On November 5th 2016, the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) organised the yearly Africaday (Afrikadag in Dutch), that is, the biggest event in the Netherlands on Africa and international cooperation. This year, Africaday’s general theme was the relations between Europe and Africa, and the conference’s keynote speaker was Ashish J. Thakkar, founder and CEO of the Mara Group: a multi-sector investment group that is active across 25 African countries.
The primary objective of Africaday 2016 was to increase public support for international cooperation: without broad public support you cannot have political support, while this is needed to achieve real change with regard to international cooperation. Africaday always manages to reach a relatively young, large and diverse audience. This year we had over 1,000 visitors, 300 speakers and organisers and some 100 volunteers present at Africaday. The average age of the visitors was 41 years old. Due to extensive (social) media outreach, we were able to reach even more people than those 1,400. With Africaday, the FMS and FEPS tried to create a positive and realistic image of Dutch and European efforts in the field of international cooperation and Africa.
During the conference, we had a total of 40 workshops, debates, lectures, interviews etc. including an extensive cultural programme. What is more, an information market was also organised, with more than 25 organisations present.