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Cape Town Conversation
From: Nov 24, 2023 - Nov 26, 2023

Africa is the continent where key global opportunities are playing out and where solutions are  being discovered and partnerships forged to respond to the challenges of the present and future.  As such, Africa is playing a central role in shaping both political and developmental narratives,  policies, and new institutions in the global governance system.

The year 2023 is unique for international cooperation with South Africa holding the BRICS  presidency and three developing countries in the G20 Troika – Indonesia (past presidency),  India (current presidency), and Brazil (next presidency), with South Africa to follow. A key  outcome of India’s Presidency has been the introduction of the African Union as a permanent  member of the G20. Now is the time to realize common futures, and to move beyond the  binaries of North – South and for innovation and Dialogue to flow. In this effort, India is a  unique partner – it can share its developmental frameworks and bring voices from the  developing world to shape international conversations

Cape Town Conversations will serve as an annual South Africa-based platform that brings  together key stakeholders and new voices. It is designed as a common platform where  established and emerging actors convene for a global conversation on contemporary issues of  global governance —identifying new challenges, ideating possible solutions and shaping the  world order of the future.

Cape Town Conversation – The 2023 Edition

Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa – four emerging economies, four G20 Presidencies.  These four successive Presidencies offer a rare opportunity to centre the needs and priorities of  the global south as the driving force behind international policy discourse, rather than  continuing in the historical benevolent paternal attitude towards this region. South Africa’s  BRICS Chairship, and India’s proposal to have the African Union become a permanent  member of the G20, further strengthen the need for a global Forum out of Africa that will look  at the emerging global political and economic order and their associated institutional  frameworks. This unique platform will convene over speakers and delegates from around the  world to discuss, ideate, and debate the most pressing global imperatives.

Thematic Pillars:

  1. Women-led Development 

The time is right for a women-led socio-economic revolution. From women in start-ups to  women designing technology solutions, the possibilities and potential for redesigning  economic growth, social contracts and political regimes are immense. Businesses, investors  and political leaders across the globe are beginning to see this clear opportunity, and all need  to do more to realise it. The global community must galvanise financial flows to women-led  initiatives, create regulatory signals that allow markets to serve women’s needs, and incubate  regimes where women hold the pen and script global futures.

  1. Achieving Just Green Transition

Global poverty cannot be the world’s mitigation strategy – the biggest contributor to keeping  emissions low is poverty and energy insecurity in the developing world. Urgent, substantial,  and affordable finance is needed for a climate adaptation that serves communities under stress,  even as pools of capital are deployed for climate mitigation globally. MDBs and IFIs must be  made more responsive to these financing needs. Equally, international regimes and  arrangements must make access to climate tech. equitable and affordable to advance the climate  action agenda.

  1. The Development Imperative 

It is clear more than ever that sustainable development is central for global security and  stability, and inclusive green growth is essential for the fight against climate change. To  achieve this the world needs to think of catalysing financial flows, sharing technology and  innovation and rebuilding trust in a divided world. How can plurilateral groupings such as the  G20, AU, and BRICS, be a part of stitching together new partnerships, investing in clean and  green initiatives and projects and ensure that no human is left behind as we strive to achieve  the 2030 Development Goals.

  1. Data for Development  

As the mandate of governance expands and the size of governments shrinks, data and  technology present an opportunity to improve the last mile delivery of public services. At the  same time, technology has facilitated a range of innovations that can significantly enhance the  quality of life. Central questions for governments, the private sector and communities then are  – how can these possibilities be effectively realized? And what are the roles of respective  stakeholders involved?

  1. Making Multilateralism Deliver 

An already strained international institutional architecture is facing its worst crisis of  legitimacy yet, having been unable to prevent pandemics, financial crises, and conflicts over  the years. The United Nations framework is struggling to equitably distribute decision making  authority and is being undermined by great power competition, including both responsibility  abdication and institutional capture. What are the ideas, institutions, and partnerships needed  to reimagine, revamp and revitalize the multilateral global order?

  1. Reclaiming Peace: Building Bridges in a Turbulent World

Dialogue is the foundation of effective diplomacy. Yet the hurdles placed before successful  and sustainable dialogue – from social media extremism to “wolf warrior” officials – have only  increased in recent years. And over the past decade, armed force – including with non-state  actors – has seen a resurgence in international affairs. The need for open, frank, solution  focused conversations are the need of the hour.

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Speakers 2023

Abla Abdel-Latif

Executive Director and Director of Research, The Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies,

Alison Gillwald

Executive Director, Research ICT Africa (RIA),

Ami Mpungwe

Former High Commissioner of Tanzania to South Africa and Chairman, Kilombero Sugar Company , Tanzania, United Republic of

Amor Mclang

Convener, Digital Pilipinas,

Andreas Schaal

OECD Sherpa for G20, G7 and APEC,

Anil Sooklal

BRICS Sherpa and Ambassador at Large for Asia and BRICS,

Anir Chowdhury

Policy Advisor, a2i, Government of Bangladesh , Bangladesh

Anit Mukherjee

Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation America,

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