Africa in 2020: Prospects and Forecasts – Edinburgh



5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Debating Hall, Third Floor, Teviot Row House, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL



Join us at our annual event to discuss what is in store for the African continent in 2020 – to set the scene for a new decade.

Politically, the rise of democratisation and accountability continues as a common theme across the continent. Revolutionary movements in Algeria and Sudan brought political change in 2019, but were limited by each country’s military. Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea and Somalia all have elections this year. The polls are expected to be peaceful but how will they play out?


Economically, the African Union will launch the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), to establish a single market for goods and services across Africa’s 54 countries. The AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade market from July and will no doubt bring both opportunities and challenges. Who will be the key international supporters of the AfCFTA? What markets should we look out for in 2020 and what are the risks that investors need to consider?


Culturally, across Africa and the world, African creatives are taking up increasingly prominent – and political – positions. For those operating in oppressive contexts, the digital age has provided a way to respond to turmoil with precaution. For others, art is a way to tell one’s own narrative and drive change. As we see a continued boom in film, music, art and tech worldwide, what is it like to be an artist in Africa today? How do cultural producers advance social change and what can artists tell us that others cannot?


To kick off this exciting and uncertain year, our panel – with expertise across politics, activism, the arts, education and the economy – will attempt to answer these questions and many more.


Speakers include:


Dr Richard ItamanKing’s College London

Valerie Asiimwe Amani – Artist 

Professor Imraan Valodia – University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg

Sandra Garwe, Graduate – MCF Scholar, The University of Edinburgh


Chair: Dr Barbara Bompani University of Edinburgh 


This event is run by The University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh Global and Centre of African Studies) and Royal African Society, in partnership with the British Council.


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Image Credit:  PAPASHOTIT. The Nyege Nyege Festival