6th Edition of the Atlantic Dialogues under the theme: Africa in the Atlantic, Time for Action
OCP Policy Center organized the sixth edition of The Atlantic Dialogues, under the theme “Africa: Time for Action” in December 13-15, Marrakesh, Morocco. This annual gathering convenes influential public- and private-sector leaders from around the Atlantic Basin for open, informal discussion on cross-regional issues. The event encourages a lively, interactive and informal exchange of views between young professionals and today’s leaders.
This annual forum, initiated in 2012, seeks to open up the international debate on the Atlantic challenges, by making the voices and views of the South better heard. The first session, entitled: « Africa tells its own narrative », goes beyond a simple statement or a manifesto. It sets the basis for a strong commitment and a source of proposals, in line with OCP Policy Center’s action and multiple publications, and its very raison d’être.
Although the South Atlantic has not been very much present in the dominant perceptions, due to the linguistic areas inherited from the colonial era and to the geopolitical organization established in the twentieth century, it nevertheless presents a complex reality. OCP Policy Center is deeply convinced of this: this area is indeed a crucial fulcrum for the future of Africa. Far from being isolated from the rest of the world, this vast continent must highlight its long history of exchange with Europe and the Americas, for the sake of its own interest.
Conversing on equal terms
In order to ensure a balanced exchange between the North and the South, political figures, high-level public officials, researchers and economic decision-makers have come from the entire African coastline – from South Africa to Morocco through Nigeria – but also from the Americas and Europe. Out of 340 participants last year, 30% came from Sub-Saharan Africa, 21% from Europe, 19% form Morocco, 18% from North America and 9% from Latin America. Representatives of international institutions represented 21% of participants, the private sector 15%, think-tanks 23%, academia 14% and the media 7%.
Tackling the real issues
Political figures are also expected such as Edward Scicluna, Finance Minister of Malta and Omar Amadu Jallow, Gambia’s Minister of Agriculture. Three former Latin American Presidents presented the lessons learned from the development pathways of their respective countries for Africa: Eduardo Duhalde (Argentina), Jorge Quiroga (Bolivia), Michel Rodriguez (Costa-Rica). Former Prime Ministers Aminata Touré (Senegal) and Lionel Zinsou (Benin) were also present as well as former Foreign Affairs Ministers Hubert Védrine (France), Miguel Angel Moratinos (Spain) and Paulo Portas (Portugal), and former Education Minister Silas Lwakabamba (Rwanda). Consult 2017 speakers biographies
Discussions have continued during informal sessions around equally central issues: social and gender inequality, consolidating democracy, effectiveness of development assistance, new Asian prospects, the role of the diaspora, a new «narrative» on Africa, the perspectives of « Trumpism », transnational crime and violent extremism, among others. Consult 2017 AD Agenda
Making room for young professionals
A new cohort of 50 young professionals from 25 different nationalities (27 Africans including 6 from North Africa, 7 Latin- Americans, 7 Europeans, 7 North-Americans and 1 Asian), selected on the merits, have joined the Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders (ADEL) network composed of 250 young leaders. Three days of workshops and discussion, specially designed for them, have been organized in the presence of 20 former ADEL network members between 10 and 12 December in Marrakech ahead of the conference. These young professionals coming from the academic community, think tanks, civil society, the private sector and international organizations have then taken part in the Atlantic Dialogues in an original way by submitting concrete projects focusing on change and development. Consult ADEL space
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