Program BackgroundThe Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has developed the program “Experience Africa” to promote social and economic development within Africa, and to strengthen relations between cultural groups and nation states on the continent. At the global level, the program works to promote stronger political, economic, and cultural links between Africa and other regions.
The challenges and opportunities facing the African continent have been widely acknowledged and discussed by commentators across the world. At the domestic level, African states are under pressure to improve social and economic development, in particular with regards to education, healthcare, and infrastructure. At the regional and global levels they must address issues of political instability, international trade imbalances, and a comparatively weak influence in global politics and economics.
These challenges are accompanied by opportunities, however. The African continent is not only the world’s largest and second most populous, but also has an abundance of natural resources: A key foundation for increasing economic influence at the global level. Furthermore, as one of the world’s most diverse regions, Africa has tremendous potential to develop its tourist industries and to do so in environmentally sustainable manner.
The ICD has established the “Experience Africa” program to ensure that the challenges outlined above are addressed, and the opportunities seized.
Program AimsThe “Experience Africa” program pursues the following specific aims:
Academic ThemesIn recognition of the program aims outlined above, the ICD “Experience Africa” program activity will focus on the following academic themes:
Cultural Diplomacy in Africa: A Forum for Young Leaders (CDA)CDA brings together students and young professionals from across the African continent, and the wider international community, for weeklong study tours in Berlin, London, or Brussels. The study tours provide the participants with an opportunity to learn more about salient political, economic, and cultural issues concerning the African continent and its position in the world. In addition to academic components, participants take part in a diverse range of cultural and social activities that provide them with an opportunity to expand their personal networks and experience the cities remarkable cultural landscape.
Conferences, Lectures, and Panel DiscussionsThe Experience Africa program will host a diverse range of conferences, lectures, and panel discussions. These events will take place around the world and, open to the public free of charge, and will play a key role in raising awareness of the key perspectives on the academic themes outlined above. These events will feature high profile speakers from academia, international politics, diplomacy, and civil society, ensuring a thorough, interdisciplinary analysis of the subjects.
Research and AnalysisAs an organization working to strengthen intercultural relations, the ICD will conduct and publish relevant academic research into the academic themes outlined above. This research is conducted by the ICD staff and Advisory Board, members of our international network, and other key program stakeholders. All research material is presented at our events.