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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Dismantling Systems of Inequality and Building Sustainable Systems of Parity

The last few years have seen a shift in the global balance of power due to evolving political and economic interests. What are the implications of these shifts on existing trade relationships between and amongst countries in the Global South, and what role will the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union play? How do we assess the implications of the economic landscape in Africa and the Diaspora against a backdrop of historical extractive and exploitative practices that governed Africa's relationship with countries in the Global North? Is it possible to imagine a new economic framework that moves beyond our historical dichotomies and embodies cultural values and practices that benefit everyone?

In this Northwestern Buffett "Building Sustainable Futures: Global Challenges and Possibilities" webinar, using the advent of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a backdrop, Dr. Amara Enyia, Managing Director of Diaspora Rising, explored issues related to historically exploitative trade and economic practices in Africa and the Caribbean. Dr. Enyia examines systems being built around the world—in part due to COVID-19 and in part due to skyrocketing inequality—that highlight how those dynamics are shifting, how new post-COVID trade agreements can evolve, and how countries are leaning in to notions of self-sufficiency and self-determination.

Dr. Amara Enyia is a Strategist, Public Policy Expert and Social Impact professional on city and state policy as well as international affairs with expertise in Africa, Latin America, and Central Asia.

She is the Managing Director of Diaspora Rising, a transnational media and advocacy hub that works to strengthen bonds amongst the global Black family. She also serves as the Policy and Research Coordinator for the Movement for Black Lives and as a Strategy Advisor for organizations, companies, political campaigns, and public sector institutions globally. Her work has connected her to the 6th Region of the African Union Commission and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Dr. Enyia is a member of the 2020-2022 cohort at the London School of Economics Executive Program in Cities. Prior to her current roles, she worked in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Chicago, and served as Executive Director of community-based organizations. As a grassroots organizer, she worked on issues of education equity, economic justice, and environmental justice.

This dialogue was part of the Northwestern Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs’ "Building Sustainable Futures: Global Challenges and Possibilities" webinar series, which focuses on a different United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) each quarter. This webinar is focused on UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities and explores the infrastructures upholding today’s ballooning inequalities as well as the steps some are taking to build a more egalitarian future. This and other spring 2021 webinars focused on UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities are co-sponsored by the Northwestern University Community for Human Rights (NUCHR).