The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Africa 2012

"Cultural Diplomacy, Nation Branding & Sustainable Development in Africa"

(Berlin, July 25th - 28th, 2012)
African Nation Branding
Watch Video Clips of African Nation Branding
A Presentation by Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism of Gahana
A Presentation by Victoria Saidu Kamara, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs of Sierra Leon

Symposium Agenda

We currently occupy a world of immense economic upheaval; developed economies have been in crisis mode since 2008. At the same time, we are witness to the changing landscape of global wealth distribution. Globalization has dramatically reshaped national and regional economies, and it is in the interests of emerging economic to continue their self-sustained development. At the same time, the aftermath of the 2008 world financial crisis has inspired developed economies to search for a more balanced economic model with common policies which support more sustainable and inclusive economies. It is for these reasons that the root causes of unsustainability need to be examined, and the pace and depth of progress towards sustainable development analysed with a view to improving current approaches.

During the conference, the following themes and issues will be explored:

Sustainable development in Africa since the 2008 world financial crisis: policy trends over the past five years and the current status of sustainable development

  • The current status of economic development, social development and environmental protection (the three pillars of sustainable development) in developed countries and developing countries
    (Focus: Africa)
  • The current institutional framework for sustainable development
    (Focus: The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development; inertia of organisational arrangements)

The global importance of improving and promoting sustainable development standards and policies in Africa

  • Pursuing the real goal of economic growth: long-term increase in economic output
    (Focus: why unsustainable development policies are not compatible with long-term economic output or long-term maximisation of natural capital)
  • Why environmental quality and economic output are not substitutes but complimentary, both in developed and developing countries
  • How sustainable development can tackle interrelated global problems such as poverty, inequality, hunger and environmental degradation
    (Focus: Africa as a case study)

Innovative strategies for the future progress and success of sustainable development policies in Africa

  • Lessons on green and inclusive development from developing nations
    (Focus: self-sustained economic development in Africa)
  • How to responsibly develop the environment so that future generations are not taxed in terms of their production possibilities
    (Focus: putting economic growth and environmental health in equilibrium)
  • The key building blocks to helping countries develop sustainable development policies: information, integration and participation
    (Focus: how to broaden public participation in decision-making on sustainable development; how to promote cross-sectoral and regional co-ordination and the integration of environmental and social concerns into all development processes)
  • How to make sustainable development an attractive option in Africa
    (Focus: does it have to be expensive to implement? Short-term costs versus long-term gain; tackling the perception that sustainability is a brake on development)
  • How to create an integrated sustainable development approach which is pursued in Africa

The role of cultural diplomacy in furthering sustainable development in Africa

  • Cultural diplomacy as a tool for promoting genuine dialogue between sustainable development stakeholders in Africa
  • Cultural diplomacy as a tool for encouraging greater public awareness of sustainable development
  • Using cultural diplomacy to facilitate greater collaboration between international financial institutions and the UN system
    (Focus: finding a way to unite institutions which can contribute to the economic pillar of sustainable development and institutions which promote the social and environmental pillars of sustainable development)
  • Cultural diversity as the fourth policy area of sustainable development in Africa
    (Focus: cultural diversity as one of the roots of development, both in terms of economic growth and as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, spiritual, emotional and moral existence)