Subject: Key Outcomes of the 4th IREN Eastern African Thought Leaders Forum on How to Make Africans’ Dreams Valid
Arusha, Tanzania; September 19, 2014
In 2013, African leaders from diverse fields met at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to celebrate 50 years since the founding of the Organization of African Unity. They discussed the continent’s past, present and projected the future. In their reflections, they found expression in the African Union Agenda 2063. IREN Eastern African Thought Leaders assembled in Arusha, Tanzania to assess the Agenda 2063 and identify possible core interest for Africans.
WE, the 16 Eastern Africa thought leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda assembled in Arusha, Tanzania from various organizations namely; academia, media, Non Governmental Organizations, Think Tanks, Foundations, Consultancy Firms, Military and Diplomacy resolve and identify Africa’s core interest to be TO CREATE AFRICANS’ SPACE GLOBALLY.
WE applaud African Union’s Agenda 2063 BUT raise concerns of its failure to focus on the continental trauma that spans several centuries and has arrested Africans to the past; its likelihood to render Africans irrelevant in the global space due to its failure to assess Africans’ position in the international division of labor; and its apparent assumption that the world is a static place.
WE resolve that Africans need to be guided by galvanizing core interests in order to enhance the continent’s shared values; purpose for existence; efficiency and African agency.
WE identify Africans’ core interest to be to CREATE AFRICANS’ SPACE GLOBALLY.
WE resolve that Africans must wake up from the current dream of BEGGING to TAKING CHARGE OF THEIR DESTINY. Africans need valid dreams for the following reasons:-
•To be a source of solutions to Africa’s and global challenges
•To be actors/players in the global arena
•To re-invent Africans in the global arena
•To ward off the nightmares of unfulfilled dreams
•To avoid wastage and effectively utilize its natural resources
•To authenticate African values
•To reclaim and reposition Africa globally
•To realize Pan Africanism
WE resolve that Africans must invest in THERAPY to rid themselves of the deep-seated TRAUMA arising from past centuries and current skewed global dispensation that has arrested the African from becoming an effective actor locally and globally. Africans must forge strategic collaborations within Africa; identify common threats and interests; develop mechanisms to manage successes and failures; evolve governance systems with African characteristics to address the continent’s socio-political and economic challenges; evolve practical joint African positions in the wake of numerous Bi-multilateral initiatives targeting the continent and promote thought leadership on the continent.
About the IREN Eastern Africa Thought Leaders Forum
The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) initiated an Eastern Africa Thought Leaders Forum in August 2011 to identify strategies that will enable East Africans to organically evolve their own socio-economic and political systems and nurture futuristic thinkers. Previous forums focused on how East Africans can position themselves to benefit from the Cape to Cairo Free Trade Zone; Essential elements of African Leadership in the Global Jungle and the importance of African Indigenous Games in both strategy and economy. IREN is a leading African Think Tank that promotes ideas and strategies geared towards improving living standards in Africa. Founded in 2001, IREN runs a series of platforms including its flagship publication The African Executive, a weekly online magazine that has for the last 8 years been released every Wednesday at 6.00am