Africa events to watch at the UN General Assembly in New York

The 77th session of the UN General Assembly opened in New York on Tuesday, with a line-up of Africa-focused development and investment events.


Image : African Union

The call from António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, to limit the number of side events inside the iconic UN building on 42nd Street hasn’t dissuaded delegations from coming back to New York en masse.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA 77) officially kicked off this week but with Queen Elizabeth’s funeral now taking place in London on the 19th September, heads of government are only expected to arrive from the 20th onwards.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa departed for Washington DC on Wednesday for an audience with US President Joe Biden in the run-up to the talks in New York. Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera are also expected to attend the summit.

As always, Africa will be well represented at the meeting of global leaders. You’ll be able to find the African Business team (and magazines) at a number of Africa-centric events cited here.

Official and side events

Here is a full list of official and side events:

UN Global Compact alongside other UN stakeholders are launching the Global Africa Business Initiative, which will be attended by heavyweights from Africa and the world. This event, taking place on the 18/19 September, is being coordinated by Kenyan former CNN anchor Zain Verjee.

Monday the 19th will also see the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) launch Energise Africa, an initiative aimed to empower the youth of the continent and to help them become more engaged in the critical pathways to help realise the African Union’s ambitious Agenda 2063.

On the afternoon of the 20th, Invest Africa is hosting a US-Africa Investment Forum and on the morning of the 22nd a Namibian Investment Summit.

The evening of the 20th will see the United Nations Development Programme host the Africa Investment Partnerships Forum, with a cocktail and by-invitation dinner taking place at the Yale Club. According to the organisers, the aim is to move beyond aid and to bring about new solutions to mobilise greater investment capital for the continent. On the same evening, the Africa-America Institute will be hosting their 38th Gala Awards Dinner.

On the afternoon of the 22nd the Africa Soft Power Project will be hosting a series of discussions. African Business publisher Omar Ben Yedder will be moderating a session on climate change.

The Gates Foundation will be once again organising their annual Goalkeepers event tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a star-studded guest list of speakers and participants, featuring Nobel laureates and plenty of young talent, congregating on 20/21st September.

Non-profit organisation Concordia will host its annual UNGA event between the 19-21st September. African Business will be moderating a session on the 21st September entitled Building Stronger Economies in Middle Income Countries.

And after a gruelling week, if you want to let your hair down, the Global Poverty Project are organising their Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on the 24th with a line-up including Metallica and Mariah Carey.

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