President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

Known as one of the key milestones in February since 16 years, the Bamako Forum will take place this year from February 18 the 20th under the patronage of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali. “Africa, between chaos and emergence” is the theme chosen for the 2016 edition. The Bamako Forum offers decision makers, researchers, business leaders and media the opportunity to look into the situation of the continent and determine – through a lucid diagnosis balanced with cautious optimism – which conditions will make Africa an emerging region. Migration, security issues, religious radicalism, unemployment issues, especially for young people, development of youth entrepreneurship, quality of public services and relations between states and citizens, progress in regional integration: all these themes will be further discussed during this week’s debates. Once again, all the challenges and opportunities that Africa is confronted with have inspired the agenda of the Bamako Forum.

Mixing informal exchanges and high level panels: this approach, which have contributed to the success of this event since its early years and extended its reputation far beyond the African elite, will still be at work this year. “A spirit of dialogue inspires everything that we do within the Forum; with that in mind we will compare ideas and projects – with the ambition to write a roadmap for the continent. We are in ‘make or break moment’ of our history. This emergency situation commands us to act” says the President of the Foundation Forum in Bamako, Mr. Abdullah Coulibaly.

A regular visitor of the Bamako Forum, Joel Ruet, Director of The Bridge Tank says that “it is a unique and forward-looking platform where all the creativity of Africa can be found.” Marwane Ben Yahmed, Director of Jeune Afrique, adds that “Africa’s problems are of importance to the entire international community – as much as Africa’s assets and opportunities. The Bamako Forum’s unique contribution is precisely that it succeeds in connecting the evolution of the continent with that of the rest of the world”.  Alpha Diallo, CEO of On Time International is delighted to join a truly pan-African meeting: “All stakeholders are represented. We have the opportunity to meet other Africans and learn from each other – these events are still too rare on the continent. ”

“We are pleased to see the enthusiasm around the 2016 Forum; we welcome new partners together with our oldest friends. This is a strong signal that all of them send while coming to Bamako, which was recently under attacks. The Mali resists and stands up, and becomes the voice of all Africa,” says Coumba Traore, Secretary General of the Bamako Forum Foundation.

The three-day Forum discussions will inform a synthesis to be officially presented to Malian authorities and including proposals to inspire public and private decision makers’ future action.

The 16th edition of the Forum will be structured around the following panels:

– Is Africa the continent of chaos?
– Prospective around demographic challenges of Africa: observing the explosion of the population…… and asking about the conditions enabling the continent to receive a ‘demographic’ dividend?
– Security issues resulting from migration and climate change;
– The critical role of Youth and Entrepreneurship to enable the emergence of Africa
– Women’s role in defining Africa’s way to emergence:  the Malian case study
– Technological modernization and e-governance: towards the emergence of African public services
– Peace, security and development in the Sahel-Saharan zone: when Africa is confronted to  security challenges;
– Process to develop and intensify trade flows within countries and between countries, and accelerate regional integration and economic growth.


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