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Jean Monnet Module on the European Union and the Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa – an Interdisciplinary Approach – Smart Specialisation-EUAfrica/AFROEU 

AFROEU was established by Dr Anna Masłoń-Oracz to raise the knowledge and awareness on African topics among students and young professionals. The scope of the project covers the EU-Africa relations and the situation in the member states concerning the issues connected with EU External Economic Relations, as well as related policies at the EU and country levels. In the course of development of modern countries and regions; knowledge, skill, innovation and creativity were gradually gaining the position of the most distinctive and individual resources. This transformation has caused a change in the paradigm of thinking about the competitiveness of regions and forced it to move towards tight relations with knowledge and intellectual capital in enterprises.

The huge scale of demographic challenge, coupled with the impact of climatic changes on fragile populations, is a fundamental threat for European and African stability alike, even though rapid African economic growth bears at the same time the promise of fantastic opportunities. Indeed, 5 percent yearly growth will not be sufficient to fulfil this promise. The fertility rate will not be controlled unless decisive progress is made in educating more women. Both demographic and economic trends will need to be channelled and as soon as possible for African development to become sustainable.

The rise of a “smart”, connected Africa is allowing countries across the continent to leapfrog several stages of development in key areas such as banking and telecommunications and is reshaping business and society. Despite this, growth in several African countries has slowed in recent years after more than a decade of solid expansion. Rickety infrastructure, skills shortages, weak governance and a reliance on commodities continue to plague the continent, underscoring the need for economic diversification for sustained, inclusive growth in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, education and banking. Agenda 2063 is the African Union’s blueprint for the future based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. It calls for an integrated Africa guided by Pan-African ideals: an Africa shaped by good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and rule of law; a peaceful and secure Africa; an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics; an Africa whose development is people-driven with a key role for women and the youth; a strong, united Africa that can be an influential global player. Smart Specialization underlines the importance of the preparation process which occurs at the regional/country level of the research and innovation strategies.

Leading Questions:

Leading Questions:

  • How can we address the governance, political and stability challenges facing Africa and the EU?
  • How can we develop policies to encourage female leadership and participation in politics, business and society?
  • How can we mobilise investment for structural transformation Africa?
  • What can we do to foster business in Africa including in areas such as health and agriculture?
  • Kenya—the silicon savannah
  • EU-Africa relations
  • EU – Economic Partnership Agreement – how to enhance its effectiveness 
  • The African Union: Autocracy, Diplomacy and Peacebuilding in Africa
  • Compact with Africa: fostering private long-term investment in Africa 


  • 9:00am CEST – Welcome Address
    • Professor Piotr Wachowiak – Rector, SGH Warsaw School of Economics
    • Phd Michal Matusewicz – Dean of Collegium Management and Finance
  • 9:20am CEST – Opening Guest Speech
    • His Excellency Ambassador Jacek Jankowski – Head of the EU Delegation to Zambia
  • 9:40am CEST – Opening Discussion
    • Moderated by PhD Anna Maslon-Oracz, Rector’s Plenipotentiary for Africa, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Vice-President of Polish European Community Studies Association
    • Her Excellency, Madame Fatoumata Jallow-Tambaiang, Former Vice-President, Republic of Gambia
  • 10:00am CEST – Panel I: Governance for growth and inclusive development versus the African Private Equity and Venture Capital
    • Moderated by Fatoumata Diaraye Diallo, Programme Development Manager, Justina Mutale Foundation
    • Katarzyna Kacperczyk – former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of Poland
    • Maurice Dezou – Founder and Chair of the Tees Valley BME Network 
    • Professor Radosław Miskiewicz – CEO Luma Holding, University of Szczecin
    • Professor MP Kilion Munyama – Member of Polish Parliament
    • Dr. George Njenga – Executive Dean Strathmore University
  • 11:30am CEST – Panel II: Women – political representation and successful development in Africa
    • Moderated by professor Aleksandra Szczerba – Zawada, professor of law at the Jacob of Paradies University in Gorzów Wielkopolski
    • HE Phd Justina Mutale – the African Women of 2012, Justina Mutale Foundation
    • Macdella Cooper – Political Leader at the Movement For One Liberia (MOL)
    • Anna Maria Rozek – Political leader
    • PhD Tomasz Gigol – SGH Warsaw School of Economics
  • Virtual Coffee Break
  • 1:15pm CEST – Panel III: Smart specialization strategies and their applicability to sustainability
    • Moderated by PhD Aleksandra Borowicz – Faculty of Economics, University of Gdańsk
    • Phd Mafini Dosso –  Project Leader “Smart Specialisation in Innovative & Informal African Economies” at European Commission’s JRC
    • Professor Anna Visvizi – SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
    • Ewa Osuch-Rak, PhD Candidate, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
    • Professor Jose Mella – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Coordinator of AMENET
  • 2:45pm CEST- Panel IV: A digital economy in Africa. -building innovation ecosystems
    • Moderated by Phd Maria Pietrzak – SGH Warsaw School of Economics
    • Ayo Eso – PhD Candidate Lead City University, Nigeria
    • Ewa Geresz – Director Program and Global Partnerships, VENTURE CAFÉ WARSAW FOUNDATION, CIC
    • Aleksandra Gadzala Tirziu, PhD – Head of Research, The Singularity Group, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
    • Kari Mruz – Chief Operating Officer, Nairobi Garage 
    • Phd Tomek Pilewicz – SGH Warsaw School of Economics
  • 4:15pm CEST- Closing Remarks
    • Dan LeClair, CEO GBSN and Anna Maslon-Oracz

Date & Time:

Friday, 25 June, 2021
9:00am CEST – 4:15pm CEST