African megatrends: Looking over the horizon into the future

Webinar · 22.03.2021 13:00 - 14:30

Population growth, urbanization, climate change, slow democratization, protracted conflict, regional integration and a new scramble for Africa are megatrends that are shaping the future of the continent. The main question that arises when thinking about Africa’s future is how these megatrends affect the overall picture of what the continent will look like in a few decades. Will Africa be a growth success story or will positive developments be tempered by various internal and external challenges? The webinar will explore the main contours of the trajectory of change that informs the course of developments in the continent.

Registrations to by Thursday 18 March. 


Opening words

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the US global role, dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is "Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling – The 'Thucydidean Brink' in Regressive Geopolitical Competition" (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).


Jakkie Cilliers

Founder and former Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies

Jakkie Cilliers is the founder and former Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS). Dr Cilliers currently serves as chair of the ISS Board of Trustees and head of the African Futures and Innovation Programme at the ISS. His 2017 best-seller, "Fate of the Nation", addresses South Africa’s futures from political, economic and social perspectives. His most recent book, "Africa First! Igniting a Growth Revolution" released in March 2020, takes a rigorous look at the emerging futures for other African nations and the continent as a whole.


Liisa Laakso

Senior Researcher, The Nordic Africa Institute

Liisa Laakso is a Senior Researcher in the Nordic Africa Institute. Dr Laakso is an expert on world politics and international development cooperation. Her research interests include political science, African studies, democratisation of Africa, world politics, crisis management, foreign policy, EU-Africa policy and the global role of the European Union.


Martti Eirola

Senior Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Martti Eirola is Senior Adviser on Africa Policy in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Previously, Dr Eirola served in various departments of the Ministry, at the Embassies of Finland in Dar es Salaam and Cairo, and as the Representative of Finland to the Palestinian Authority. He has experience from Africa on political, development, economic, cultural and security issues.


Olli Ruohomäki

Non-Resident Senior Fellow, FIIA

Olli Ruohomäki is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at FIIA. He is also a Senior Advisor with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Dr Ruohomäki has worked with the United Nations and the Finnish government in war-torn countries and conflict zones in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and Africa.