Abubakar Atiku, Seyi Tinubu, and Toyin Saraki are some of the speakers expected for this year’s edition of the annual Oxford Africa Conference (OAC).
The conference, which is hosted by the Oxford University Africa Society, is scheduled between May 28 and May 30, 2021.
In a statement released by Chibugo (Chi) Okafor, an MBA candidate at the Oxford University who is also a co-chair of this year’s conference states that this yearly intellectual gathering which brings together former and serving heads of state, policymakers, business leaders, seasoned academics, opinion leaders, artists, students and distinguished professionals of African descent.
Over the years, the conference has become a forum for critical evaluation and deliberation on Africa’s past, present and future, with the unchanging goal of charting a way forward for Africa.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Rewriting Our Story and Asserting Africa’s Future.” The conference will feature practical and solution-oriented conversations centred on Africa’s development from an economic, political, environmental, security and health perspective – with emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his words, Daniel Ogoloma, a student at Oxford University and the Communications Manager for the Oxford Africa conference, captured the whole essence and mission of the conference succinctly, “Our aim is to use this conference as a platform to uplift, mobilise and propel Africans in the diaspora and on the continent. We want attendees to leave inspired enough to change the African story by implementing key strategies from the insightful reflections and discussions that stand to be held at the Conference”.
This edition of the conference will take a different dimension. Chi Okafor reiterates that “Due to the current global pandemic, this will be the first virtual Oxford Africa Conference. This will open up the access to everyone that wishes to participate regardless of where they are in the world, which has not been the case in recent years where we typically have closed our doors to the wider public.”
Ogoloma believes this year’s pool of speakers and keynote speakers make an impressive roster with many prominent individuals billed to speak at the conference.
Some of these distinguished speakers include Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; the former Vice-President of Nigeria, CEO, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, Abdul Samad Rabiu; Chairman of BUA Group, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Audu Ogbeh; former Minister of Agriculture and former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Toyin Saraki; Founder-President of Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Rabiu Kwankwaso; a former Governor of Kano State and former Minister of Defence, Tedros Ghebreyesus; the current Director-General of the World Health Organization, Seyi Tinubu; Digital strategist and youth leader, and many more distinguished personalities.