Transforming Africa

Some of Africa's best minds are coming together this week to discuss how to leverage the continent's future into a more positive trajectory

The Southern African Node of the Millennium Project (SAMP) will host a three-day conference titled All Africa Futures Forum: Transforming Africa’s Future from today until 29 May at the Wits School of Governance.

The forum is the brainchild of the SA Node together with the Wits School of Governance and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). Other local and international partners include the Africa Futures Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Institute for Security Studies.

Geci Karuri-Sebina, executive manager of South African Cities Network and the director of the SA Node of Millennium Project, holds Masters degrees in Urban Planning, and Architecture and Urban Design from the University of California (UCLA).

Karuri-Sebina is currently completing a doctoral degree in innovation and planning at Wits. Having worked with reputable institutions such as the Advanced Policy Institute in Los Angeles, Karuri-Sebina opted to plough her skills back into Africa and is passionate about developing realistic, future-orientated solutions through the work that the think tank, the Southern African Node of Millennium Project, does.

Geci Karuri-Sebina, Executive manager of South African Cities Network and the director of the SA Node of Millennium Project

Karuri-Sebina says the forum will take a well-rounded approach to achieving its objectives.

“We are going to talk in a much more concrete way about the role of foresight in transforming the future. So how we can use approaches, methods and tools in thinking about the future to actively impact how we plan, strategise and make decisions in ways that could result in better futures – whether it’s on company, local, national or continental level.”

The forum is linked to an event that was held in Paris in December 2013. That conference focused on decolonising African futures, focusing on the question of whom and what determines the continent’s future and how we might explore alternative systems.

The way the forum is designed now, is much more action-orientated and relative to the issues that are happening on the continent right now

This forum seeks to build on that by focusing on actual planning and development processes. According to Karuri-Sebina, it is much more action-orientated and does not ignore the issues that are happening on the continent right now.

Will the pertinent issue of the abduction of over 200 girls in Nigeria be considered? The World Economic Forum held in Nigeria failed to shine the spotlight on this issue.