‘In the Age of Disruption: Finding New Paradigms’ – Day 2
Thursday morning saw the opening of the second day of the MEDays Forum 2018. This day allowed for more in-depth conversations on a variety of fields, ranging from renewable energy to fake news, always with an eye on the African continent and south-south partnership opportunities. This year’s grand prize was given to H.E. Roch Kaboré, Burkina Faso’s Head of State, who gave an inspiring speech about how Africa countries should move forward together and form a force to be reckoned world-wide.
The first session was specifically focused on the many challenges resulting from the trade war between the US and China, and its impact to the emerging economies in Africa. This initial scope led participants into a highly engaging conversation that looked not only at the different negative impacts of this conflict but also the opportunities at hand for Africa. Participants included OMC’s Deputy Director-General Mr. Yonov Agah, who has been playing a prominent role in the Doha Round.
Another relevant theme intensively discussed throughout the second session was renewable energy in Africa. This session was careful to incorporate approaches from multiple geographic regions and contexts in Africa from a global energy point of view. Participants, which included Ms. Elham Ahmad, Vice-President for Africa World Energy Council, were able to learn more about projects that were being run in African countries, as well as in the Netherlands. H.E. Osama Kamal, Egypt former Minister of Petroleum, reiterated that all stakeholders must be able to secure sustainable energy for the future energy needs.
Moving forward, another important subject was on the role of fake news and media in our contemporary society. In light of the recent US election and also the Gulf Diplomatic Crisis, many fear that “fake news” has become a force of enormous reach and influence within the news media environment. Within this context, participants discussed how to overcome these imposed challenges and the role audience plays on this front, both as a recipient and creator of fake news. Mr. Laurent Lamothe , former Prime Minister of Haiti, highlighted that social network sites play an out sized role in generating traffic to fake news, and government should use effective tools to counter and address this issue
Upon leaving the conference on the second day the atmosphere was one of heightened collaboration and the desire to find more cross disciplinary partners for common initiatives. The BIC-RHR explored intensively the interlinkages among all the themes discussed with the objective to find new answers to the new challenges of nowadays.