Africa on the Rise with Kweku Mandela

When asked about Africa what people think about is mostly famine, drought and they have a one-sided view about the continent – at least in the experience of Kweku Mandela. Kweku Mandela, grandson of South African Freedom fighter and later President Nelson Mandela discussed this and much more at the Event “Africa on the Rise” at the Westerwelle Foundation on the 21st of November, 2014. However, he stressed that on the positive note more and more young, entrepreneurial Africans are investing in their continent to break down these stereotypes and misconceptions. With such enthusiasm and energy and together with his cousin Ndaba Mandela he founded a non-profit organization “Africa Rising” in 2009. Africa Rising is committed to publicizing the positive image of Africa to the world through publications, films, media and social interaction in order to change the mind set of young Africans.

In parallel with his active social engagement he is also a photographer and filmmaker committed to the work of UNICEF. The event was moderated by Sabine Christiansen, whose Children Foundation organised the event in collaboration with the Westerwelle Foundation. She acts as UNICEF Ambassador who often travels to Africa and got to know Kweku Mandela and his organization. In the debate that followed the introduction of Alexander Vogel, Head of Office of the Westerwelle Foundation, and opening remarks of Mandela a lively discussion ensued. Her Excellency Patricia Espinosa, Ambassador and former foreign minister of Mexico, commended Mandela’s commitment. Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Former Vice-President of the European Parliament, thanked Mandela and commented that female leadership must be strengthened in Africa. Mandela completely agreed with the remarks and said that much more needs to be done in Africa and that “if we continue this way and invest more in the continent, I believe, we can completely halt absolute poverty by 2030.”