Dakar, Senegal—The historic World Africa Summit 2018 was convened from January 18 to 19, 2018, in Dakar, Senegal, on the theme “New Africa: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values,” with about 1,200 participants representing more than 60 nations. The summit featured the High Plenary Session of His Excellency Macky Sall, president of Senegal, and the Keynote Address by UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. The international conference also brought together parliamentarians, religious and spiritual leaders, business/industry leaders, traditional African rulers and other VIPs.
The two-day summit was organized and sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), in cooperation with the government of Senegal under the presidency of H.E. Macky Sall and the National Assembly of Senegal.
The summit dealt with the theme “New Africa: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values” and was held at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD) about 40 minutes outside Dakar, the capital and largest city of Senegal.
With Africa’s unique cultural heritage and rich human and natural resources, the summit’s goal was to discuss the crucial issues of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, and to search for solutions to common issues facing the continent’s 1.7 billion inhabitants and 54 nations.
Besides addressing the summit participants and meeting the UPF leadership and members from throughout the continent, Dr. Moon visited Gorée Island, a small, car-free island off the coast of Dakar known for its role in the Atlantic slave trade of the 15th to 19th centuries. On Jan. 19, she joined with African spiritual leaders and FFWPU members to conduct an interfaith prayer for peace and reconciliation. She also generously donated a boat to be used for emergency medical evacuations.
In fulfillment of the summit’s objectives toward promoting a “New Africa,” the following issues and initiatives were introduced:
- Interdependence: To strengthen bonds of solidarity and promote mutual development by sharing knowledge and technology; through presentations on the New Village Movement (Saemaeul), which played a significant role in providing the vision to develop rural areas in Korea after the Korean War; and coffee production utilizing research and technology from the Hawaiian Queen Coffee Farm, which was established by the founders of UPF.
- Mutual prosperity: To promote prosperity among all nations by breaking down barriers through the presentation on the Peace Road (International Peace Highway). A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was presented to the participants to support the International Highway Project, also known as the “Peace Road” project.
- Universal Values: To promote the adoption of universally shared values through the presentation of the character education program and the textbooks and teacher manuals, which feature stories that present moral challenges. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was presented to the participants to support the UPF Character Education Program.
The summit successfully launched the following three important peace initiatives, which contribute to peace and human development at the national and continental levels:
- The International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)
- The Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD)
- The International Association of Chiefs for Peace and Prosperity (IACPP)
Africa Summit 2018 concluded successfully toward fulfilling its objectives: (a) To promote a united, interdependent and prosperous Africa; (b) To advise leaders on the importance of universal values in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations; (c) To promote cooperation among all religious and cultural traditions; (d) To encourage mutual prosperity and peace in Africa through village-level development projects; and (e) to utilize the power of art and culture as an instrument of peace.
The nearly 100 speakers, representing all the nations of the continent including adjacent islands, addressed many of the challenges facing the continent, with poor governance and corruption at the top of the list. Africa faces many obstacles — poverty, terrorism, climate change, drug and human trafficking, cybercrime, environmental issues, unemployment especially among the youth, and more.
But everywhere there are signs of transformation: Foreign investment is increasing, the population is young, the lands are rich in resources, and the people are receptive to new technologies and digital communications. According to the UN, by the year 2100 four out of 10 people on Earth will be African. The world is moving in the direction of Africa taking on a greater role as a bridge between Eastern and Western civilizations.
Finally, the World Africa Summit 2018 was significant because the event featured a keynote address by the founder, Dr. Moon, who expressed her insights and hopes for Africa “to become the light of the world.” Participants departed with a clearer understanding of the comprehensive, integrated holistic approach that comprises UPF toward fulfilling humankind’s desire for good governance and lasting peace.
Dr. Moon and Dr. Yun Young Ho, the secretary general of FFWPU, announced after the event that Senegal will be the continental headquarters for UPF, IAPP, IAPD, FFWPU, Youth and Students for Peace, and the International Peace Highway project.
For more information on the individual sessions, click on the following links:
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session I (Plenary - includes videos from this session)
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session II
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session III
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session IV
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session V
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session VI
- Africa Summit 2018 - Session VII
For more complete coverage of the Africa Summit, please visit our International website.
(Dr. Robert Kittel and Dr. David Earle contributed to this report.)