News 2014

3rd Africa Day, 19-20 May 2014 in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

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The 4th Africa-EU Summit took place in Brussels on 2 and 3 April 2014 and addressed issues such as investing in people, prosperity and peace. The Brussels Summit represented a new opportunity for enhancing relations and further developing political, economic and social ties between the EU and Africa. Slovenia's interest in exchanging views on possible new opportunities for cooperation, as well as our wish to honour the Africa Day, have provided us with the motivation to hold the 3rd Africa Day international conference.

 

The 3rd Africa Day is organized by the International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Club of Former Slovenian Ambassadors, and the African Forum.

 

Background

 

Last year Ljubljana hosted the successful second Africa Day Conference marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its transformation into African Union (AU). The 3rd Africa Day conference will therefore be an excellent occasion for debate on the present state and the future relations between Slovenia, as a European Union member state on the one hand and Africa on the other, starting from the recently concluded EU-Africa Summit.

The event will be attended by members of the political, business, academic, and cultural sphere of Slovenia and other European and African countries, and by members of the diplomatic corps.

 

Conference format

 

The two-day event will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Monday, May 19th 2014, with the opening session during which the opening address will be delivered by H.E. Karel Erjavec, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovenia and other high level keynote speakers, followed by three panels focusing on Human Resources Development, Institutional Capacity Building, Circular Migration and the role of the Diaspora. On the second day, Tuesday May 20th, the conference will be hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and will address the topic of investment opportunities and strengthening of business cooperation.

 

Registration

 

Registration for the 3. Africa Day, 19-20 May 2014, is available here. There is no participation fee for this event.

 

 

Conference Program

The program of the conference is available here.

 

 

Day 1: Monday, 19 May 2014

Venue: International Center for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), Dunajska 104, Ljubljana

 

 

Session 1 – "Follow-up of the EU-Africa Summit - Investing in people: Human resources development and human capital"

 

Bearing in mind that migration and mobility is one of the challenges both continents face the commitment to continue and strengthen the cooperation in this field is paramount. In this respect the issue of human resources development is essential to ensure a coherent and efficient joint cooperation as a precondition for targeted action in the area of migration and mobility hence the first session will proceed from the conclusions of the EU-Africa Summit with regard to investing in people.

Considering interdependence and the interwoven realities, particular attention will be paid to the role of education, training, scientific and research cooperation stressing the importance for equal cooperation that considers the needs, interests and benefits of all sides, improves living conditions and lives of people building on and promoting human resources development notably in lesser developed environments.

This process requires to actively involve all stakeholders and is dependent on the building of an adequate formal framework and institutional network of partner institutions from all participating countries that will in concert with political actors together with the national and EU institutions develop strategies, policies and programs for educational and scientific cooperation between Africa and Europe, but also with other parts of the world (e.g., Asia, Latin America).

In addition to taking into account the existing diversity in individual societies and globally these strategies, policies and programs promoting cooperation and free flow of knowledge should contribute also to the free flow of people in the context of global migration. Educational and research institutions from all participating countries shall play key roles in developing those strategies, policies and programs, while the EU should consider establishing specific programs – modeled upon the Erasmus+ and similar programs – that will focus on the cooperation and exchange with Africa, stimulating especially the exchange of graduate students and scholars.

As an example of cooperation between EU and African countries the case of the Euro-Mediterranean University EMUNI will be presented during this session. Since its establishment in 2008 EMUNI, as one of the priority projects of the Union for the Mediterranean, has become an international institution, which gathers expert knowledge and experience of the Euro-Mediterranean countries and thus contributes in a significant way to the creation of a unified, integrated Euro-Mediterranean higher education and research area as well as to the sustainable development of the wider social-economic and cultural environment in the EUROMED countries and to Slovenia’s recognition in the region.

Additionally, the case of the intergovernmental organization International Center for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE) headquartered in Slovenia will focus of the issue of cooperation in the field of education and training in developing countries, especially given ICPE's 40 years of experience in the training of public servants from these countries, and the need to offer goal and need-customized programs. ICPE's role is particularly relevant considering that many African countries were founders of ICPE, participating actively in its programs and projects ever since the establishment while eight African countries are members of ICPE today. Moreover, close cooperation with African states was established beyond this membership scheme.

 

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Session 2 – "Good Civil Registration Governance and its Relevance for Circular Migration"

 

The practitioners of migration management agree that States themselves are still the owners of accountability over the governance of migration processes based on three pillars relevant for a successful migration management: 1) civil registration of population; 2) emigration and 3) immigration. States as actors of development are supposed to protect their citizens, where the notion of who its citizens are is a precondition for any State-supported action. Identification of citizens depends on a more or less developed system governing population registration and, at the individual level, civil status.

The objective of this panel is primarily to focus on one of the aspects of migration: circular migration and the relevance of civil registration in the country of origin of circular migrants for their reintegration once they return. More precisely, circular migration of highly skilled migrants and prevention of brain drain from their respective country of origin, combined with a a well-developed system of registration and the support of consular services. Such a support also implies well informed options for the return and reintegration at home. Furthermore, this includes the preparation for economic and social reintegration of returnee endowed with skills previously gained during their stay abroad highly needed for development at home.

For offering such support reliable statistics are needed on demographics, on vital statistics with a breakdown in gender, together with a fully developed system that enables access to fundamental rights like education, health, social, economic and political rights. Good statistics depend of the source information on individual life events (birth, marriage, death, etc.).

The presentations under this panel followed by a forum discussion should contribute to identify what models might be used as successful policy tool to contribute to the development of the countries of origin and what concrete practical experience might serve as a model for consideration for the development of national instrument(s) on migration, civil registration and forms of interagency cooperation with the support of civil society. Panelists from EU and Africa will present their practical experience and progress in this field.

 

Session 3 – "The Role of Diaspora and Non-governmental Organizations in Africa’s Development"

 

Engaging the diaspora and migrant communities in Europe in the development of the African continent is one of the key areas for supporting development as long as migrants – individuals, communities, organizations – possess knowledge based on experience and hence a deep understanding of the topics connected to development enabling them to pertinently assess the adequacy of the existing and future programs and projects as well as innovative proposals for strategic development.

In this respect there should be officially acknowledged the involvement of migrant and diaspora organizations at all levels of development cooperation, including the conceptualization, preparation, implementation and monitoring of the available policies, strategies, programs and projects.

In so far as the role of migrants and diaspora is concerned the migrants' skills, experience and advantages, particularly in the case of entrepreneurs who create jobs at the local level, contribute to the national tax income and social security system, should not be neglected. It should thus be recognized that migrant and diaspora entrepreneurs have an important part to play in the trade of ethnic goods and cultural services, the strengthening of local and international delivery chains, the professionalization of business production and system management as well as the multiplication of economic effect leading to economic growth in both the country of origin and the receiving country.

Moreover, it is important to institutionalize the structure of engaging migrant communities and/ or diaspora in development cooperation initiatives and ensure the adequate (co)-financing of organizations of migrants and diaspora that would complement the existing donations.

 

Day 2: Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Venue: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

The relations between Slovenia and African states have been encouraging during the last years, especially in the economic field. However, the overall volume of trade and trade in services is still modest and under the realistic possibilities of the economies. There are potentials for further development and enhancement of economic relations between Slovenia and African states, especially in fields such as the energy sector and alternative energy sources, environmental sector, including water resources management and wastewater management. Furthermore opportunities are noticed in sectors like information and communication technology, construction and engineering, pharmaceutical and chemical industry, metal processing industry, agriculture and last but not least in the sector of tourism.  

To provide a good business environment it is important to have the legal framework at place. Therefore, Slovenia is very interested in speeding up the negotiations with the African states on different agreements in the economic field, primarily the Agreement on Economic Cooperation.

With the aim to hold open discussions, to hear the presentations of the representatives and officials of some African states on the one hand and experiences and interests of the Slovenian business sector already present or planning to engage in the African market on the other hand, we are organizing the business part of the 3rd Africa Day conference.

This year Morocco and Ghana enjoy the status of guest countries. Last year this status belonged to Nigeria and Algeria. This status allows these two countries to present themselves and their economic outlook more in detail, both, Morocco and Ghana, being among the rapidly emerging economies.

The agenda of the business part of the 3rd Africa Day will include four round-table discussions about: 1) Economic Opportunities between Slovenia and Morocco; 2) Economic opportunities between Slovenia and Ghana; 3) Economic opportunities between Slovenia and Nigeria in the view of the follow-up discussion during the 2nd Africa Day conference; and 4) a Round Table Debate with the Ambassadors of African states present at the event.

It is our wish and aim to jointly look for and find better possibilities and opportunities to further develop and enhance the economic ties between Slovenia and African states.

 

 

 

Please find as well information on 1st Africa Day and 2nd Africa Day.