Time and location

Monday, February 20, 2017, 7 pm
Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Armbrustergasse 15, 1190 Wien


Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for West Africa

Thulisile Madonsela
Lawyer, former Public Protector of South Africa

Stella SabiitiWomen
Gender and Development Directorate, African Union

Christian MANAHL
Ambassador of the European Union in Eritrea

Welcome and Moderator: Georg Lennkh, Member of the Board of the Bruno Kreisky Forum
Introduction: Franz Schmidjell, VIDC

Africa Europe relations. New realities, shifting priorities

© EC
© EC


At the beginning of this year, mediators from African organisations reached a peaceful settlement of the Gambia crisis. Even if the African continent faces multiple challenges, this recent success of regional organisations and the African Union strengthen their position as credible and autonomous actors. On the other side, Europe has continued to play an important role for African security, but is confronted with financial challenges, growing anti-migration sentiments, the rise of right wing populism and the BREXIT decision.

„Africa and Europe are bound together by history, culture, geography, a common future, as well as by a community of values: the respect for human rights, freedom, equality, solidarity, justice, the rule of law and democracy...", is stated in the Joint African European Strategy (JAES). But a new global setting and a growing tendency towards politics of self-interests, like the European obsession with migration or the African questioning of  the International Criminal Court , make it timely to re-evaluate  this “community of values”.

What are the views of African experts on the future relations between the neighbouring continents? What does Africa expect from Europe? How will international developments change these relations? And what is the European response?



Mohamed Ibn CHAMBAS

Dr. Chambas has been the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and Head of UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) in Dakar since November 2014. He first entered government service in 1987 as Deputy Foreign Secretary of Ghana, going on to serve as a Member of Parliament from 1993 to 1996 and as Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary Education from 1997 to 2000.  Between 1991 and 1996, he was involved in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediation efforts for the First Liberian Civil War. He then served as Executive Secretary of ECOWAS from 2002 to 2005, and President of the ECOWAS Commission, from 2006 to 2005. From 2010 to 2012, Dr. Chambas was Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. Upon joining the United Nations, he served as the African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, 2013-2014.
He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Ghana, master’s degree and PhD from Cornell University, and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.



Dr. Madonsela is a human rights lawyer and equality expert, currently chairperson of the Centre for Reconciliation and Equality Studies. She served as South Africa's Public Protector from 2014 to 2016. Before she was a full-time member of the South African Law Reform Commission. She is one of the eleven technical experts who helped the Constitutional Assembly draft the final South African constitution in 1994 and 1995. In 2016 she was chosen as one of BBC's 100 Women.
Dr. Madonsela was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree, LL.D. (Honoris causa) from the University of Stellenbosch. She was further awarded another Doctor of Laws degree, LL.D. (Honoris causa) from the University of Cape Town.

Christian MANAHL

Dr. Manahl began his career as an Austrian diplomat, with brief secondments to UNDP (in Rwanda and Mozambique) before joining the European institutions in 1996. Assignments in the EU included postings in Nairobi (with a regional mandate), Juba, and in the Policy Unit of the High Representative for the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (2003-2006). From 2007 to early 2012, he worked in different assignments for the Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Somalia.
He earned a PhD in humanities from the University of Vienna, as well as post-graduate degrees in humanities and international law from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, respectively.


Grounded in her own experience as a survivor of war and torture in the 1970s and early 1980s, Stella Sabiiti has spent close to 40 years brokering peace in Africa and other parts of the world through dialogue, negotiation and mediation, and peace journalism, focusing on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, post conflict stabilization, security sector reform and the role of women in such processes. Currently, she is supporting the AU Commission’s Women, Gender and Development Directorate to establish the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation. Since 2005, she has worked in several capacities at the AU Commission’s Peace and Security Directorate, such as team leader for the capacity-building program under EU partnership, and with regional groups to build and operationalize the African Peace and Security Architecture. She played a key role in the peace processes in Burundi and Rwanda, ensuring the participation of women. She is the founder of the Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) in Uganda.
Stella Sabiti holds degrees in sociology, social psychology and journalism - print and broadcasting (Uganda, Canada, The Netherlands).