Rhodes Forum Blog


Dr. Vera Songwe from the UN Economic Commission for Africa joins the 2018 Dialogue of Civilizations Rhodes Forum

Expert economist and finance executive Dr. Vera Songwe will speak at the 16th Annual Dialogue of Civilizations Rhodes Forum, titled ‘Making Multilateralism Work: Enhancing Dialogue on Peace, Security, and Development’. Organised by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, the event will take place 5-6 October 2018 on the Greek Island of Rhodes.

Dr. Songwe is currently a United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – the first woman in history to hold this position. She will take part in the Rhodes Forum Africa Summit, ‘Engaging Africa in Dialogue: Towards a Harmonious Development of the Continent’, which will benefit greatly from Songwe’s unique expertise and experience at the Commission in promoting international coordination for Africa’s development and improving economic cooperation between African states.

Songwe also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Forum’s Africa Summit as a member of the African Union Institutional Reform Team under the direction of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, and as a board member of the African Leadership Network and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Dr. Songwe’s experience as a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and as a Country Director for Senegal, Mauritania, Cabo Verde, the Gambia and Bissau and as Regional Director the International Finance Corporation for West and Central Africa will also add to the depth of the Africa Summit.

The other participants of the 2018 Rhodes Forum Africa Summit include President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé; President of Mali (2012-2013), Dioncounda Traoré; Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Mikhail Bogdanov; historian, philosopher, and political scientist, Professor Achille Mbembe; and Founder and Chairman of the Brazzaville Foundation, Jean-Yves Ollivier. The summit will be moderated by CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Afrique magazine, Zyad Limam.

First convened in 2003, the Dialogue of Civilizations Rhodes Forum brings together members of the international political, business, civil society, and academic communities in the spirit of dialogue and inclusivity. Every year hundreds of participants from more than 70 countries explore the major challenges facing the world and seek concrete, applicable solutions rooted in shared values of equality, mutual respect, and compassion.

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute is an independent research institute with the mission of promoting mutual understanding, inclusive development, and equitable dialogue. It seeks to develop policy proposals based on scientific research that address key challenges faced by the international community, from infrastructure underdevelopment and economic inequality to civilisational and religious tensions.

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