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7th Diaspora International Conference on: The Diaspora International Conference on New Trends on African Development: Role of the Diaspora as Catalysts for Development (Bern, 21/09/2019)

Venue: UNIA Schweiz, Weltpostrasse 20, 3015 Bern

Since the end of 2017, concerned members of the African Diaspora in Switzerland drawn from diverse associations have been meeting to discuss the increasing and risky African migration through the Mediterranean Sea. How could migration be made safe, orderly and regular? The findings reveal clearly that violent conflicts, abject poverty, unemployment and lack of perspectives for the youth, which are direct consequences of poor and underdeveloped economies are major drivers of irregular migration. Inordinate foreign interference and intervention is also a major factor.Managers of migration should pay more attention to bringing durable solutions that militate against drivers of irregular migration; thus special efforts to support the development of African economies are paramount. After diligent consultations, a decision is taken to convene an international conference with important stakeholders and experts to discuss,sensitize, dialogue and proffer solutions to the current endemic economic malaise which threatens the future of the Africa and her people. The Diaspora will take a central role in this conversation.The languages of the conference are English and French with simultaneous translation.

Africa is blessed with vast mineral resources, well trained human capital, motivated and booming youth. Despite a growing number of African and international economic instruments like the New Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD, Agenda 2063 of the African Union which aspires to among others,a world class, integrative infrastructure that criss-crosses Africa, the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa,and more recently, the African Continental Free Trade Area CFTA and its accompanying Protocol on Free Movement of Persons adopted by the African Union in March 2018, the Agenda 2030 and Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.These developments combined with the continual significant increase in economic growth in the last two decades, Africa remains predominantly underdeveloped and largely untapped economy where poverty, unemployment, violent conflicts still resonate.Is Africa actually a poor or an impoverished continent? There is also an ongoing discussion about the independence of Africa vis-a-vis Neocolonialism.What is the impact of Multinationals, illicit financial flows, capital flight on African economy? What are the root-causes of poverty that push her teeming youth to take the risky path of irregular migration in search of greener pasture abroad? Can this trend be reversed? What is the role of good governance, effective and purposeful leadership in African development? Also the African debt profile is growing steadily which raises the question of its sustainability. What is the way forward in exploring the huge investment opportunities, abundant natural and human resources in Africa to improve on African Development outlook?How can we quantify the interface of the Regional Economic Communities RECs in the economic development of Africa? What roles can the diaspora play as a catalyst to unlock the potential of African development?These reflections among others will form the theme of our conversation at the proposed international diaspora conference on African Development.This conference, which is organized within the auspices of the International Decade for People of African Descent with theme: Recognition, Justice, and Development aims among others to sensitize, exchange and share knowledge, experience and best practices as well as networking of synergies for a more effective and coordinated Diaspora engagement for development as a major outcome.It will showcase among others, series of interactive sessions, presentations, panel discussions, interviews,Q&A, B2B, Networking... It will attract highly qualified professionals in the field, members of diplomatic corps, academics, policy makers, diaspora business moguls and captains of industries, the civil society actors, women and youth leaders, diaspora delegates from Switzerland and across Europe as well as friends of diaspora... You don’t want to miss this!