The Highlighted Sessions of The First International Conference for African Studies Sustainable Development for Africa We Want at Helwan University

The African Studies and Research Cooperation Center at Helwan university organized the first international conference for African studies entitled as “Sustainable Development for Africa We Want” under the auspices of Prof. Khaled Abd El Gafaar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Prof. Maged Negm, President of Helwan University with the leadership of Prof. Mona Fouad Attia, Vice President for post graduate studies and research. It was held from 9 to 11 December, 2019 at the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Helwan University. The conference covered many themes such as Sustainable development, language, Art and heritage, literature, education, health, renewable energy, digital transformation, urban planning, construction and building industry, and African political and historical relations.
The First opening session of the first day was entitled as “Language, Art, Literature and Heritage: Means of communication” and moderated by Prof. Ahmed Hanno, Dean of Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan university (HU), in which Prof. Ashraf Reda, professor of Graphics design and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, HU, presented the African Plastic arts, focusing on sculpture and painting along with the history of African masks. Followed by an interesting session on “African Literature” moderated by Prof. Mona Ibrahim, Professor of English literature, Cairo University, English Literature Prof. Laila Rizk, Dean of the Faculty of Alsun and Mass Communication at MIU gave a presentation on two leading Ghanaian playwrights to examine their use of themes, structures and stylistic devices of African oral tradition to revisit issues of the legacy of colonialism. In addition, Ass. Prof. Rania Elhelw, Faculty of Fine Arts, HU, presented the first program in North Africa and the Middle East to integrate arts, media, tourism and business administration, making it a unique specialty in the field of creative and cultural industries management.
Regarding the second day of the conference, it started with a presentation by Prof. Robert Tenge, Principle of Health Sciences College, Moi University from Kenya about the application of principles of primary health care particularly for resource challenged Africa. The session was moderated by Prof. Mamdouh Mahdy, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, HU and Prof. Hossam Abdel Ghafar, secretary of Supreme Council of University Hospitals. Followed by a session on the way to eliminate Hepatitis C from Egypt, where Prof. Tarek Salem professor and Head of Urology and Andrology Department, Faculty of Medicine, HU and vice Dean of Graduate studies and Research with Prof. Magdy El Dahshan from Al-Azhar University, in which Prof. Gamal Esmat, Faculty of Medicine from Cairo University, spoke about the surveys with the aim of eliminating the C virus through three important stages. The fourth and final stage was presented by Prof. Mohamed El Kassas, Helwan University, who illustrates the successful Egyptian experience in treating 4 million Egyptians infected with HIV and ways to generalize this experiment in Africa. As for the “Renewable Energy” session, moderated by Prof. Omar Hanafy Abdallah, Professor at Faculty of Engineering, HU, where Prof. Augustino Makokha, School of Engineering, Moi University, Kenya, discussed the Renewable energy sources in Africa. Besides, Prof. Radwan H. Abdel Hamid, Director of the Project management and development Unit, HU, spoke about exchanging experiences in renewable energy projects funded by the European Union.
Correspondingly, a session entitled “Health related industry” moderated by Prof. Eman Haggag, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, HU and Prof. Mona Hafez, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Fayoum University, Prof. RamaChandran, Faculty of Medicine, Acharya Nagarjina University from India, spoke about the water problem in Egypt and the development of agriculture using modern technological methods to enhance joint management of rural development in African countries. Then, Prof. Ashok Kumar, College of Scientific Studies, Acharya Nagarjina University from India, discussed the issue of health care in Africa. Meanwhile, Dr. Joice Beatrice Baliddawa, medical education specialist, Moi University, introduced “COBES” program that depends on the advancement of society and adopting an innovative approach to training healthcare professionals.
Finally, the third day’s theme of “Urban Planning and the Prospects of African Cooperation” started with the participation of Dr. Ahmed Hosney, Ass. Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, HU by his personal experience in the field of architecture in Africa, especially in Sudan, Libya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Despite the challenges, Egypt succeeded in establishing many projects in Africa, such as the headquarters of the Ministry of Labour and the Sudan Financial. This session was moderated by Professor Amal Abdu, Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, HU.
Promoting the integrated efforts for “Sustainable Digital Transformation (DT) in Africa and Egypt in order to achieve the AU’s 2063 vision and goals, the following session was moderated by Prof. Elsayed Mostafa, Professor of Electronic Communications, HU and Prof. Rowayda Sadek, Director of Hub of creativity and scientific research Hub, HU. Prof. Hesham M. El-Badawy, Professor of Network Planning at the National Telecommunication Institute, pointed out that the various technologies that enable the 5G wireless systems to support the use of digitization in Africa. Also, Prof. Sameh Abdel-Rahman Salem, Head of the Electronics, Communications and computer Engineering Dept., HU, spoke about cybersecurity technology, stressing the importance of digital economy and the need for an effective cybersecurity strategy to achieve a successful digital transformation to improve the cooperation between African countries. Meanwhile, Prof. Rowayda Sadek added the role of emerging technologies for digital transformation in promoting sustainable development for Africa and Egypt. The discussion covered the various applied technologies required for DT; artificial intelligence (IT), Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and data security. She also focused on the need to measure the readiness indexes of African societies for DT in order to consider the distinct Africa characterises to be able to build a framework specifically designed for the African Context.
The last session was moderated by Prof. Ahmed Abdel Ghany, Director of the African Studies Center, about the Historical Relationships “Opportunities and Challenges to Social and Political Cooperation with African Countries” in which Prof. Amani Al-Taweel, Director of the African Program at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, presented the difficulties facing Africa in achieving unity and ways to enhance mutual cooperation. Prof. Ramadan Korany, an expert of African affairs, also explained the necessity of establishing specialized centres to prepare future plans and visions of the African continent. Additionally, Prof. Mohamed Ezz, founder of the Nile Foundation for African Studies and Strategic, mentioned the role of civil society and Egyptian NGOs in building bridges of communication with Africa. The session was concluded with an intervention by Prof. Hamad Ahmed, President of the friendship society of Egypt and South Sudan, about the Egyptian-African vision and the reasons that led to the decline of Egyptian-African political and economic relations in the previous period, in addition to the issue of the Nile File and its challenges and how to overcome it. Worthily mentioned that the Faculty of Applied Arts and Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University held an exhibition of works of African artists.