27 November 2020

Concordia Regional Summit: The 2020 Africa Initiative

Over the last 10 years, Concordia’s Regional Summits have successfully initiated platforms for conversation on the role of regional affairs in international relations across economies in Europe and America. In 2018 Concordia launched the Africa Initiative at their Annual Summit, indicating the importance of African voices in tackling global challenges. The Summit met digitally this year, with conversations centred on issues including youth agency, financial inclusion, entrepreneurship,  trade, infrastructure, and investment.

The Concordia Africa Initiative 2020 brought many voices together from business and society across the African continent. Representatives of organisations including the Rwanda Development Board, Nigeria’s KPMG, and international partners like USAID, EarthX, Google, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and many others gathered to discuss cultivating community-led initiatives underscored by African stakeholders.

On the panel “Advancing Social & Economic Mobility Across the African Continent”, limitations like immigration compliance, delay in issuance, processing and collating data,  and other issues affecting E-visas were tabled. The panellists discussed how accessible E-visas could promote bilateral trade between countries and help private-owned businesses achieve global prominence. They also agreed that government immigration policies could help improve social and economic mobility and encourage the tourism sector across the continent.

Some of the key takeaways from the two-day digital event include Nick Barigye CEO, Rwanda Finance Limited, remarking that “one of the things that we have learned from the global pandemic is that you can’t do it alone”. Peter Sands, Executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced the “Global Funds in partnership Rockefeller will be launching a $25 million joint investment data initiative in January 2021”. Matthew Swift, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of Concordia Summit said that “there’s really no question, there is power in the youths to address issues affecting leadership and the economy; thus, we cannot imagine a more important time to have this kind of conversations.” 

The summit resonated hope in building African solutions and exploring the opportunities within and across the African soil. It was indeed a fulfilling and inspiring experience to see and hear the magic Africa and Africans have created over the last few years and catch a glimpse of what lies ahead. We look forward to hearing more about the impact of these conversations and what is done following the summit.

By Funmi Obieze Okorro

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