Happy New Year 2018!

We would like to thank all our partners and members for their support and collaboration within 2017.

We have had a successful year passed. So many great achievements and memories that will last; all of which couldn’t happen without the contribution of all of you.

2017 also laid bare important challenges that need our collective action and strong partnership. That is why we have adopted as ADNE 2018 theme: “Diaspora, Capacity Building and Job Creation in Africa”.

Through 2018, our goal is to strengthen our action with all our partners to increase the capacity of our home countries to create more jobs for youth and women as a contribution to the combat
against fatal migration including the barbaric and inhuman practice of slavery suffered by many African migrants.

We look forward to working with you on this important topic.

To bring a toast to this brand-new year, we are pleased to invite you to our traditional New Year Reception on January 19th at 6pm at Aloft Hotel Schuman, Place Jean Rey, 1040.

We wish you a Successful 2018. May this New Year go off with happiness. And may we accomplish all of our business goals very fast.

Happy New Year to you and really special big thanks your support and collaboration! 



Investing in the Youth for a Sustainable Future

ADNE took part to the 5th AU-EU Summit that took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 29-30 November 2017. During this Summit, 64 African and European Heads of State took commitment to “create better conditions for the youth.

The Summit focused on investing in youth as a key priority for Africa and the Europe as 60% of the African population is under the age of 25 while the European population is aging recalling the need to leverage the demographic dividend.

Together they adopted a joint declaration outlining common priorities for the EU-Africa partnership in four strategic areas:

Economic opportunities for youth;
Peace and security;
Mobility and migration; 
Cooperation on governance.


The EU-Africa Business Forum 2017

ADNE participated to the EU-Africa Business Forum, held on 27 November 2017.The forum provided an unrivalled venue for high-level dialogue and networking. Over 1000 representatives from African and European business including Diaspora Entrepreneurs together with political leaders discussed how to stimulate the investment needed to create quality jobs in Africa. Learn more about the Forum.

Subsaharan Diaspora Dialogue in Liège

ADNE supported the organisation of the 1st Subsaharan Diaspora Dialogue held in Liège on the 25 November 2017. This Dialogue brought together representatives of Diaspora organisations in Belgium to discuss about different challenges faced by the Diaspora and reflect on different solutions to increase their activities in host and home countries.

High-level conference ” Towards a renewed partnership with Africa”

ADNE Representatives spoke at the High-level conference entitled ” Towards a renewed partnership with Africa” organized by the European Parliament on the 22nd November in the margin of the coming AU-EU Summit in Abidjan.

ADNE particularly contributed to the Panel on Migration. Among other priorities with regards to the management of Migration, ADNE called upon the leaders to take immediate action to stop smuggling and Slavery of migrants in Libya.Learn more about the High-level conference.


ADNE took part to the AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

The event entitled “From Valletta to Abidjan: creating job opportunities for youth and women” was graced by the presence of H.E Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta and Patron of Global Africa.
Other panelists were H.E. Ajay Bramdeo, African Union Representative to the European Union and ACP, Ms Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, Director of the UN/UNDP Brussels Representation Office, Mr. Christophe Yvetot, UNIDO Representative to the European Union and ACP, Mr Joaquín Tasso Vilallonga Deputy Head Pan-African Affairs Division/European External Action Service, Mrs Francesca representing the Director for Planet and Prosperity at Directorate-General for DEVCO European Commission, MEP Cecile Kyenge, Vice-Chair of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Marie Chantal Uwitonze, President of African Diaspora Network in Europe.
The discussion emphasized the critical role played by industries in achieving fast, competitive and sustainable economic growth. All panelists agreed on the fact that African countries need investments to change the structures of their economies by increasing substantially the shares of industry – especially manufacturing – in national investments, national output, and trade.

The President of Malta encouraged European countries to look at Africa as a continent with opportunities and a strategic partner that needs mutually beneficial partnership rather than charity.

The President of ADNE strongly emphasized the need for an African ownership of the Industrialization agenda of the Continent recalling the importance of building underlying basis for industries : Resilient infrastructures, access to Energy, building the capacity starting by aligning Education Curricula with the needs of industrial stages, access to health care and leveraging the new technologies and innovation. She further highlighted that Africa contributes for only 1.6 % of the Global Manufacturing sector while it nearly contributes for 60% of raw materials and natural resources which shows the shortcomings of the current international order.

She also highlighted the role played the diaspora in capacity building and called for more involvement of the Diaspora and a better management of Migration. She discussed the consequences of the lack of efficient migration policy that is showing the worst face with the recent Slavery and smuggling of migrants in Libya.
She called on leaders and policy makers to walk the talk on implementing the sustainable development agenda to avoid more suffering of young Africans.


Rome, 17-18 October 2017

ADNE supported the African Diaspora in Italy for the organisation of the 1st edition of the Italia Africa Business Week IABW to facilitate business exchanges and mutual beneficial partnerships between entrepreneurs from Africa and Italy.

Italy has played an exemplary role by in adopting a law recognizing the Diaspora as a relevant partners for development cooperation and thus becoming the first country of the European Union to do so. 
ADNE called upon other EU Members States to replicate this example to leverage the potential of Diaspora to the development and economic Growth.

Learn more about IABW.

High level Panel on Migration at the Crans Montana Forum in Brussels

On 26th October 2017, ADNE President, Mrs. Marie Chantal Uwitonze was speaking about Migration at the Crans Montana Forum in Brussels.

Other panelists to the High Level roundtable entitled ” THE NEW MIGRATION FLOWS ISSUE” were Mrs. Irina Bokova, Former Director General of UNESCO, Mr. Armand Arton, Founder of the Global Citizens Forum, Montana Forum, Mrs. Lamia Haji Bachar, Sakharov Prize Laureate, Father Mussie Zerai, Chairman of the Habeshia Agency, Mr. Hasan Abu Nimah MP, Senate of Jordan, under the moderation of Mr. Daniel Warner, Chairperson, Advisory Board, Crans Montana Forum.

Find out the full address of ADNE President.


The Official Opening of the Global Diaspora Week 2017 at the European Union level was held on October 9, 2017 at the European Parliament in Brussels under the theme of “Innovation & Entrepreneurship: the Role of Diaspora in transforming Africa.”

The Global Diaspora Week (GDW) celebrate the contributions of Diaspora Communities to global development. GDW is intended to create awareness, enable collaboration and enhance learning amongst those working with diaspora communities in different locations around the world. The Celebration of this week at the European Union Level was initiated in 2015 by the African Diaspora Network in Europe in collaboration with the African Union and the European Union.

This year edition organized in partnership with African Perspective Magazine (TAP), Global Africa and Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT) was graced by eminent personalities and officials from different African and European institutions and African embassies accredited to the European Union. Among the personalities were H.E Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, Patron of Global Africa, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Laureate of the Sakharov Prize and Founder of Panzi Hospital, H.E Louis Michel, Minister of State, Member of the European Parliament, Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, H.E Amadou Diop, Ambassador of Senegal to Belgium and the EU and Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors , H.E. Mr Lembit Uibo, Ambassador, Estonian Permanent Representative to the PSC; Ambassador to Belgium, Madam Cécile Kyenge Kashetu, Member of the European Parliament and Mr. Luc Tanoh, COO of the Akon Lighting Africa.

The official Opening was crowned by the Ceremony for the “African Diaspora Entrepreneurship Award 2017-ADEAward 2017.

Akon Lighting Africa Initiative is the Laureate of ADEAward2017. Akon Lighting Africa was recognized as an innovative and impactful initiative from the Diaspora.

Created by Aliou Badara Thiam (AKONThione Niang and Samba Bathily, Diaspora members from Senegal and Mali, Akon Lighting Africa aims at widening the access to electricity in Africa by using by solar energy.

With a starting budget of $ 1 billion, Akon Lighting Africa is already present in 15 countries and 480 localities.

The project tackles a key challenge at the root of the underdevelopment in Africa. almost 600 million inhabitants live without electricity, particularly in rural areas. 
In his opening remark MEP Louis Michel recalled that the lack of electricity undermines the efforts towards sustainable development and causes significant economic losses. He saluted Akon Lighting Africa as a great example of the positive contribution of the Diaspora to development.

During the Award Ceremony, Mrs. Marie Chantal Uwitonze, President of ADNE, recalling ADNE theme for 2017 “Diaspora investment and industrialisation of Africa” highlighted the importance of the access to energy in the industrialisation process . “Access to energy is key for the creation of sustainable infrastructure, telecommunication and transport means that are the cornerstone of the industrial Agenda. We couldn’t find a better initiative than Akon Lighting Africa to reflect on what the Diaspora can do for sustainable development.”

Dr Denis Mukwege, laureate of the Sakharov Prize, renowned for his humanitarian work in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces highlighted the consequences of the lack of Electricity in Hospital like Panzi Hospital where the problem of electricity limits the access the surgery operations causing loss of life for many women.

Mr. Luc Tanoh, COO of Akon Lighting Africa committed to provide the hospital with Solar electricity to support the work of Dr. Mukwege.

The Opening Ceremony was preceded by a workshop under the Topic of “Innovation & Entrepreneurship: the Role of Diaspora in transforming Africa.”

During the debate Panellists exchanged about different challenges and opportunities for innovative projects from diaspora that can take for meaningful impact in shaping the future of Africa.

The panel showcased the work of different institutions and organization including ADNE, UNIDO, ADEPT, NABC, European Commission – Development & Cooperation – EuropeAid and highlighted successful diaspora projects such as Akon Lighting Africa and Ewala.

Discover more about the Global Diaspora Week 2017.

 2nd COMESA Ministerial Meeting of the Technical Committee on Industry

ADNE contributed to the 2nd COMESA Ministerial Meeting of the Technical Committee on Industry held on 7-8 September in Lusaka, Zambia.

Represented by the Vice-President, Henri Désiré N’Zouzi, ADNE called upon COMESA Member States: 

  • to adopt and improve comprehensive Diaspora policy in order to enhance Diaspora involvment in region’s industrialization by taking advantage of Diaspora investment, skills and technology transfer.
  • to develop and operationalize a Diaspora Investment Funds and other financial instruments to leverage the benefits of Diaspora Remittances on Development of home countries. 

ADNE recommendations have been adopted in the REPORT of this Ministerial Meeting and ADNE is very keen to work on their implementation with COMESA. 

Diaspora Entrepreneurship in Mali

The Malian diaspora is more than ever mobilized to invest in the country. On the 13th August, ADNE President Marie Chantal UWITONZE took part to  the Diaspora Entrepreneurship DSV event, which hosts a TV show featuring the innovative projects undertaken by the Diaspora. One of the winners of this initiative is Aïssata Diakite, Founder and CEO of Zabbaan Holding, an agri-food  company producing fruit juices.

This project initiated by Papa wane is exemplary. We call upon the necessary support from public and private actors.

Learn more about the Malian Diaspora HERE

Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Kigali

ADNE was a partner to the Youth Connekt Africa summit 2017 under the theme of “From potential to success” which was held from 19 to 21 July. The summit, hosted by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and organised the Ministry of Youth and ICT in collaboration with UNDP and UNCTAD took place in Kigali, Rwanda.

The aim of the summit was to encourage African youth entrepreneurship and to ensure that the youth understands its decisive role in the development of and the future of Africa. The summit also mobilzed the Funds to support a Youth Connekt Africa Hub to support Youth Enterpreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs from Africa and the world such as Jack Ma, Tony Elumelu attended the summit to inspire the Youth. 

On July 21st, a panel that reflected on the specific role of the diaspora regarding the development of Africa was organised.

The plenary session entitled “Youth Converse: Diaspora, the 6th region” featured successful Diaspora Entrepreneurs from Africa and from different backgrounds.

The panellists at this session were Alioune Badara Thiam popularly known as “Akon”, a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, actor and impact investor as well as the founder of “Akon lighting Africa” initiative; Marie Chantal Uwitonze, founder and president of the African Diaspora Network in Europe (ADNE) and CEO of Mach Consulting; Alain Dolium, CEO of Connectik Global Technologies, a technology company that helps new businesses with a particular focus on governance; Guillaume Habarugira, founder of “YouthWorks” and vice-president of Institutional banking at RBI in Austria; Mike Mwenedata: founder  and CEO of Rwanda Bean, a US based company that creates a direct connection between the coffee farmers and consumers and Regis Isheja, the managing director of TransMeet, an event management company.

Both panellists highlighted  the role of the Diaspora in building the future of Africa.

Learn  more about this Panel HERE

Find the outcome of the summit HERE 

Click on the picture to listen to Akon video message 

 5th Assises of Decentralised Cooperation

On 10 and 11 July 2017 took part to the 5th Assises of Decentralised Cooperation . Represented the organization, the Vice-President Henri Désiré was acting as a chief moderator for this high level meeting organized by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions.

The meeting brought together more than 600 participants, local and regional authorities from the EU, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and Latin America to discuss common challenges and build sustainable partnerships.

A large number of partners collaborated actively in the Assises. These include international organisations, local and regional authorities, associations and specialised centres from the EU and partner countries. The partners acted as co-leaders of the round tables and workshops.

EU Partnership Forum

The EU Partnership Forum held in Brussels on 6 and 7 July was a vibrant get-together of 600 people from more than 100 countries around the globe, from the civil society organisations, local authorities, international development and human rights communities with the European institutions. A lot of important topics were on the plate for discussion, starting with the role of the organisations of the civil society as an important actor in terms of the sustainable development goals. Concerns were voiced that while the EU has beefed up its financial engagement for civil society organisations, shrinking funding globally has put their mission in jeopardy. It was underlined as well that the EU has developed 105 country roadmaps for engagement with civil society and supports their organisations as essential players in development field that are implementing local strategies.

ADNE was representing the Diaspora at this Forum and discussed the best way to leverage the Diaspora potential to Development by involving the Diaspora in the decision making processes on development of home countries

Learn more HERE

 Sustainable energy week 2017

The Sustainable energy week 2017 (EUSEW17),  the most European conference dedicated to sustainable energy policy issues organised by the European Commission and energy stakeholders took part in Brussels from 19-25 June 2017.

ADNE expert in Renewable Energy Dr. Samson Hadush made a remarkable contribution to this debate and represented  the voice of Africa. Africa has huge potential for renewable energy that will play an important role for the industrialisation and transformation of Africa.

Learn more HERE

High Level Conference on Migration Management

On the 21st June, ADNE was representing the Diaspora at the High Level Conference on Migration Management organized by  the European Parliament.

ADNE President, Marie Chantal Uwitonze took part on the Panel on “Promoting stability and prosperity She highlighted  the important role of the Diaspora and shared insights on how to put their contribution to the benefits of home countries.

 Learn more HERE

High level debate on “Industrialization and Investment in Africa” in the margin of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Malta

On June 19, 2017, ADNE, Global Africa, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization with the support of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU organized a high level discussion on “Industrialization and Investment in Africa” This event organized on the sidelines of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Malta was graced by H.E Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, MEP Louis MICHEL, Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and MP. Memounatou Ibrahima, Co-President ad interim of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly The panel discussion moderated by Mr. Joseph Woods, Global Africa saw the participation of Ambassador Teshome Tome Chanaka, Ambassador of Ethiopia and Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, Ambassador Georg Schmidt, Representative of the German Government, Mr. Christophe Yvetot, Representative to the European Union and ACP Secretariat, Mrs. Cecile Kashetu Kyenge, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair the ACP-EU JPA, Mr. Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President, European Investment Bank, Mrs. Joaquin Tasso Vilallonga, Deputy Head of Pan-African Division, European External Action Service and Mrs. Marie Chantal Uwitonze, President of the African Diaspora Network Europe (ADNE). The session was followed by a lunch hosted by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The event was crowned by the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between ADNE and Global Africa, a Maltese initiative whose Patron is the President of Republic of Malta.

 European Development Days 2017

African Diaspora play an important role in the development of their home countries. ADNE and our partners powered different initiatives to highlight the role of the Diaspora and advocate for more involvement of the diaspora in the development policy .

We also discussed about how to levy the benefits of the flows of diaspora Remittances by linking them to sustainable projects through diaspora Bonds and other mechanisms. African Diaspora can play major roles both as investors and as educators to help build capacity.

 Find out our different activities at the European Development Days 2017. Click on the title to view the link with pictures and videos:

Making it happen through jobs and entrepreneurship: Strengthening private-public partnership for job creation, inclusive and sustainable development.

Mobility, Investment, and Development : Towards a World with No More Left-behinds. 

New frontiers in investment for impact Inclusive market solutions and innovative financing instruments to support local and low-carbon economies and implement the SDGs.

East African Manufacturing Summit 2-25 May 2017

ADNE President, Mrs. UWITONZE and Senior expert on Energy, Dr. HADUSH were speaking at the 2nd  East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition themed “Harnessing the Manufacturing Potential for Sustainable Economic Growth”.

This three day event took place in Kigali on 23rd -25th May 2017.

ADNE President shared her opinion on Long Term and Innovative Financing for Manufacturing sector. Dr. Hadush discussed about the challenges and opportunities related to energy and shared insights on how to boost renewable energy in Africa.

The outcome document of this summit themed “The Kigali Resolutions on Manufacturing” highlight the recommendations of ADNE and other Diaspora Organizations in the article VI as follow: 

Noting the unique role of the EAC Diaspora to contribute to skills in the region and to amplify and sustain economic development through the volume of remittances as an important source of external development finance; EAC and EABC to put in place a Framework for engaging the diaspora to enable manufacturers tap into diaspora funds in the region. Work with Regional and Continental organisations such as the African Diaspora network in Europe to create databases and mobilize a skilled labour force for regional industries.  EAC to conduct a comprehensive study on the innovative financing instruments to be deployed to promote investment in manufacturing. Including the options of creating diaspora investment vehicles and Diaspora bonds. “

The Summit was co-organized by the East African Community (EAC) with very strong support from the Rwandan Government. The event is co-hosted by the East African Business Council (EABC) and the East African Manufacturing Associations i.e. the Rwanda Association of Manufacturers (RAM), Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Burundi Manufacturers Association (AIB), and Kenya Manufacturers Association (KAM).

Read the article : How region’s Diaspora community can spur the manufacturing sector.

Youth empowerment: Supporting the YABS Network: March 28th, 2017

ADNE supported the Young African Belgians  Network to organize the workshop themed  ” Hunger For Success Conference 2017.

Hunger for success is a series of conferences aimed at promoting youth entrepreneurship and youth employment. It also aims at highlighting the positive contribution that the Diaspora make to both host and home countries.

Learn more HERE.

SheSolidarity 2017

The 2nd Edition of the SheSolidarity at the occasion of the International Women Day took place at Aloft Brussels Schuman on the March 22, 2017.

Under the theme “Diversity, Intergenerational Achievements & Success Stories”, ADNE SheSolidarity 2017 addressed capacity development constraints and access to opportunities for the diaspora mainly young women.

Two panel discussions enabled the young diaspora women to interact with successful women from Belgium, Netherlands, UK and France working in the areas of National policymaking, private sector and international Relations.

The first session on capacity development and access to opportunities addressed the challenges that the diaspora women face in accessing employment market and business.

The panelists from the OECD, European Union, NABC, Brussels Parliament, Province of Brabant Walloon and the ACP Group presented key recommendation on how to promote diversity and the presence of diaspora women in these fields as well as how to influence the policy space and business environment in a way that favors the empowerment of diaspora Women.

The second session consisted of an inspirational debate that showcased success stories from the Women in the Diaspora addressed the issue of incorporating the young female diaspora into the work space.

Through personal experiences, the panelists shared advices with the aim of raising the status quo and standards on Success and preparing the youth to higher excellence.

   Afrique-France Summit-January 2017

ADNE took part to the France-Afrique Summit of Heads of States and Governements and was featured by Jeune Afrique
Read the article on Diaspora:  « La diaspora va contribuer au processus industriel africain ».

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