In his 2020 Concordia Africa Initiative keynote speech, Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente spoke of how this is the time for African countries to come together to lead discussions that boost economic transformation and development. The Concordia family is proud to help facilitate cross-sector conversations and build partnerships that can deliver home-grown solutions to the continent’s challenges.
While we will have to wait a little longer to gather in Kigali, the 2020 Africa Initiative was an important step in supporting and amplifying a genuinely African-driven dialogue. We conceived the Africa Initiative to catalyze the positive economic and social impact initiated and felt in Africa, with Concordia’s global community. Together, we can contribute to, and learn from, shared enthusiasm, experience, and expertise. Looking at the world today, the need for respectful, reciprocal, and reliable collaboration is abundantly clear.
I am fortunate to have enjoyed a long and intimate connection with the great continent of Africa. As a child, my grandfather would bring home tales of the sights and sounds of West Africa during his time as a merchant seaman on the Elder Dempster liners sailing from Liverpool to Ghana and Nigeria. As an adult, I have been fortunate to engage in diplomatic, charitable, and legal work across the continent. Drawing on fond memories as well as hopes for the future, it is a privilege to introduce the 2020 Africa Initiative Report by highlighting just three important themes raised by the event.
First, Concordia Co-Founder Nick Logothetis spoke of Concordia’s pride in the initiative. Governments, the private sector, and civil society in Africa have many reasons to be proud. Undoubtedly, we all face many serious challenges, including the severe human and economic cost of the pandemic. But there is also cause for optimism, as we heard from some of Africa’s committed, talented, and ambitious leaders who are building a brighter future and leading the charge to bounce back from COVID-19. Second, we talked about innovation, and how new ideas and approaches—from industry to social justice to environmental sustainability—can be scaled in Africa and can inspire action elsewhere. And third, we recognized the enduring importance of accountability, and the need to ensure progress while safeguarding the rights of people and the health of our planet. These ideals are part of Africa’s heritage and remain fundamental to our future and shared prosperity.
I hope that you enjoy this report and that we can look forward to a successful 2021 with brighter times for us all.
Cherie Blair CBE, QC
|Investing in Rwanda||Supporting the Sustainability of Black-Owned Businesses|
|Digital Transformation in Waste & Recycling||Africa’s Next Generation Through the Lens of Leadership & Philanthropy|
|African Companies are Global Champions||Advancing Social & Economic Mobility Across the African Continent|
|Digital Transformation in the Tourism Industry Sector|