Our Future: Africa-Europe Dialogues take into consideration the conclusions of the Achille Mbembe report, The New Africa-France Relations: Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges Together (Les nouvelles relations Afrique-France: relever ensemble les défis de demain), as well as the hopes expressed by the young participants of the New Africa-France Summit, held on 8 October 2021 in Montpellier. The symposium series’ three main objectives will be: to increase African-European civil society dialogue, towards seeking solutions to common challenges; to facilitate free, transparent and peaceful exchanges between the two continents; and to work towards the co-development of new cooperation tools.
Nine symposiums will be held over three years
The first three Our Future symposiums will be held in South Africa (Johannesburg, 7-8 October 2022), in Cameroon (Yaoundé, 1-3 December 2022) and in Algeria (Algiers, February 2023).
The Our Future symposium in South Africa will focus on the Paths of Democracy (Les chemins de la démocratie). It will coincide with the Montpellier Summit’s anniversary. The symposium will be preceded by the inauguration of the Innovation Foundation for Democracy (Fondation d’Innovation pour la Démocratie), one of the Mbembe report’s key propositions.
Each symposium will host participants from the host country and France, as well as from other countries of the region and Europe, with young civil society representatives of both continents playing an important role. Each symposium will be a collaborative effort, involving local partners at every stage, from conception to launch.
The symposiums will be free and open to all.
Paths of Democracy - Johannesburg, 7-8 October 2022
Paths of Democracy is the title of the South African Our Future symposium, to be held in Johannesburg, 7-8 October 2022, marking the anniversary of the New Africa-France Summit in Montpellier. The symposium will bring together key actors from all sectors – science, public policy, education, arts and humanities, and so forth. They will debate the major challenges to democracy in Europe and Africa.
The symposium will facilitate a comparative perspective on issues such as participative democracy, inclusive justice, the opportunities and dangers that digital technology presents to democracy, new forms of civic engagement. The debates, performances and events will be organised by South Africa’s Institut Français in collaboration with partners including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Windybrow and Sibikwa arts centres, the University of the Witwatersrand, Play Africa, Poetry Africa, the Soweto Theatre, the Market Theatre Laboratory, and Constitution Hill and the Constitutional Court.
The event, open to the public, will take place at Johannesburg’s key sites of culture, debate and innovation: on 7 October, at the Soweto Theatre, located in Johannesburg’s largest township; and on 8 October, at Constitution Hill, a site that memorialises South Africa’s path to democracy.
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