Perspectives on progress – an agenda for action

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the Secretariat of the Africa Progress Panel.

Welcome to our fourth and final newsletter of 2017. It has been an amazing year of varied and interesting challenges, as well as fulfilling success for our very small team here in Geneva!

The closing of the month of December 2017, marks not only the end of the APP’s tenth anniversary year but also the final end of APP operations in Geneva. Additionally, it brings news of the conception of a new Africa based entity that will take forward the APP’s torch from 2018 onwards.

The APP was established in 2007 by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the wake of the G8 Gleneagles Summit and the publication of the Commission for Africa Report “Our Common Interest”, as an independent body to monitor and report on progress on the continent, and help promote Africa’s higher political profile on the international stage. Since then our Chair Kofi Annan and his fellow Panel members have continuously sought to fulfill this mandate, and also consistently adapted their focus to address changing circumstances and priorities. It has been a great honour for my colleagues and I to work closely with this esteemed group of committed, respected and renown global citizens to advance their vision and mission.

For much of this tenth year, the Panel and Secretariat have been engaged in reflection and in depth discussions on the past decade, comprehensive assessment of the present moment and strategic thinking on the immediate future priorities of Africa and the wider global community. During these deliberations, a consensus has been reached by the Panel that while it has fully achieved its mission over the past ten years, the spirit of its work should be taken forward, in the coming decade, by a new entity.

As some readers who know me well are already aware, I have always been fond of “Janus moments”. I also love the image and meaning of the Akan “Sankofa symbol” and furthermore, I regularly cite the phrases “No condition is Permanent” and “Change is the only Constant”. It is therefore with a positive spirit and enthusiasm that I am pleased to inform you that a new successor entity – provisionally named the Africa Progress Group – is to be formed to keep the spirit of the Africa Progress Panel’s work alive, with its nucleus at the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue (CHSD) of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Nigeria. It will seek to build on the APP legacy and create robust partnerships focused on pushing for the implementation of the core recommendations the APP has made since 2007 in its analysis, flagship reports and policy statements.

The APP’s latest, and final report – Making Progress Towards Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa (PDF, 6MB) – launched in December 2017, serves to commemorate this accomplished decade of work. It is also an agenda for action for the coming decade, highlighting the essential APP policy recommendations still to be effectively implemented.

We hope that this final report can serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for leaders everywhere to accelerate Africa’s transformation.

None of this work over the past decade would have been possible without the continued guidance, support and engagement of all of you, our APP partners, friends and colleagues. As I write my very last message to you as Director-in-charge of the Africa Progress Panel Secretariat I therefore wish to take this opportunity to thank you all once again.

I would like to close this missive with a favourite quote from Frantz Fanon, which is still very relevant, especially to the 1,050,000 APP Facebook followers, 77% of whom are under the age of 35:

Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.

I am most certain that Africa’s youth of today is discovering its mission and will fulfill it.

The spirit of the Africa Progress Panel’s work must, and will, continue.

Africa is on the move!

On behalf of my colleagues I would like to wish you and yours a peaceful, healthy, productive and prosperous 2018!

Aluta continua.

Warmest regards
Max Bankole Jarrett



Kofi Annan, Michel Camdessus, Peter Eigen and Olusegun Obasanjo reflect on 10 years of the Africa Progress Panel and the continent’s challenges and opportunities at an event jointly organised by the Africa Progress Panel, the Graduate Institue and Le Monde Afrique.

”More transparency means better oversight,” says Panel Member and President of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) International Advisory Group, Peter Eigen. Watch this video to learn more about the FiTI standard.




APP Director-in-Charge, Max Bankole Jarrett, hosted a Facebook Live discussion on what could the G20 do to improve or enhance its partnership with Africa? Mr. Joseph Atta-Mensah, Principal Policy Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, joined the discussion live from Addis-Ababa.



On 13 September, the APP secretariat hosted a Facebook Live session to discuss whether or not Africa was on the right track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.




Following his participation in the 3rd International Fisheries Crime Symposium in Vienna, Max Bankole Jarrett, moderated a Facebook Live discussion to explore the issue of fisheries crime as it relates to Africa. The Editor of the Indian Ocean Observatory, Mr. Wanjohi Kabukuru, joined the conversation live from Kenya.