Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What do we want? What might we become? Imagining the Future of East Africa

“East Africa is a beautiful girl called Cea, with her natural resources, her people, and her landscape. She is very aware of her beauty since she has plenty of admirers (donors, colonialists and foreign investors) who offer her many promises and proposals but at the same time Cea is very naïve and has become very proud and vain because of all the attention. When the flattery becomes even louder, Cea blinded by it, starts to give herself to these admirers who don’t think twice and rape her. They take all the natural resources, her forests, her carbon, her oil, her precious gems, and finally abusing and distorting all laws to take advantage of her people…”

The East African Scenarios Project consists on the exploration of possible scenarios for the integration of East Africa into a united region. Developed by the Society of International Development (SID), this incredible Panel Discussion adressed three different scenarios in the form of stories of East Africa. The story told above, called “I want to be a star!” is one of the three scenarios East African Scenarios Process developed to unite East Africans from all walks of life, ranging from government officials to students, from civil society to executive directors, inviting them to join in the quest of discovering their desires for the future of their region. There are many issues Africa faces, such as AIDS, extreme poverty, corruption, tradition, differences between tribes and countries, foreign influence, and urban migration, but while this mission seems idealistic, Aidan Eyakuze, Programme Director of the East African Scenarios Project declares, “It’s up to us, East Africans, to talk about where the future of our region is going.”

In collaboration with Arturo Muliro, Deputy Managing Director of the International Secretariat of the Society for the International Development in Rome and Ambassador Robert G. Houdek, the presentation is a perfect summary of past, present, and questions of the future for the East African Region. The scenarios are designed to contribute to the conversation in East Africa on the existing commonalities for a regional prosperity process. Acknowledging lessons from the past and future barriers they will have to overcome, the presentation boasts a realistic optimism and creates a profound look on the uncertainty of the future but at the same time empowers East Africans by providing them ownership of a creative space where they can express their ideas and finally take action of their own lives and countries!

Sponsor: SID (Society for International Development)
Date: October 14th, 2008
Time: 12pm
Representative Attending: Cristina Lopez

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