow-up closely IHEID initiates related to Africa and already expressed our willing to support the next edition of the Summit on Africa.  

Photo gallery (click to enlarge)