Magazine article Geographical

'There Is No Doubt There Is a New Scramble for Africa under Way'

Magazine article Geographical

'There Is No Doubt There Is a New Scramble for Africa under Way'

Article excerpt

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Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and humanitarian campaigner Bob Geldof have kicked off what is planned as a series of flagship events for this year--all placed under the umbrella of our new 21st Century Challenges series.

With information overload becoming an ever greater burden, the series will offer a source of information that is independent yet reliable, providing an alternative, unbiased perspective to the mainstream media. It will bring together leading figures in discussion evenings that are designed to allow the educated public to engage directly with those who are shaping the present and thus the future.

For the first event of the series, Geldof and Annan joined the Society's president, Professor Sir Gordon Conway, who chaired the evening, to explore some of the most pressing challenges facing Africa in the 21st century. In what proved to be a lively discussion, issues ranging from Zimbabwe, trade and aid to ongoing concerns over air-freighted vegetables were explored in front of a packed audience at the Society's headquarters in South Kensington. Among those present was Mo Ibrihim, whose Prize for African Leadership had just the day before been awarded to the former president of Mozambique, placing the evening in a uniquely topical context.

Annan was resoundingly optimistic on the future for Africa, pointing out that more governments than ever on the continent were now democratic, and that the population was now beginning to understand, and demand, basic human rights. …

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