Dr Sam Lunn-Rockliffe
Acting as a new coalition of leaders catalysing actions to drive alternative pathways to prosperous futures, the Africa Assembly gathered for its second meeting on Monday 9th November to discuss the possibilities for building a better future in a post COVID-19 world. Keynote speakers Professor Henrietta Moore, Dr George Njenga, Dr Morris Mthombeni and Professor Jacqueline McGlade explored a range of issues built upon the premise that now is the time for a new era of experimentation with social, cultural, economic, and political innovations. This included exploring the role of business schools across Africa in leading the transformation of African economies; how we may advance the principles of Regenerative Agriculture for more ecologically resilient systems of food production; the opportunities of valuing waste within circular bioeconomies; and the possibilities of using pollution and traffic as a provocation for creating an area for public debate across Africa.
The Africa Assembly is undertaking its activities as the first regional assembly of the Institute for Global Prosperity’s ‘Transforming Tomorrow Initiative’ (TTI). This initiative aims to build capacities for deep social, political and economic transformations at a global level through a number of interrelated pathways. In the first instance, TTI looks for inspirations from existing community organizations, businesses and policies and foreground them as exemplars of best practice. Secondly, TTI aims to create new areas of public debate on emerging issues through a series of provocations. These are spaces created for open and public discourse that have been informed by inspirations and are supported by an Academic Community for Transformation (ACT).
Using regional assemblies as conduits for pursuing these activities, TTI aims to design novel interventions that challenge the status quo and shape new pathways to diverse prosperous futures. This endeavour is highly pressing given the huge task that lies ahead for re-building our societies and economies in a manner that addresses on-going challenges posed by the climate emergency, biodiversity loss and the precarity of many local livelihoods.
In light of this, the Africa Assembly held its most recent meeting as a community of leaders who are committed to supporting each other as they act boldly for a better future. Looking forwards, the Africa Assembly aims to act upon its inspirationsand provocations in order to develop tangible solutions in targeted ways. This will be achieved through the following five ‘Task Forces’ that draw upon specific skill sets and interests of the Africa Assembly members:
African Business Solutions: Harnessing the potential of Business School collaborations across Africa to lead in transforming African economies in sustainable and ethical ways.
Regenerative Agriculture: Advancing the principles of regenerative agriculture to improve ecosystems, increase dietary diversity and build fair systems of food production across the continent.
Turning Waste to Value: Using the principles of the bio circular economy to create systems and businesses that value waste.
Clean Air in Africa: Building a ‘systems’ approach and social engagement strategy to address issues of air pollution across Africa.
Energising Mobility Change: Undertaking a strategic study and creating a business case to assess the transition to electric public transport in African cities.
Through these task forces, Africa Assembly members will be able to work collaboratively and create synergies across sectors. As a community of leaders they can spur and support people to create African solutions of global significance to the major challenges of the day.
The Africa Assembly is hosted by Strathmore University Business School and is part of the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity’s (IGP) Transforming Tomorrow Initiative for tackling climate change and biodiversity loss. The purpose of the Africa Assembly is to catalyse an unprecedented period of experimentation that move the continent (and eventually the rest of the world) from emergency to prosperity. We want to create a community of leaders who support each other in acting boldly for a better future.
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