Rebranding Africa

This week, state leaders from Ethiopia, Rwanda, and other African nations attended a symposium to address strategies for sustainable socio-economic development, democracy and political rights on the continent. Recognizing that “Africans needed to shape their own destiny by ‘doing things their own way,’” Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said that Africa “must stop taking lessons from the outside” and focus instead on its own aspirations and interests. As other news stories this week revealed, Africa’s interests include bolstering economic ties between Egypt and Ethiopia; showcasing Kenya’s cultural heritage in museums across China; and hosting major international conferences, including the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (June 2015) and the 10th annual World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (December 2015). While the long-term benefits of these public diplomacy initiatives remains to be seen, in the short-term, these activities are a vote of confidence in the continent and a step towards rebranding Africa as major player on the global stage. 

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Photo by Dietmar Temps | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


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