The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 27, 2023 launched a pilot project dubbed ‘Cool Czechia: Young African Leaders’ Study Trip’. Cool Czechia is a unique project of strategic communication and outreach toward African partners, both in terms of content and form. Its aim is to explain the Czech and Central European perception of major geopolitical challenges, including Russian aggression against Ukraine.
A group of 19 young African leaders comprising of journalists, human rights and environmental activists, and influencers from nine countries across the African continent were received by the Secretary of State of the Czech Republic, Radek Rubeš, who outlined the orientation of Czech foreign policy to the African guests. This was followed by discussions on Czech cooperation and other forms of engagement in their various countries of origin.
“In September 2022, the Czech Government approved two strategic documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposed by the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Lipavský, focusing on Africa and the Indo-Pacific. It highlighted the security stabilisation of the Sahel area and the Indo-Pacific, as well as other priorities of the Czech Presidency in the Council of the European Union.”
Under the new strategy, the Czechia Republic is keen on developing relations with Africa in sectors where it can offer quality know-how: security cooperation, fight against terrorism, confronting hybrid threats and disinformation, cyber security, strengthening the capacities of health systems, developing sustainable agriculture, or increasing resistance to climate change.
In addition, the Czech Republic wants to deepen trade and economic cooperation with Africa. Czech exports to the region have doubled over the past 10 years, and Czech companies continue to strengthen their activities on the continent. The Czech Republic will also support projects for the development of civil society and respect for human rights with an emphasis on the empowerment of women.
After the session at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the group had a guided tour of the Czernin Palace, getting an overview of the Czech Republic’s modern and contemporary history. The group is expected to have various activities in Prague; and then continue in Telč on the basis of the traditional Summer School of European Studies.
The participants were identified in cooperation with the Czech embassies in Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zambia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to establish and build promising relationships with participants ‘Cool Czechia: Young African Leaders’ Study Trip’.