“Africa Renaissance: Collaboration, Communication, and Cooperation”
In November 1884, Western powers at the invitation of German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck held the infamous meeting in Berlin in which they shared Africa among themselves without an African on the table. The consequences following the scramble and partition of Africa continue to stifle progress in many fronts but the continent cannot be a prisoner of the past.
Of the many challenges and pathologies visited upon Africa during four centuries of enslavement, exploitation and predatory, malign colonialism, none has had a greater impact than the continual devastation of the population of that continent. The capture and export of approximately 12 million men, women, and children over a period of a little more than two centuries created an extended holocaust that totally destabilized huge portions of the continent with the inevitable cultural and functional disarray.
The continent may continue to blame the past for all her woes, the truth is that recent developments demonstrate that African countries can rewrite their futures. Africa can do this by exploiting the gains inherent in economic collaboration among different states as well as harnessing the talents of Diaspora Africans outside of the shores of the continent.
It is in this connection that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) ratified by the required number of member states of AU and set to go into effect this year is significant. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa posits that intra-African trade could grow by 52.3 percent annually once implemented. The free trade area will be one of the largest in the world with over 1.2 billion people and $4 trillion in consumer and business spending. Its creation of a single market and customs union along with free movement for goods and services is expected to boost economies across the continent.
It is against the backdrop of persistent economic and political challenges confronting Africa that Center for Media & Peace Initiatives (CMPI) New York, a media and policy think tank in special consultative status with the United Nation’s ECOSOC and affiliated with Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration seeks to host an international conference on “Africa Renaissance:
Collaboration, Communication, and Cooperation.” seeks to bring together a worldwide group of scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplines (economics, sociology, public administration, political economy, business, anthropology, law, political science, information technology, journalism, education, etc.) to collectively explore the multiple facets of socioeconomic and political integration of Africa in the new world order.