Young Leaders´ Forums

Cultural Diplomacy In Africa

July 2012


Cultural Diplomacy in Africa: A Forum for Young Leaders (CDA) is a network of young individuals from across the world, who shares an interest in the African continent. The program is based on the recognition that cultural diplomacy represents an important tool in helping Africa to address the challenges it currently faces. The network conducts on-going activity aimed at supporting development and strengthening relations between different countries and cultural groups within Africa, and between Africa and external partners.

Conference Summary

Monday, 23rd July 2012

Director and Founder of the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy Mark Donfried welcomed participants to the ICD with an introductory lecture to the Young Leaders Forum. Held at the ICD house of Art & Culture Mr Donfried gave insight into what those taking part could expect to gain from the conference. After a short break he introduced them to the theory of cultural diplomacy, using historical and contemporary examples he helped participants understand how cultural diplomacy is becoming an increasingly relevant and important part of international relations. Participants then spent the evening at the Strand Bar Berlin, which, located on the waterby the Museum Island of Berlin, was host to the Open Air Argentinian Tango dance evening.

Tuesday, 24th July 2012

On Tuesday the group was taken to visit the Reichstag building, where they were given a lecture on the history of the German Parliament. The visitors were then invited to the balcony where they enjoyed panoramic views of the city. Afterwards Mark Donfried gave back-to-back lectures at the ICD house on the following subjects, ‘Applied Cultural Diplomacy: Cultural Diplomacy in Practice’ and Art & Music as Cultural Diplomacy. Both gave way to discussions on their respective themes. The idea was to build on the topics covered in the previous day’s lectures; afterwards the participants had gained a much greater understanding of the idea of cultural diplomacy. Concluding the, participants visited the Duckstein Festival, in Schloss Charlottenberg, where they enjoyed live music, street theatre, fine cuisine and a designer art & culture market.

Wednesday 25th July

The conference and symposium formally began together with a presentation given by Dr Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh (Director, Africa Department, International Society for Human Rights) entitled “Sustainable Development in Africa - Why Are Countries Not Developing?”. Dr Ogbunwezeh led a discussion on Africa and the reasons why African nations do not develop. This contentious subject gave way to a heated discussion between the participants. This was followed by a lecture by the Founder & Director, Mr. Mark Donfried, entitled ‘The Evolution & Current Trends of Cultural Diplomacy in Africa’. Afterwards was a ‘round table’ format discussion. A host of questions from the participants were put forward, met with views and comments from their peers. Finally, participants and a selection of interns enjoyed a group dinner at the famous SWERA Restaurant-Bar-Lounge.

Thursday 26th July

The morning began with a case study on nation branding by the First Secretary to the Embassy of Burundi in Germany, Mr. Nestor Nkunzimana. The lecture was entitled “The History of Burundi to the Present Day: from Kingdom to Colonialism to Independence.” Marc Bogearts, choreographer of Circus d’Soleil gave a workshop on ‘Sport as Cultural Diplomacy,’ focused on deducing attitudes from body language.

Ambassador Clementine Shekembo Kamanga, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Germany, delivered the next lecture entitled “A Global Dialogue on Cultural Diplomacy and Sustainable Development in Africa.” She spoke about the DRC and its attempted rise and the difficulties and struggles the nation faced. 
Following, Mr. Felix Sangano Mühire, the First Secretary to the Embassy of Rwanda in Berlin delivered a lecture on Rwanda as a case study. He spoke about the rise of Rwanda following the genocide to the present day.  Continuing with case studies Mr. Mark Donfried presented his lecture entitled ‘Case Studies of Cultural Diplomacy in Africa’. The day’s events was followed by a group dinner at the Villa Rodizio Restaurant in East Berlin

Friday, 27th July

Captain Christian Janke began the day with a lecture entitled “The Balance of Hard Power & Soft Power in the Engagement of German Department of Defense in Africa.” Captain Janke gave insight into the work of German soldiers in Africa, from keeping the peace, building wells, roads and bridges, to training the police force. Next, former Ambassador Karl-Erik Norrman delivered a workshop and presentation on nation branding and Africa. The examples of IKEA as a Swedish success story were given to the participants as a lesson in the exchange of cultural identity as cultural diplomacy. Following this, Ambassador Dr Issac C Lamba, Ambassador of Malawi to Germany, gave a lecture entitled “The Challenges of Economic Development in 21st Century Africa: The Case of Malawi.” This lecture informed the participants about the problems of a developing country and bringing the country to the standards expected as a participant on the economic world stage.

Ms. Connie R Nuwagaba, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Uganda in Germany, delivered a lecture entitled “The Sustainable Development in Africa: Case Study Uganda” showing film clips of the Ugandan forest and showing how this resource has been used by Uganda as a major tourist attraction.

Saturday 28th July

To close the conference, Dr Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh tackled the main theme, leading a round discussion on “Sustainable Development and the Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Building Confidence and Trust within Africa.” The controversial nature of the title was met head on, as he began in earnest with statements detailing what Africa must and must not do to be accepted on the world stage. Questions, solutions, answers were all given in this interactive discussion that concluded the conference.

Speaker list

Mark Boegarts, BoegartsProductions,World Renowned Choreogapher, Circus d’Soleli
Mark C. Donfried, Director & Founder, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD)
Captain Christian Janke, Public Affairs and Information Officer, Bundeswehr
H. E. Amb. Clementine ShakemboKamanga, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Germany
H. E. Ambassador Prof. Dr.  Isaac C. Lamba, Ambassador of Malawi to Germany
Felix SanganoMuhire, First Secretary of the Embassy of Rwanda in Germany
Ms. Penelope Muzanenhamo, PhD Candidate at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK
Mr Nestor Nkunzimana, First Secretary to theAmbassador of Burundi to Germany
H.E. Amb. Karl Erik Norrman, General Secretary of the European Cultural Parliament, Former Swedish Ambassador
Ms. Connie R. Nuwagaba, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Uganda in Germany
Dr. Emmanuel FranklyneOgbunwezeh, Director, Africa Department, International Society for Human Rights
Ms.MealaTesfamichael- Chairperson of Eritrean Youth Organisation in Switzerland and Member of Euro-committee of Teaching & Skills programme
Norma Wright, Head of the Africa Experience Program and the HR Initiatives, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy