frica and Europe continents have launched the Africa Europe Foundation that will create a strategic dialogue platform to catalyse partnerships and unlock new opportunities that can transform the two regions.
Two Kenyan residents, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Express Shipping & Logistics Mr. Silvester Kututa and Col. Andre Didace Ciseau the Secretary General for the Port Management Association of Eastern & Southern Africa (PMAESA) will play crucial roles in the new body.
The foundation will focus on the Health, Digital; Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems; Energy & Green Transformation and Transport & Connectivity-where Mr. Kututa and Ciseau will serve in the committee as think tanks. The committee has 15 members drawn from each continent.
Kututa is the founder of ESL, a leading provider of sea and air, shipping logistic solutions across Eastern Africa. He was also the founding Chairman, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers-Eastern Africa Branch.
He holds a master’s degree in Shipping Management from World Maritime University, Sweden and Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Studies, Kenyatta University, Nairobi.
Col. Ciseau brings with him extensive experience in the maritime and ports sector arising from his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) from 2004 to 2018.
He has focused on the development of the Blue Economy for Seychelles by working with the Blue Economy Office recently established by the Government of Seychelles. He also served in the Seychelles People’s Defence Force (SPDF) with a strategic role in the development of the Seychelles Coast Guard.
The Africa Europe Foundation is a consortium entity founded by a leading European think-tank, Friends of Europe, and a leading African Foundation, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign and with a multitude of stakeholders from civil society, business, policy making and the youth sector across Africa and Europe.
“Next year, the Africa-EU Summit must convey this readiness for change and progress and I look forward to the new Africa Europe Foundation preparing the ground”, Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda said during the luanch.
The Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups will be required to build a commonality of purpose from the complexity of sometimes diverging perspectives and approaches across priority domains of partnership.
It will also enlarge the Africa-Europe partnership to new and diverse actors; unlock dormant opportunities; leverage joint partnership action; open up space for fresh policy thinking, strategic foresight and a holistic rethink of critical sectors for multilateral cooperation; and reinforce Africa-EU on the international stage.
“The Foundation is well-positioned to inspire and bring together diverse stakeholders, and to transform dialogue into action”, Charles Michel, President of the European Council said, adding that the two continents have the tools, the energy and the creativity to build a common future.
Those seating in the Strategy Group includes three former heads of states and a prime minister- Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former president of the Republic of Mozambique and African Union; Hailemariam Desalegn, Former prime minister of Ethiopia and African Union; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of the Republic of Liberia and Nobel Laureate and Festus Mogae Former President of Botswana.
The “High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe relations”, will assume the role of steering the group for the Africa Europe Foundation.
The five Strategy Groups have also been put together with research partners including IPEMED (Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute) and the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), the Next Einstein Forum, FERDI (Fondation pour les Eìtudes et Recherches sur le Deìveloppement International).
Paul Walton, the Director for Africa at Friends of Europe, one of the co-founders of the Africa Europe Foundation, said the launch of the Foundation is an open call to work together with diverse organisations to accelerate impact in the fight against climate change and inequality within a strengthened Africa-Europe partnership.
“In addition to the tragic loss of life, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken all our societies’ established economic and social models. We need to seize the opportunity to work differently – for our common future”, he said.