The second day of the 8th Atlantic Dialogues conference, organized by the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), hosted four plenary sessions during which experts discussed climate, technology, democracy, and refugees.
Energy and climate
The first plenary session on Friday, December 13 analyzed the effects of climate change in the Global South and the Southern Atlantic.
Udak Amimo, a Kenyan journalist, moderated the discussion.
The session invited Andre Caille, a Canadian electricity company executive; R. Andreas Kraemer, founder and director of Emeritus Ecologic Institute in Berlin, Germany; Thione Niang, co-founder and co-CEO of Akon Lighting Africa; and Francis Perrin, a senior fellow at the PCNS.
The panelists discussed the competition between oil and renewable energy sources, the shift towards renewable energy policies and technology, and global inequality in the availability of natural resources and renewable energy sources.
Technology, welfare, and inequality
Sarah Glover, the social media editor for NBC Owned Television Stations, moderated Friday’s second plenary session on technology, welfare and inequality.
The session invited Bruno Boccara, founder of Socio-Analytic Dialogue; Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, president of the Spanish Council of State; Serigne Gueye Diop, minister advisor to the president of Senegal; and Sunjoy Joshi, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation.
The panelists discussed psycho-social technology, social media and narcissistic gratification, the benefits of technology for agriculture, how technology promotes financial inclusion, industrial revolutions, increasing inequality and turmoil, if technology will promote human rights, and the role of women in ensuring that technology will support equality.
Is democracy in crisis?
The third plenary session of the day invited speakers to discuss whether democracy is in crisis around the world. Moderated by Borzou Daragahi, an international correspondent for the Independent, panelists and audience members engaged in thought-provoking dialogue.
Panelists included Laura Albornoz, former minister of state for the national service for women in Chile; Mohamed Benaissa, Morocco’s former minister of foreign affairs; Michelle Ndiaye, director of the Africa Peace and Security Program at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies; and Trisha Shetty, an Indian women’s rights activist and CEO of SheSays.
The panelists discussed declining voter turnout in elections around the world, pro-democracy protests, the decline of respect for institutions in the Global South, the rise of religious political forces, corruption, nationalism, and elevating the voices of young people.
Refugees: Protection and integration
The fourth and final plenary session on Friday analyzed the protection and integration of refugees in the Global South and the Southern Atlantic region. BBC World Africa presenter and journalist Vera Kwakofi moderated the discussion.
The audience heard valuable insight from Abdoullah Coulibaly, president of the Bamako Forum; Richard Danziger, regional director for West and Central Africa for the International Organization for Migration; Birame Diop, special chief of staff to the president of Senegal; Tesfahun Gobezay Kinfie, state minister and national security advisor to the prime minister of Ethiopia; and Angel Losoda, the EU special representative for the Sahel.
The panelists discussed the state of refugees in Africa, the weakening of international human rights, the Libyan crisis, refugees’ access to citizen services, tensions between refugees and host communities, deteriorating resources, xenophobia, how to maintain refugees’ hope, and how to build trust between citizens, refugees, and governing institutions.
Each plenary session at the 8th Atlantic Dialogues invites members of the audience, which includes many of the conference’s invited speakers and moderators, to engage with panelists and ask hard-hitting questions. The conference presents a rich opportunity for experts and non-experts alike to exchange ideas and develop their knowledge of a wide array of topics that are of utmost importance to the Global South and the Southern Atlantic.