Reflecting on ten years of the Africa Progress Panel
On December 4, four members of the Africa Progress Panel (APP) discussed Africa’s challenges and priorities at Maison de la Paix. Former UN Secretary General (and Graduate Institute alumnus) Kofi Annan was joined by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus and Transparency International founder Peter Eigen.
“As a panel, we are convinced that Africa can make it, but Africans have to take responsibility for our own development”, said Mr Annan, who described the APP’s role as “empowering civil society, encouraging them to ask the questions and giving them the tools to be part of the game.” Stressing the need for gender equality, former President Obasanjo said “Africa’s future is in the hands of women. Equal education for girls, at all three education levels, is the critical issue.”
Michel Camdessus called for a stop to “the plunder of Africa”, lamenting that in 2016 alone, $69 billion had left the continent by illicit means, “enough money to provide the full electrification of Africa when 600 million people have no electricity at all.” Peter Eigen similarly highlighted the “deadly and devastating impact of grand corruption, which continues to be carried into Africa by outside investors.”
The event was held to mark the tenth anniversary of the APP, a body set up by Kofi Annan and other leaders to focus attention on the commitments made to Africa by the international community. Introducing the discussion, Le Monde Afrique editor Serge Michel said “for the last ten years, the APP has produced the best reports and thinking on Africa, offering clear diagnosis and sound recommendations. The panel has done a great job in showing what needs to be done and revealing the tremendous potential of the continent if only it had better governance.”
The event was co-organised with the Africa Progress Panel and Le Monde Afrique, and moderated by the Graduate Institute’s Public Relations Director Jacqueline Coté. A recording is available to watch below.