Africa has been growing strongly over the past decade and has had gradual yet uneven success in increasing human development levels. However, putting Africa on the path to sustained and balanced development remain a great challenge for the international community.

With the war in Ukraine’s impact on the African continent – on top of Covid-19, debt crisis, conflict and climate change - poverty rates remain stubbornly high, and with its limited economic diversification, persisting inequalities, high unemployment, democratic decline, rising food insecurity and environmental degradation, the continent has yet to embark on a sustainable development path which can benefit all women and men over time.

For Africa to succeed in their development the international system must focus more specifically on the continent and discover more effective instruments for addressing its particular needs. Changing the narrative on Africa and looking beyond aid and potential dependency on it are essential aspects for future development. During this year’s EU-AU Summit, African leaders expressed the need for a change of mindset, from a donor-recipient approach to a one based on partnership and equal treatment.  

On the 9th of May, UNDP Norway, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Center for Development and the Environment invite you to a panel debate where we will raise questions related to development challenges on the African continent and the need for a new narrative.

Participants are:

  • Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Africa Bureau
  • Morten Bøås, Research Professor at NUPI,
  • Hamdi A. Mohamed, Statistics Norway and Rethinking Economics Norge
  • Ragnhild Nordås, Senior Researcher at PRIO

Moderator of this event is Professor Dan Banik, Director of the Oslo SDG Initiative, University of Oslo. The event will also be live streamed to NUPI’s Youtube channel. No registration is needed if you choose to follow us digitally.

Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Africa Bureau

Ahunna Eziakonwa has many years of distinguished service with the UN. From 2015 and 2018 she was the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia. Before that, she served as Resident Coordinator in Uganda and Lesotho, and held several posts with the OCHA, as Chief of the Africa Section in New York and in a number of field duty stations (Liberia, Sierra Leone). She also worked for the UN Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Public Information in New York. Before joining the UN, Ms. Eziakonwa held a series of senior positions with CSOs in Africa. She holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Morten Bøås, NUPI

Morten Bøås is Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. He conducts fieldwork in Africa and the Middle East. The author of numerous reports and articles, his most recent books include Africa’s Insurgents: Navigating an Evolving Landscape (2017) and Doing Fieldwork in Areas of International Intervention: a Guide to Research in Closed and Violent Contexts (2020). Bøås has led several large international research projects including the EU Horizon 2020 funded projects EUNPACK (2016-19) and PREVEX (2020-22) 

Hamdi A. Mohamed, Statistics Norway and Rethinking Economics Norge

Hamdi A. Mohamed works in Statistics Norway and is a member of Rethinking Economics Norway, an international network of academics, students and others with interest in economics which aims to renew and enrich the subject of economics by building on the diversity of economic perspectives and traditions that exist.

Ragnhild Nordås, PRIO

Ragnhild Nordås is a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. She is interested in violent conflict and repression, and in particular the dynamics of conflict-related sexual violence. Her current research projects focus on sexual violence by state actors and the role of demography, gender norms, and corruption.

Dan Banik, The University of Oslo

Dan Banik is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Oslo SDG Initiative at Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo. His research focuses on poverty, democracy, aid and sustainable development. He is also Affiliate Professor at Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE) at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, and the host of the popular global podcast “In Pursuit of Development”.