The 2014 edition of the Africaworks! International Business Conference was organized by The Netherlands African
Business Council (NABC) and the African Studies Centre (ASC). It was held on the 16th and 17th of october 2014 in Leiden, the Netherlands.
I really wanted to attend this conference so that I could explore my interests and maybe find possible internships! So, I had contact with the organizers at NABC and they offered me the opportunity to volunteer both days at the event. So, I did. I had the chance to hear a lot of inspiring stories and meet wonderful and inspiring people including: the Liberian Minister of Gender & Development, Julia Duncan-Cassell and Grace Kwinjeh, a journalist and women empowerment activist from Zimbabwe. I will summarize both days for you in pictures.
partnerships in emerging markets
The first workshop I attended was “Partnerships for Business and Development in Complex/High-Risk Environments” the companies that made this workshop possible were Clingendael, Mobinc, Farmers & Co, SPARK Online and KPSRL. Also present was H.E. Mr Ibrahim Sorie from Sierra Leone. This workshop was very interesting, as it covered perspectives of companies working in both the public and private sector. The main message of the workshop in my opinion was that it does not matter whether you work in the private or public sector, partnerships and relationships with other companies or countries are essential. And of course, I agree with this.
ethical finance in Africa
The second workshop I attended was “Ethical/ Sustainable Finance in Africa” the companies that made this workshop possible were Rabobank, Triodos and Act!onaid. Also present was Josh Maiyo, a Ugandan young professional who has written a thesis about agricultural lands. This workshop was also interesting especially since it showed different perspectives of agriculture and financial banking. The main message of this workshop was that banks can be a benefiting factor when it comes to investing in a both ethical and sustainable way.
global network of women peacebuilders
The third workshop I attended was “Colloquium – Peacebuilding in the joint ACP”. the companies that made this workshop possible were Cordaid, EEPA, Stellare and The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP). I have to say that this workshop was the most inspiring of all the ones I have attended. It all started with Grace Kwinjeh’s personal touching story as to why she fled her homecountry Zimbabwe. She emphasized on the importance of strong female leaders in Zimbabwe and Africa in general. Other inspiring speakers during this workshop were Gert-Jan van Stam, Agnes Dinkelman from Stellare, Mavick Cabrera Balleza on behalf of GNWP, Sara Buchanan and the Liberian Minister of Gender & Development, Julia Duncan-Cassell.
decent work makes business grow
The last worshop I attended was “Decent work makes business grow”. The companies that made this workshop possible were CNV and FairFood. This workshop give a whole different business perspective of working in Africa; employee’s point of view. Ever considered if the farmer that grew the tomatoes you buy is payed enough to survive another day? How is the supply chain divided? That is what this workshop was about. CNV works together with employees as a union in a large part of Africa.