The African Presidential Roundtable 2012:
“21st Century Energy Agenda for Africa”
University of the Witwatersrand
Johannesburg, South Africa
May 23-25, 2012
The African Presidential Roundtable 2012, held May 23-25, at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, was a multi-continental conversation involving former African heads of state, diplomats, industry leaders, international dignitaries, and students and faculty from the United States, Europe, and Africa. Of the former African leaders that have retired through a democratic process, the African Presidential Center expects that fourteen of them will be in attendance at theRoundtable 2012. The focus for the African Presidential Roundtable 2012 was “21st Century Energy Agenda for Africa,” in follow-up to last year’s energy discussion in Mauritius.
The issue of energy is one of Africa’s most pressing challenges. This challenge, if left unresolved, has the potential to bring development to a standstill in otherwise successful countries. If solved, it has the potential to drive development on the continent to unprecedented levels. This year’s African Presidential Roundtable focused on how governments, institutions, and individuals can aid in bringing Africa closer to achieving a resolution to this pressing dilemma.
Since the African Presidential Center inaugurated theAfrican Presidential Roundtable in April 2003, each year has seen a significant growth in the size and stature of the initiative. The involvement of former African heads of state, foreign diplomats, and international dignitaries has produced cutting-edge conversation and policy discussion about the continent.
The former African heads of state who have developed relationships with the African Presidential Center through this initiative feel strongly that the African Presidential Roundtable represents an opportunity to reach a significant number of key individuals and institutions that have the ability to directly impact the development of Africa. The African Presidential Roundtable has facilitated a better understanding by both Africans and Americans of their respective views regarding civic participation, leadership development, and policy formation relative to Africa. This effort has also led to more informed policies and has the potential to influence future practices by providing a sustainable and credible forum for former democratically elected African heads of state to convene around issues that affect U.S.-Africa relations.