CCAR Launch Event St. Gallen, 2020 On January 14th and 15th, 2020, the IWE-HSG Competence Center for African Research (CCAR) was officially launched. Scholars and researchers from Europe, Africa and North America came together for a mutual exchange of cutting-edge contributions dealing with African context, voice and experience with focus on ethics, technology and Africa. The symposium was a great success and inspiration for future collaborative scholarly space. The symposium was opened at the Cantonal Council Hall in St. Gallen by the initiator/founder of the Center, Professor Florian Wettstein, a Professor of Business Ethics at the Institute for Business Ethics, University of St.Gallen. Professor Wettstein briefed the participants that the need for the launch of this center emerged from a moral and strategic necessity. The moral or scholarly rationale was that African voices are underrepresented in global scholarly discourses and the Center can play a role in fostering more inclusive discourses. With regard to the strategic reason, the University of St.Gallen needs to position itself with a focus on Africa and the new Center can help realize such scholarly space. Therefore, the launch of CCAR aimed to fill this gap by creating a scholarly space with a unique collaborative scientific environment in the landscape of African studies at the University of St.Gallen. Likewise, Vice-President for External Relations Professor Ulrich Schmid appreciated the initiative and described the new Center as a platform that puts a focus on what has been a "blind spot in the Swiss education system" – that is Africa. And hence, the symposium is an extraordinary scholarly platform, not only for the institute, but also for Switzerland as a whole. Managing Director of the Competence Center Dr. Thierry Ngosso also emphasized the importance of having this Center in his speech. He is pleased that the discourse on Africa is now gaining ground at the University of St.Gallen, as it is not only Africans who should speak about Africa. There is much more to be done collaboratively in deepening the landscape of African studies at the University of St.Gallen and beyond. The broader topic of the CCAR launch symposium was ethics, technology and Africa. Particular emphasis was given to the potentials and risks of Artificial Intelligence and new Information and Communication Technologies for the African continent, as well as tech-companies’ responsibilities to mitigate risks of emerging technologies. The scholarly discourse on those issues was informed by African voices, experiences, and contexts. The launch symposium brought together scholars from interdisciplinary backgrounds, including but not limited to political philosophy, history, technology, business & human rights, international relations, international studies, political science, legal studies, and law & economics across Africa, Europe and the North America. The symposium featured four keynote speakers: Thierry Amougou (Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium), Nomalanga Mkhize (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa), Tina Freyburg (University of St.Gallen, Switzerland), and Uchenna Okeja (Rhodes University, South Africa). The overall theme of these keynotes stretched across numeric capital, numeric transition and politic transition; technology, ethics and economic development; internet and democracy; and personhood and emergence of digital capitalism. All were presented with a focus on the African context. Along the keynotes, eight panels took place around topics such as: ethics, technology and human rights; information and communications technology; globalism, personhood and digital capital; internet and democracy; and technology, ethics and economic development. Comments, questions and feedbacks were exchanged on each panel. The launch symposium also included a documentary titled – Citizens offline, roundtables and discussants from various disciplines and stakeholders including civil society organizations (Internet Without Borders, France) and academia. The roundtable discussion aimed at kick-starting a fruitful intercontinental discourse and a deepened network between scholars and stakeholders in Switzerland and on the African Continent. The discussion enabled participants to hear voices from the ground on internet shutdown through the documentary and exchange thoughts on why that is happening and how it could be addressed. Overall, the symposium offered a unique platform for cutting-edge contributions. All contributions were delivered in African context, voices and experience by African researchers, activists and non-African scholars with a focus and research interest on Africa. By facilitating such a platform, the symposium created an opportunity to discuss, debate, and reflect on the conference theme in a critical, collaborative, and interdisciplinary setting. The launch symposium was brought to an end with an institutional panel and closing remarks by Professor Florian Wettstein and Dr. Thierry Ngosso. The institutional panel was a platform that created a sense of community among participants by exchanging thoughts on how to best move forward with the short- and long-term plans of the Center. The IWE-HSG CCAR launch set an inspiration to have further collaborative works in the future. The participants and organizers were pleased, enthusiastic, and used the platform productively. Professor Wettstein closed by conveying that "It was a very inspiring kick-off symposium at a very high level, with well-thought-out and in-depth talks and discussions. We felt a significant interest and support for the Competence Center – especially from our guests from different African countries."