African leaders to headline Rhodes Forum

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The Rhodes Forum opens this week with a strong African presence headlining a diverse array of high-profile international speakers to discuss and seek practical solutions to major global challenges being faced today.

Presidents Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria, 2010-15) and Dioncounda Traoré (Mali, 2012-13) will address the opening plenary session on 6 October alongside Oxford University’s Professor of Globalisation and Development, Ian Goldin, a former adviser to Nelson Mandela; Dominique de Villepin, Prime Minister of France (2005-07); and Vladimir Yakunin, co-founder and Chairman of the DOC Research Institute, the independent international think tank that organises the Forum.

Speaking in Abuja ahead of the Forum, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said:
“The challenges facing the world today – whether financial crises, armed conflicts, increasing terrorist threats and immigration on an unprecedented scale – cannot be tackled by countries or even continents in isolation. They demand profound global thinking and willingness to seek solutions through dialogue, mutual respect and open-mindedness.
“African voices must be heard in this search for common solutions that benefit the whole of mankind, and international gatherings such as the Rhodes Forum provide an essential platform for this to happen. I am looking forward to this opportunity to make substantive contributions towards solving some of the most pressing problems facing humanity today.”

First convened in 2003, the Rhodes Forum brings together concerned members of the international political, business, civil society and academic communities in a 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.
Taking as its theme “Multipolarity and Dialogue in Regional and Global Developments: Imagining Possible Futures”, this year’s 15th Anniversary Rhodes Forum also hosts two focal events: a Summit on Globalisation, Dialogue, and the Future of Democracy; and a Summit on Global Infrastructure Development Scenarios.