Students & Campus
14 October 2022

Student-led Geneva Summit on Africa Makes Its Debut at the Institute

On Friday 28 October 2022, and for the first time in its 95 years of existence, the Geneva Graduate Institute will host its debut Geneva Summit on Africa. This one-day event will be held under the theme: “Foregrounding Africa: Excellence and Innovation”. 

What is the Geneva Summit on Africa? 

The Geneva Summit on Africa is a student-led initiative that was born out of the desire of African students at the Geneva Graduate Institute to create a platform to amplify African voices and stories. The aim is to invoke discussions and debates around the narratives that have for decades shaped the (mis)understandings and perceptions of the African continent by many around the globe. 

It is widely acknowledged that Africa is not merely a ‘basket of natural resources’ for the world, yet outmoded imageries and outrageous othering adorn the minds, thoughts, feelings and perceptions of many. Contrary to this, there are formidable signs of continued progress that deserve to be celebrated, even as there are unique challenges.

Being the youngest continent in the world, with 70 percent of its population under the age of 30, the Summit is a stage where conversations on the diverse roles that we, the young people of Africa, can play, in shaping the future of the continent for decades to come. Further afield, it will also speak to the role that others across the world can play in supporting the vision held by young people in Africa.

It represents a new opportunity for the spirit of Pan-Africanism, and spearheads a novel kind of leadership that is driven by highly motivated individuals united by the shared goal of the betterment of the continent and its people. A leadership that is focused on the long-term realisation of Africa as a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.

What can participants expect at the summit?

Attendees can expect a busy day, starting with a keynote address, and two panels, the first on “Youth Innovation and Change in Africa”, and the second on “Arts, Society and Development in Africa”. The panels will allow attendees to take part in the exchange of ideas and solutions, while learning about current affairs in Africa from leading practitioners and development experts based on the continent and in International Geneva. 

The audience will also have the opportunity to engage with the speakers and their work, and discover the difference that the latter is making in the lives of many on the continent. Moreover, the alumni fireside chat is another channel where attendees who are Geneva Graduate Institute community members can interact with an individual who was once “in their shoes” and learn from the rich, gratifying and impactful experiences they will share. Many alumni have made significant contributions to nation building, development and innovation on the continent. These are unique opportunities for engagement, not to be missed. 

Lastly, the summit closes with a Networking Cocktail. Here, participants can enjoy refreshments, continue the conversations around the issues raised throughout the day, and lastly, build connections and friendships to expand their academic and professional networks.

The inaugural Geneva Summit on Africa awaits!