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Florence School of Transnational Governance

Africa Potential’s second season launches with Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi

The second season of the "Africa's Potential – Conversations with High-Level Leaders" series is set to commence this Friday, 8 September, with an inaugural lecture by Boniface Mwangi, a renowned Kenyan activist, speaker, and photographer.

07 September 2023 | Event


Mwangi's presence, whom we already had the pleasure of hosting as our first speaker in 2022, reinforces the series' commitment to highlighting individuals who epitomise fearless leadership, a crucial element in Africa's transformation.

During the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya, Boniface Mwangi was a photographer at The Standard, the second-largest Kenyan newspaper. His lens became a symbol of hope, capturing the struggle against political impunity in the face of over 1,000 casualties and half a million displaced citizens.

The story of Mwangi, who goes by the moniker The People’s Watchman on X (formerly known as Twitter), has inspired an entire country to not shy away from injustice and actively oppose a cruel dictatorship. He was nominated as one of the 100 Most Influential Young African Leaders in 2017, as well as one of the 40 Most Influential Men Under 40 in Kenya.

On 8 September, at Palazzo Buontalenti, Mwangi will delve into the details of his remarkable work and inspiring life, and talk about the role of civil society in the transformation of Africa.

The "Africa's Potential" series, organised by the Young African Leaders Programme at the EUI School of Transnational Governance, aims to provide a platform where high-level leaders from Africa and beyond engage, converse, and deliberate with young leaders on contemporary African challenges, policy debates, and the role of leadership in shaping the continent's future.

The upcoming season promises a diverse array of thought-provoking talks, including:

  • 11 September: Fabrizio Tassinari, the executive director of the School of Transnational Governance (EUI), will give a lecture on the Nordic Governance Models as part of the Africa’s Potential series. Fabrizio Tassinari has a background in research and policy advice on questions of democracy, governance and international security, in and around Europe. His latest book, The Pursuit of Governance: Nordic Dispatches on a New Middle Way (2021), deals with questions of the Nordic governance models, which the lecture will be on.
  • 14 September: Alexander Stubb, Director of the School of Transnational Governance and a candidate to run in the Finnish election for President will discuss the idea of leadership against the world’s current political climate.
  • 15 September: Peter Kagwanja (TBC) - Africa’s Potential: Leadership in Pan-African Institutions.
  • 15 September: Raymond Gilpin (TBC) - Africa’s Potential: Doing Development Differently in Africa.
  • 18 September: Adebayo Olukoshi, with over 35 years of experience in international relations, governance, and human rights, both in the academic sector and intergovernmental institutions, and Eric Chinje, the CEO of the African Media Initiative (AMI), will discuss with us the and give us insights on the history of leadership and governance in Africa.
  • 19 September: Jakkie Cilliers, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Head of the African Futures and Innovation team at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, will discuss with us the Futures of Africa.
  • 22 September: Roland Kobia, the Ambassador of the European Union to Ethiopia and also covers ad interim the multilateral side as Head of the EU Mission to the African Union, will discuss with us the ways of transition in his lecture: Governing and Leading Transitions In Africa: A Comparative Regional Governance.

The series welcomes the EUI community, YALP alumni, and the wider YALP network to participate. For those in Florence, sessions are open for in-person attendance at Palazzo Buontalenti. For remote attendees, a Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

Stay tuned for upcoming events that promise to ignite meaningful conversations, foster cross-cultural understanding, and inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

Last update: 07 September 2023

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