23 May 2022

Students Mobilise to Organise Inaugural African Summit

Ramata Franklin, Laura Izere, Zachariah Jambo, Marie-Simone Kadidura and Sinan Kirisci are amongst a group of students who have teamed up to elevate the people and continent of Africa on the world stage. The result of their efforts will culminate in the first ever African Summit, set to launch at the Graduate Institute in the autumn of 2022. 

Why did you decide to take part in organising the African Summit?
Ramata Franklin (RF): I am passionate about humanising approaches to structural change and centering the knowledge and experiences of  African peoples in anyway possible. The Summit is an outlet for innovative thinking but also a way in which I can be apart of the foundational processes of creating a legacy for people of the continent and diaspora in spaces like the Institute where representation of African expertise is too little.

What do you see as the main goal of this event and what makes it unique?
Zachariah Jambo (ZJ): The main goal of the event is to show that Africa is not just poverty, war, famine, and bad governance. Africa is entrepreneurship, creativity, culture, and perseverance.

What is one thing you want participants to take away from the African Summit?
Marie-Simone Kadidura (MK): To recognise that Africa is much more than a development project and is instead, a place of inspiration and new knowledge
Sinan Kirisci (SK): To transcend the fatalistic  perceptions of Africa and be aware of the amazing work done in Africa by Africans.
ZJ: To understand that Africa has so much to offer to the world and it is a force to be reckoned with.
RF: A taste of the profound knowledge and eclectic experiences of African peoples with regards to global development and futures of decoloniality. I want the Summit to engage a more dynamic and in depth understanding of how critical African thought is to revolutionising the world for the better.
Laura Izere (LI): increased insight  and understanding on current African Affairs.

As students living and studying in Geneva, how do you view Africa and it’s evolution?
SK:  Despite the challenges, a lot of good practices in various fields are emerging in Africa. The continent is evolving with speed and innovating to solve its problems.
LI: There is still so much work to be done in terms of development and overcoming social challenges. However there is great hope (e.g. Rwanda once known for its Genocide, is now known as model for economic growth and stability). The continent has great potential.

This article was published in Globe #29, the Graduate Institute Review.