'Out of Africa reborn must come modern products of human economic activity, significant contributions to the world of knowledge, in the arts, science and technology, new images of an Africa of peace and prosperity'. - Thabo Mbeki, The African Renaissance, South Africa and the World.
By the middle of this century, nearly 1 in 4 people in the world will be African. 370 million African youth are set to enter the labor market in the next 15 years. As many African countries are also rich in natural resources, the boom in global commodity prices drove Africa’s GDP growth over the last decade. However, Africa’s growth is not immune to challenges such as stresses of the global economy, building infrastructure, navigating rapid urbanization, tackling climate change, eradicating poverty, advancing human rights and achieving gender and income equality. How can the continent's potential be realized and its growth be sustained?
Last year’s conference took on the challenge of revisiting the idea of the "African Renaissance". It provided a space for leaders to discuss ideas on how African countries– through their governments, economies, and people– can maximize engagements and opportunities to refocus the structural development of their economies and address the binding constraints of economic growth and prosperity.
Former President of the African Development Bank Group
Dr. Donald Kaberuka is the former President of the African Development Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He stepped down on September 1, 2015 after ten years, and is considered as one of the most transformational leaders at the Bank.
During his tenure as President of the African Development Bank, Kaberuka bolstered its franchise value, tripled its capital from USD 30 billion to USD 100 billion, and doubled the bank’s portfolio. Kaberuka’s leadership was particularly characterized by a "big push” on the private sector and leading from the front on infrastructure. He championed an inclusive growth agenda; promoted a strong link between security, development and the environment, establishing a ring-fenced facility for conflict affected countries; and appointed an International High Level Panel on fragile states led by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. He put in place an Africa Natural Resource Center and the African Legal Support Facility to provide support to African countries managing natural resource wealth.
Prior to becoming Finance Minister of Rwanda, Kaberuka worked in the private sector in the commodities business, including a term as Chief Economist of the Inter-African Coffee Organization. Dr. Kaberuka also served as Governor for Rwanda for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank from 1997 to 2005. His private interests include classical music and wildlife conservation. Kaberuka currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum, the Mandela Institute (Minds) and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. He is also a member of several international panels on finance and development.
Kaberuka is an alumnus of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies of Sussex University in England.
ANAS AREMEYAW ANAS
Anas Aremeyaw Anas is an undercover journalist, attorney and private detective working in Ghana and across the African continent. In President Barack Obama's 2009 policy address in Ghana, he singled out Anas and commended him as a "courageous journalist who risked his life to report the truth." Prior to that, his work on human trafficking won him the US State Department Hero Award in 2008. In 2009, he exposed a human trafficking ring operating in the West African sub-region. The result was a story titled, "Chinese Sex Mafia", which led to three human traffickers receiving a 41-year jail sentence and seven Chinese girls rescued from forced prostitution.
Anas currently works as a lead reporter on Africa Investigates, a documentary series on Aljazeera which empowers African journalists to investigate and tell their own stories. Under the Africa Investigates project, Anas has so far produced over six award-winning investigative documentaries across the continent. He is best known for his works on anti-corruption and human rights, for which he has won countless national and international awards.
Research Professor in History and Politics, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Professor Achille Mbembe is a major figure in the fields of African history, politics, and social science. He is widely regarded as one of the most important public intellectuals writing about contemporary African and global phenomena in the world today.
He is a Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the convener for the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism and serves on the editorial boards of Political Theory, Atlantic Studies, and African Identities. Mbembe obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris and his D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Dakar, Senegal, visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and visiting Professor at Yale University.