June 14, 2018

1st Edition ‘EurAfrican Forum’: ‘Coalitions for Change’

The Portuguese Diaspora Council launched the 1st Edition of the EurAfrican Forum in Cascais, on July 10 2018, gathering together European and African leaders, with the theme “Crafting Coalitions for Change”.

The meeting, that took place at Estoril Congress Center, with the High Patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic and the Portuguese Government, was led by José Manuel Durão Barroso (Chairman of the EurAfrican Forum) and Filipe de Botton (President of the Board of the Portuguese Diaspora Council). The participants were business leaders, influencers, entrepreneurs, politicians, ambassadors and representatives of the new generations, that gathered together in Cascais to explore the potential of the two geographic blocs, with a sustainable development and an improvement of the quality of life of the people.

The 1st edition of the EurAfrican Forum focused around three main panels:

Trust: How can we build trust among ourselves and inspire young people, develop their entrepreneurial skills and harness the potential of future generations? The contributors were Christian Kamayou, CEO of MyAfricanStartUp (France/Cameroon); Sophia Bekele, Founder & CEO of CBS International and DotConnectAfrica Group (Ethiopia); Ziad Oueslati, Director and Co-Founder of AfricInvest (Tunisia). The moderator was Gameela Ismail, politician and activist (Egypt).

Resource Sharing: How can the sharing of resources and infrastructures between Europe and Africa create a ‘multiplier effect’? The contributors of this panel were Kola Karim, CEO da Shoreline Energy Group (Nigéria); Manuel Mota, CEO da Mota-Engil África (Portugal); Miguel Azevedo, Head of Investment Banking para o Médio Oriente, África e Portugal no Citigroup (Portugal/Reino Unido). The moderation was made by Pedro Camacho, Editor-in-Chief of Lusa (Portugal).

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Is the fourth industrial revolution a great opportunity to implement new models of cooperation?”. The contributors were Alexander Thomson-Payan, President & Founder of TGI Group (Angola); Amrote Abdella, Regional Director at Microsoft 4Afrika (Kenya); Hitesh Anadkat, President of First Merchant Bank (Malawi); Thomas Chalumeau, Chief Strategy Officer and Exco member Orange MEA, GSMA Utilities Champion (France). The moderator was Aubrey Hruby, Co-Founder of Insider and Africa Expert Network (AXN).

The Role of the Diaspora: What role can the diaspora play in rebalancing and advancing the Euro-African space?”. The contributors were Minna Salami, Founder of feminist blog Msafropolitan (Nigeria/United Kingdom); Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, Director of African Innovation Foundation; Tonjé Bakang, Chief Brand Officer of Anzisha Prize & Founder of Afrostream (France/Cameroon). The moderation was made by Sammy Berrahmoun, journalist of Canal Plus Group.

The keynote speakers were Mariéme Jamme, Founder of I AM THE CODE with the theme “Crafting Coalitions for Change” and Saran Kaba Jones, Founder and CEO of FACE Africa with the theme “Building Trust for Strong Partnerships”. This 1st edition was also addressed by  Filipe de Botton, President of the Board of the Portuguese Diaspora Council, Miguel Pinto Luz, Vice-Mayor of Cascais, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic and Honorary President of the Portuguese Diaspora Council, José Manuel Durão Barroso, Chairman of EurAfrican Forum and, finally, there was a special message from António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Besides the four panels, during the lunch occurred two institutional panels about “Political Perspectives on the Future of AF-EU Relations”, moderated by the minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and Honorary Vice-President of the Portuguese Diaspora Council, Augusto Santos Silva and as contributors eight members of African governments: Minister of Foreign Affairs (Angola); Minister of Economy and Finances (Benin); Minister Of Industry, Trade And Energy (Cape Verde); Minister of Trade, Consumer Activity, the Informal Sector and SMEs (Senegal); General-Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Algeria); Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs of (Egypt); Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning (Kenya); Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs (Tunisia).

The EurAfrican Forum 2018 was also the stage of parallel events and moments of partnership. On July 9, the Portuguese Diaspora Council signed at Estoril Congress Center an institutional protocol with Lusa, the Portuguese news agency, with the aim of fostering a bigger contact between the Portuguese people living abroad. On the same day, it also took place a media exclusive panel for the media with the theme #coalitionsforchange with the participation of 4 bloggers and social influencers, members of the African diaspora. This panel focused the debate around the empowerment of the Euro-African womne and the role of the social media to craft coalitions for change. Still on the same day, it took place a Cocktail Welcome Drink at Hotel Palácio Estoril, an exclusive event for speakers, VIP guests and partners, and that counted with the participation of the Minister of the Economy of Portugal, Manuel Caldeira Cabral, and the presence of some African Ministers.

The event produced by the Portuguese Diaspora Council, had has consulting partner Richard Attias & Associates, and was sponsored by Turismo de Portugal, Mota-Engil, Municipality of  Cascais, Caetano Auto-Toyota-Lexus, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, EDP, Omatapalo, MDS Africa, Lusa – Portuguese News Agency, Financial Times, JCDecaux, DTV Algerie and France Média Monde.


The 2nd edition of the EurAfrican Forum is scheduled for 2019.

For more information visit: www.eurafricanforum.org.


By The Portuguese Diaspora Council, July 2018