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Studium Generale 2021-22 - Loïc De Cannière: Africa on the crossroads

Africa on the crossroads

The conference entitled “Africa at the crossroads” describes the current state of affairs of the continent and provides an outlook for the coming decades.  Africa is facing huge challenges and threats. At the same time, the continent produces hopeful signs for a better future for all Africans.  

Africa will significantly influence European and global societies of the 21st century. The continent experiences a demographic explosion which will have an unseen impact on the global balance of economic and political power.  In 2050, Africa will have the youngest population in the world, while other regions in the world are ageing and even shrinking. This evolution can be a source of opportunities. But population growth also represents a potential threat: it can trigger unemployment, unrest and violent conflicts. 
Africa’s poverty is increasing. The gap with the rest of the world widens. World Bank predicts that in 2050, nine out of ten extreme poor people in the world will be African. Many governments have not been successful in combating poverty. We try to understand why this is the case. We discuss potential root causes of failing African governance. We investigate the potential impact of poverty on intercontinental migration. 

The continent possesses enormous assets: it has a huge surface of arable land and a unique reservoir of natural resources. African society is dual with modern industry and high-tech companies on the one hand and an informal economy of millions of micro-entrepreneurs and smallholder famers on the other hand. Starting from the resilience and creativity of the population, we try to understand how a trajectory to welfare and wellbeing for all Africans could look like. 

Finally, we will discuss the relationship between Europe and Africa. We will investigate whether Europe’s Africa policy is adequate and fair.
The conference aims to underscore the importance of the African continent for Europe’s future. It appeals for more interest, respect and responsibility for this formidable and inspiring continent.

The lecture will be held in English.

Registration for the lecture is mandatory. You can register via this page.

Read more about our lecture series here.