50 years event

Date & time: 16 May 2019, 9 AM to 9 PM

Location: Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, the Netherlands  

A word of welcome

On behalf of all staff at Solidaridad, I am delighted to welcome you to our 50 years anniversary conference and celebration.

We have prepared a very special programme for you, starting off with the keynote speech by Mawuse Hotor, a young female cocoa farmer from Ghana. She very much represents what we envision to achieve as Solidaridad: Change that matters! Then we will give the floor to our key stakeholders to discuss in four panels diverse but equally relevant challenges we face in sustainable economic development. Our panelists include recognized experts in the field, donors, companies as well as entrepreneurs and farmers who have successfully adopted sustainable production methods and improved their livelihoods.

In the afternoon, I invite you to enjoy the anniversary celebration show that will take you through the 50 years of Solidaridad, our achievements, today's challenges and the solutions needed for making markets and societies more inclusive and sustainable while protecting our planet. The show will be followed by drinks, dinner and music.   

Let's celebrate together!

Heske Verburg, Managing Director at Solidaridad Europe

Keynote speaker: Mawuse Hotor

Mawuse Hotor (26) is a young cocoa farmer who has trained with the Solidaridad cocoa MASO programme. She is originally from Akome Gbota in the Volta Region of Ghana.

''I can see that my confidence level has improved greatly and I have a better self-esteem. I am now respected in my family because I am able to contribute financially and also support other members of my family. Also in my community, my status has improved because not many women have ventured into cocoa farming. I am a better person now than I was 3 years ago.''

Indeed, Mawuse’s story provides much inspiration to reinforce the efforts towards women empowerment and equality as key contributors to sustainable development.


  • 9:00-9:30 Reception open (Location: K.F. Hein Foyer)

    9:45-9:50 Welcome and introduction of keynote speaker by Heske Verburg (Location: Cloud 9)

    9:50-10:05 Keynote speech by Mawuse Hotor (Location: Cloud 9)

    10:05-10:10 Introduction of sessions: challenges from the perspective of various supply chain actors (Location: Cloud 9)

    10:20-11:15 Panel on Climate Adaptation (Cloud 9) & Panel on Access to Capital (Club 9) 

    11:25-12:20 Panel on Public Private Partnerships (Cloud 9) & Panel on Youth Employment (Club 9)

    12:30-13:00 Conclusions & wrap-up by Heske Verburg + panel moderators (Location: Cloud 9)

    13:00-13:30 Lunch (Location: K.F. Hein Foyer)

    13:30-14:00 Reception for afternoon programme with fair trade coffee and tea (Location: Park 6)

    14:00-15:30 Anniversary celebration, part I (Location: Hertz)

    • Opening by Mariam Dao Gabala - President of the International Supervisory Board
    • Special video message from Minister Kaag: Thanks to Solidaridad trade has a norm: fair
    • Old Roots & New Routes: The history of Solidaridad
    • Climate Change: the most pressing challenge
    • Fair Data: the world goes digital

    15:30-16:00 Break (Location: Park 6)

    16:00-17:15 Anniversary celebration, part II (Location: Hertz)

    • Inclusivity: the world turning more balanced
    • Blended finance: the world goes where the money goes
    • Executive Director Change
    • Closure

    Musical support by Njambi Atema and the Aretha Franklin Experience

    17:15-19:00 Drinks and bites, including reception for Nico Roozen (Location: Park 6)

    Musical support by the band 'Hotel'

    19:00-21:00 Dinner (Location: Park 6)  

    You can also view and download the full day programme.

    Please feel free to tweet from the event using #solidaridad50

Panel 1

Access to capital for agricultural SMEs as driver for economic transformation

How can we bring investments in sustainable agriculture in developing countries to scale?

Moderator: Isaac Gyamfi, Managing Director at Solidaridad West Africa

Time: 10:20-11:15   Location: Club 9 

You can read more about this panel and the participating panelists on this page.

Panel 2

A smallholder inclusive approach towards climate change

The key question in this panel is how smallholders can adapt and become resilient to climate change.

Moderator: Rachel Wanyoike, Managing Director at Solidaridad East & Central Africa

Time: 10:20-11:15   Location: Cloud 9

You can read more about this panel and the panelists on this page.

Panel 3

Public private partnerships to transform supply chains

This panel is all about cooperation with impact. What are the most effective and efficient ways to establish public private partnerships (PPPs)?

Moderator: Michaelyn Baur, Managing Director at Solidaridad Central America

Time: 11:25-12:20   Location: Cloud 9   

You can read more about this panel and the panelists on this page.

Panel 4

Gender inclusive youth employment opportunities in Africa

How can we create more and better jobs for young men and women in Africa?

Moderator: Mandla Nkomo, Managing Director at Solidaridad Southern Africa

Time: 11:25-12:20   Location: Club 9

You can read more about this panel and the panelists on this page.

Utrecht hotel information

Please see below a selection of recommended hotels in Utrecht. All these hotels are in the vicinity of the Tivoli Vredenburg event location.

  • Solidaridad has negotiated the availability of a limited number of hotel rooms at Apollo Hotel Utrecht City Centre with a discount in order to provide guests the best rate and convenience. The negotiated rate (€ 137.50 single use and € 152.50 double use, including breakfast and excluding 6% city tax) is below standard guest rates quoted at the hotel if you use this Solidaridad link to make your booking. Please note that the availability of the rooms with discount is thus limited and this link will be automatically closed by the hotel once the maximum capacity has been reached. 

    Apollo Hotel Utrecht City Centre
    Vredenburg 14
    3511 BA, Utrecht
    T +31 (0)30 2331232

    We can also recommend the following hotels:

    Inntel Hotels Utrecht Centre
    Smakkelaarshoek 24
    3511 EC Utrecht
    T +31 (0) 30 2020990

    Park Plaza Utrecht
    Westplein 50
    3531 BL Utrecht
    T +31 (0) 30 292 5200 

    NH Utrecht
    Jaarbeursplein 24 
    3521 AR Utrecht
    Reservations: +31 (0)20 70 18 042
    T +31 (0)30 297 7977