Sorry for the break in transmission with this story, there were things like work and my birthday to get through!! Whoop!
Right! So part four now, (because I know you’ve read one, two, and three), I’ll be reproducing the Roundtable proper. First off, there was so much knowledge in the room, and I know I asked myself more than once how I was that privileged to be in the room with the calibre of people there!
My amazement under control, there were quick introductions and a first word that elicited comments like “as we think of futures and foresight/fore sighting we must not forget where we are coming from and where we are now”.
Foresight is super important because it helps create policies that cater to eventualities; helps governments be better prepared to handle anything that comes their way and leave an easier tomorrow for the ones coming after them.
We talked about the key trends Africa should be focusing on and their potential effects on individual countries, and the continent. We also discussed the role of business, entrepreneurship, the potentials with industrialization, and what exactly we’re doing with donors and their monies.
Totally fascinating discussion, and for me was an eye-opener into the reason why we got some themes to write on that I thought weren’t for ‘today’. It was also really interesting listening to the different perspectives and how issues feed into each other, whether they be across countries, regions, or even the continent.
Here’s a video from the day that might help put things in perspective…
And there was this too!
There’s also a storify you can catch up with here as well – https://storify.com/FFDAfrica/foesight-for-development-round-table
There was a quick tea break and we were back discussing. Can I just say that the organization of the event was spot on? So down to the folders we received, you could see the painstaking effort that went into making everything look feel spotless.
Here’s the thing. Africa needs to look inwards, within its local spaces for answers to its problems rather than backing each other and looking to institutions they think care about them but in truth are just looking out for themselves. (An Igbo proverb says you cannot use someone else’s eyes to see).
There’s a lot about Foresight for Development that will interest you, and you, and you, and I encourage you to visit the website, and get an education. And thank me later!
And you can search our hashtag #SAMPNODE if you just want to catch up on the conversation for the day. I know I was tweeting a lot.
Long day over, we moved to a cocktail by the pool, and then on to dinner. Here’s what I had, and we got another helping of brownies and fresh custard. Bliss.
Next morning Ruth and I went to Sandton City Mall, and first off, we took pictures, which I suddenly cannot find. So annoying! Like I know they are in a folder on my computer but I can’t for the life of me remember what folder! Sigh…
Then we went in and bought a few things. We had to rush cos we both had flights to catch; she to Uganda, and I to Abuja via Addis Ababa. I’m keen to visit South Africa again, and this time go to Soweto; I hear there are stark disparities between the posh Morningside/Sandton areas and Soweto and the other inner communities. I’d also like to attend a concert, I’ve fallen in love with a number of South African gospel choirs and I can’t wait to hear them!
We made it to the airport just in time; Ruth had to run for her flight, and I had just enough time to decide I wasn’t going to waste my money on the overpriced items at the Duty Free stores or change the rands I had back to dollars because it just seemed like a proper rip off. I’ll spend it another time biko.
Was very unfortunate to sit beside a really smelly man, but he didn’t talk to me and I distracted myself sufficiently with all the movies I watched so that wasn’t too bad.
We got to Addis ok, and glory be to God I was put in another hotel! Panorama hotel was lovely! There was WIFI, the room was clean, smelling really nice (I really do have a thing for scents and smells), and I had a wonderful shower. I slept very well.
The food however, was still rubbish, leading me to think that what Ethiopians have in beauty/figures, they lack in foods and preparation of meals. But maybe it’s just me, and the places I’ve eaten/had to eat in so far.
I did something interesting while I was waiting for the flight, passport watching. I would look at passports of everyone who passed by me trying to figure out what their own ‘green’ was (there are apparently a lot of African countries with ‘green’ passports). That was fun to do.
Next morning, hopped back on a plane, and in a few hours, I was back in Nigeria. I think I was too tired on this flight to make any notes, so I just ate, and slept. And was grateful for the gift of writing, and the opportunity to write, and oh-so profitably.
That’s it, SA Chronicle done!