The 15th IREN Africa Resource Bank Forum

Published on 15th November 2017

The 15th IREN Africa Resource Bank Forum

Theme: Digitalization, Democracy and Development: Is Africa’s Future Secure?

November 22 – 25, 2017 - Mombasa, Kenya

East Africa Community member states are suffering political spasms as a result of contested interpretation of democratic ideals. The region’s economic giant Kenya, is unable to offer a convincing, transparent and credible system of how citizens can delegate authority to individuals. Tanzania, once a beacon of calm political transitions in the region, report increased intimidation against opposition politics. Uganda, a stabilizing agent for parts of Central Africa, is embroiled in a political war to extend the incumbents stay in power. Rwanda, a country that demonstrated the miracle of rising from ashes to stability, suffocates dissent. Burundi, a country led by a youthful former school teacher, is joining the club where the sovereignty of the citizens counts for nothing. What is fueling the quest by the political elite in the region to place themselves above mankind-the East African Citizens?

The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) has picked the theme: “Digitalization, Democracy and Development: Is Africa’s Future Secure?” for its 15th Africa Resource Bank Forum (15th IREN ARB Forum). The current situation in the East Africa region is symptomatic of challenges facing the entire Sub Saharan Africa. The continent had started to celebrate an open system driven by digitalization to drive both political and economic success stories. Examples of mushrooming successful enterprises riding on digital platforms are abound. Increased citizen participation in governance issues have been on the rise. Can digitalization take back the center of sovereignty to the individual citizen? How can East African citizens leverage on digitalization to position the region on a high growth trajectory? Are there best practice examples that East Africans can use to secure the future of the region from destructive internal and external interests?


  • To brainstorm on governance challenges facing East Africa and how to evolve a community of shared goals.
  • To discuss and identify preconditions that can pull the East Africa Region from the periphery status in development.
  • To discuss role of digitalization in refocusing governance and productivity on individual citizens.

About The Africa Resource Bank Forum

The Africa Resource Bank Forum (initially the “Africa Freedom Network” in 2002) was founded to encourage a business minded approach to African challenges and promote ideas and strategies aimed at causing prosperity in Africa. The forum is held annually and targets policy makers, business leaders, media, industry players and academia, for brainstorming sessions on issues affecting Africa.

Previous Africa Resource Bank Themes:-

In the previous years, African Resource Bank Forums have focused on:

(2016) The Social Market Economy: Realizing Possibilities for Africa

(2015): African Agency in Global Affairs

(2014): African’s Productivity in the 21st Century: Who Owns Africa?

(2013): Africa Rising: Myth or Reality?

(2012): The Indian Ocean Rim as a New Frontier: How prepared is Africa?

(2011): Digital Revolution: Opportunity or threat to Africa?

(2010): Africa vs. Developed and Emerging Economies: How to Make Africans Win.

(2009): Probing Governance and Prosperity in Africa

(2008): Commercializing Africa’s Resources to Promote Prosperity

(2007): Positioning Africa in the 21st Century.

2006): Turning African People into a Resource

(2005): Conquering Poverty in Africa through Business

(2004): Property Rights in the African context

(2003): Building Africa through Trade

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