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16:00 – 17:20 – Panel Discussion: Prospects for Baltic States as New Actors in Africa

The Baltic States share much in common, including similar recent history, membership in the EU, NATO and OECD, substantial political, economic and social transformation after re-establishing their independence. After joining the EU in 2004, the Baltic States emerged as new development cooperation actors ready to share  their unique experience with other countries. Geographical scope and priorities of the development cooperation  have been relatively similar, while gradually expanding. Although the Baltic States have limited historical ties and engagement in Africa, their expertise and knowledge could be relevant to African countries as well.

The objective of the panel discussion is to reflect on the Baltic States as emerging development partners in Africa, their role among other actors, potential, vision and future prospects.

Mindaugas Kačerauskis

Mindaugas Kačerauskis was born on 5 May 1972 in Kaunas Lithuania. He studied English Philology (BA) and World Literature (MA) and International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University. He attended a post-graduate course on foreign trade at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. He started his professional career in 1992 at the Asia Africa & Pacific Division, in 1996 as the desk officer for the Middle East and Africa. In 1997 – 1998 he served as consultant for foreign policy to the President of the Republic of Lithuania. In 1998 he was appointed to the Lithuanian Embassy in Israel and in 2001 he went to open the Lithuanian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. After return from the Middle East he continued his career at the Asia, Africa & Pacific Division in charge of Israel and the Arab World. At the same time he started lecturing Middle East history and politics at the Oriental Studies Center of Vilnius University.

In 2003 he changed his diplomatic vector and became the Head of Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova Division and in 2005 was appointed the first Charge d’Affaires of the Lithuanian Embassy in the Republic of Moldova. In 2007 he was transfered to the position of the Political Advisor to the European Union Special Representative to the Republic of Moldova. In this capacity he specialised in the Transnistrian conflict settlment. After returning back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2010 he joined the OSCE Charmanship Task Forece being in charge of protracted conflicts (Transnistria and the conflict in Georgia). After completion the OSCE chairmanship he served as the Head of Russia Division and in 2013 he was appointed as Deputy Director of Development Coopereation Department. The same year he went back to Moldova to serve as Political Officer at the EU Delegation.  In 2018 he was re-appointed to the position of Deputy Director of Development Cooperation Department.

Mindaugas Kačerauskis is also Member of the Governing Board of the European Humanities University. His main field of interest is East European transformation and conflict resolution.

Nils Jansons

Nils Jansons born in 1968 in Riga, Latvia, has graduated the Institute of Precision Mechanics and Optics in St.Petersburg.  He joined Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1993 as a desk officer of the International Organizations Department.  In 1995 he was posted to the Latvian Embassy in Brussels.  From 1998 till 2003 he served as the MFA's Head of Security Policy Division, later Director of the Security Policy Department.  During the year 2000 Mr. Jansons completed a course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.  In 2003 Mr. Jansons again moved to Brussels as the Deputy Permanent Representative of Latvia at the North Atlantic Council.  He returned to Riga in 2007 to take up the position of Deputy Political Director of the MFA. In 2008 Mr. Jansons was appointed Latvia's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the UN, OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna.  Concurrently, he served as Latvia's non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia.  In September 2010 Mr Jansons joined the EU service as the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa.  From September 2014 till August 2018 he served as the Deputy Head of Division at the European External Action Service, responsible for Eastern Partnership, regional cooperation and OSCE.  In September 2018 he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia as the Director of the Second Bilateral Relations Department with responsibility for relations with the countries of Americas, Asia, Africa and Middle East. Mr. Jansons is married, with a daughter. 

Martin Senkom Adamu

Martin Senkom Adamu joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in 1993, having attended the University of Keele, Staffordshire, U.K, where he graduated with an Honours degree in International Relations, in 1989. He completed the mandatory Certificate course in the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy in 1994 and was deployed to the North and Horn of Africa Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also obtained a Certificate in Negotiation and Mediation from the Singapore Cooperation Programme.

Mr. Adamu has served in various capacities, in Nigeria’s diplomatic Missions in Buenos Aires, Maputo, N’djamena and the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York. He played a prominent role in Nigeria's delegation on the United Nations Security Council (2010-2011) and (2014-2015), where he led negotiations on several resolutions on Peace and Security in Guinea Bissau and also on Security Sector Reform.

He has undertaken several ad hoc assignments in the course of his career in the Foreign Service, including Rapporteur to the Ministry’s Retreat on the Reforms (August 2007) and the Nigeria~-Cuba Joint Commission (October 2008). Mr. Adamu was also part of the Planning Committee of the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the Nigerian Foreign Service, in May 2008, where along with his colleagues, he received a commendation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He served as the Acting Director in the Office of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, from 2017, prior to being assigned as Chargé d’Affaires a. i. at the Embassy of Nigeria in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Mr. Adamu is married with three children and enjoys reading and playing squash.

Ingrid Amer

Ingrid Amer is since August 2018 the Director of Division for Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She holds a Diploma (M.A.) in Linguistics (Slavic languages) from the University of Tartu in Estonia.

Ingrid Amer joined the Foreign Service in April 1995 and very soon after that left for her first posting at the Estonian Embassy in Warsaw. Returning from Warsaw in 1996, she worked as an Attaché at the Consular Department and in 1998-2001 as a Consul at the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki.

After Helsinki Ingrid Amer worked at the State Protocol and Political Departments, in the latter case as a Desk Officer for the Central Europe. From 2007 until 2010, she was First Secretary, Political and Consular Affairs at the Estonian Embassy in Prague. Returning from Prague, she assumed the position of Director for Central and South East Europe at the 2nd Political Department and then Director for South East Europe and EU General Affairs at the Department of Europe.

From 2013 to 2018, she was Deputy Head of Mission at the Estonian Embassy in Paris. In 2016, Ingrid Amer was nominated Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. In 2016-2017, she was also the Estonian representative at the UNESCO Executive Board.

Mamadou Habib Diallo

Mamadou Habib Diallo holds a PhD. in Management and Financial Engineering. He also holds a Honoris Causa Doctorate in Social Work and Education from Euroamerican International University.

Professor and entrepreneur, he is General Manager of Sup 'Management-Mali and Vice-President of the Sup' Management Group, in charge of the administration of centers in 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Mr Diallo is a professional trainer of trainers and has been a consultant for several international organizations, ministerial departments, and especially, for local companies and multinationals based in Mali.

At the African and international levels, Mr. H. Diallo holds high responsibilities as Territorial Delegate for Mali of the World Council of Industrial Relations and Labor "CONMORIT; Vice-President of the Foundation for Research, Culture and Education "FORCE"; Commissioner for Strategy and Mobility of the International Network of Private Higher Education Institutions / CAMES; Vice-President of the Intercontinental Conference of Universities & Grandes Ecoles ( which brings together 150 institutions and covers the 5 continents) and President of the Association of Private Higher Education Establishments in Mali.

Since 2017, Mr. H. Diallo is Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Mali.

Dr. Ștefan Cibian

Dr. Ștefan Cibian is co-founder and executive director of the Făgăraș Research Institute. Stefan is an Academy Associate with Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs, he is also teaching courses related to international development at Babeș-Bolyai University and manages Cibian Consulting S.R.L. In what concerns teaching and research, Stefan is focused on development and statehood in Sub-Saharan Africa, CEE and EU – Africa relations, development policy, international relations, democratization and civil society, migration, and human rights. Additionally, Stefan is working on civil society development in CEE. Stefan is the President of FOND, the Romanian NGDO Platform, the Treasurer of CONCORD – the European NGO Confederation for Humanitarian Aid and Development. He is also a board member for the following organizations: ARCADIA – The Romanian Association for International Cooperation and Development, Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation (FCTF), UiPath Foundation, and the Foundation for Youth Involvement (FIT). Stefan received his Ph.D. degree in political science and international relations (2012) as well as his M.A. in public policy (2006) from CEU – the Central European University. He holds a BA in political science from Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and in law from 1st of December 2019 University, Alba Iulia, Romania.

Riina Kuusik-Rajasaar

Riina Kuusik-Rajasaar is a chairman of the Board and a founding member NGO Mondo, a leading humanitarian and development cooperation organization in Estonia. Mondo works in the areas of education, health and economic livelihood in post-conflict, humanitarian and develpment environment, including three African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Uganda. Riina has called to life the Estonian Refugee Council and has coordinated the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation, an advocacy coalition fo NGOs in Estonia in its initial years. She has led a public awareness campaign on Fairtrade in Estonia, worked as UNHCR volunteer in refugee camps and as a lecturer of international relations. She holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, USA. For more information riina@mondo.org.ee, mondo.org.ee

Eugenija Kovaliova

Eugenija Kovaliova is the co-founder of AfriKo, a Lithuania based boutique consultancy and research centre, that presently focuses on bridging Lithuanian and African ICT markets. Eugenija is an experienced international development cooperation consultant and practitioner with a particular interest in digital solutions for development. Eugenija gained her Master’s degree in African Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Her academic interests range from the impact of multinational companies on local communities and local resistance strategies, to various human rights issues, as well as questions of humanitarianism, eco-feminism, and Western narratives about ‘Africa’.