TCD Celebrates Africa Day with Conference ‘Africa – Moving Forward’
Posted on: 27 May 2009
Chief Economist of the African Development Bank & Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria Speak at ‘Africa – Moving Forward’ Conference
As part of the Africa Day celebrations on May 25th last a conference titled ‘Africa- Moving Forward,’ took place at Trinity College Dublin, featuring speakers: Dr Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist of the African Development Bank and Ambassador Dr Tunji Olagunju, Special Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), as well as Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development, Peter Power.
The event was organised by the Institute for International Integration Studies and the Trinity International Development Initiative, in collaboration with the group of African Ambassadors in Dublin (South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco and Nigeria) with the support of Irish Aid as part of the Africa Day celebrations nationwide.
Present at Africa Day were Dr Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist of the Africal Development Bank and Dr Tunji Olagunju, Special Advisor to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
There was a strong focus in the conference discussions on the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which African states adopted in 2001 as a comprehensive programme for Africa’s economic, social and political advancement.
The speakers tackled various dimensions of this issue:
Ambassador Dr Tunji Olagunju has been Special Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on NEPAD since June 2007. Between 1999 and 2005, Dr Olagunju served as High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to Lesotho and Swaziland. Dr Olagunju provided an overview of NEPAD in the context of the political and regional integration challenges facing the continent.
Dr Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist of the African Development Bank addressed Africa’s recent economic successes and the current challenges which it faces. Sub-Saharan Africa has enjoyed a remarkable growth takeoff since the mid-1990s. For the first time since the 1970s, a large number of Sub-Saharan African countries have enjoyed robust economic growth and high growth rates in per capita income as a result of a favourable economic environment, sensible economic policies and increased external support in the form of debt relief and higher aid inflows. However, the food and fuel price shocks in 2007-08 and more recently the global financial crisis are now threatening this progress and the continent remains vulnerable to exogenous shocks. International support is even more vital now if the region is to achieve its overriding objective to raise living standards and reach the Millennium Development Goals.
Minister Peter Power focused on developments in EU-Africa relations, looking forward to the next proposed EU Africa Summit in 2010.