Sharing past and future: strengthening African-European connections


17 September 2018


AfricaMuseum and Royal Library, Brussels

The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) is set to re-open its doors in December 2018. To mark this occasion, the museum and the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations, will organise a conference on 17, 18 and 19 September 2018 on ‘Sharing Past and Future: Strengthening African-European Connections’.

The conference wants to engage in a critical reflection about the ways in which Africans and Europeans can, in the future, collaborate in a shared and sustainable manner. Attitudes towards the past, present and future relations between Africa and Europe do not necessarily correspond to one another and are currently the subject of an oftentimes heated debate, both in Europe and Africa. The starting point of this conference is the acknowledgement of a shared past and deep-seated mutual respect.

Some two hundred African and European stakeholders, academics, opinion leaders, representatives from civil society, artists and policymakers will engage in dialogue and look at:

– how new modes of cooperation offer possibilities for sustainable development and provide an answer to new challenges, and how relations between African and European societies can be reinforced;

– how an enhanced unlocking of historical archives can, despite the distance and the pain suffered, contribute to building a shared memory, but also how history could be written from different perspectives and on a more equal footing;

– how cultural African heritage in Europe can be managed in a shared way;

– how the involvement from contemporary artists can give more meaning to an interlinked view on past and future;

– which role African diasporas can take up as connecting actors between Africa and Europe.


View the Programme.   Read the Concluding Press Release.
View the photo gallery.
View here all the interviews we have done during the conference:
-The 1st video is an interview with Andrew Mwenda, Founder, The Independent, Uganda:

-The 2nd interview is that with Pascal Blanchard, Founder, Groupe de Recherce ACHAC, Researcher LCP:

-The 3rd interview is that with Bob Kabamba, Professor in Political Science, University of Liège:

-The 4th interview is that with Géraldine Abrassart, Independent Journalist:

-The 5th interview is that with Louise O Fresco, Professor, President Executive Board, Wageningen University & Research:

-The 6th interview is that with Fred Bauma, Member, Lucha (Lutte pour le Changement), DRC:

-The 7th interview is that with Smokey Bambara, Founder, Le Balai Citoyen, Burkina Faso:

-The 8th interview is that with Paul Simon Handy, Head, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria:

-The 9th interview is that with David van Reybrouck , Author