President of Ghana takes Africa beyond aid message to Harvard University

March 19, 2019 at 11:00 am | Events

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

March 19, 2019 at 11:00 am | Events

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is headlining an impressive list of speakers for this year’s Africa Development Conference, a student-led event at Harvard University.

The Ghanaian president who has won international acclaim for his message of ‘Africa Beyond Aid’ will deliver the Executive Keynote address at a Forum event put together by Harvard Kennedy’s School’s Institute of Politics and the Center for African Studies of the University.

Professor Emmanuel Acheampong, the Director of the Center for African Studies said, “Ghana’s President is one of the prominent voices for the development of the continent. He has a deep understanding of what must be done to improve the welfare of the people on the continent. He is championing the ideas that speaks to the development of the continent and her people. He is definitely going to give Africans and African enthusiasts the right impetus to help advance the development course of the continent.”

The Africa Development Conference celebrates its tenth year of bringing resourceful minds together at Harvard University to think about the state of the continent and its people as well as the opportunities that continued to be untapped in several countries. The event scheduled for March 29 and 30, 2019 is anchored on the theme “New Global Partnerships for Africa’s Development: Creating Our Desired Future Together.”

“We want to look at all the moving parts in the march towards Africa’s development especially from Africa’s international partners.” Says Thebe Tsatsimpe, the President of the Africa Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“We are aware of what China is doing on the continent, the European Union’s new engagement policy of investing 100 billion Euros in direct investments, the United States’ Build Act as a counterpoise to China and what other international actors are also doing on the continent. Africa meanwhile is creating a continental Free Trade Area which when fully operationalized will be worth something like $ 2 trillion. As students and professionals who are attending the conference, we ask the question, how can we plug into these exciting platforms to help create the future of Africa?” said Tsatsimpe.

Some of the titans who will be speaking at the conference include Hon. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, Dr. Albert G. Zeufack, the World Bank’s Chief Economist on Africa and Bience Philomena Gawannas, the UN Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser in Africa.

Other speakers include Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, the African Union’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations, Biendi Maganga-Moussavou , the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (GRAINE Program) of Gabon and Ipumbu W. Shimi, the President of the Central Bank of Namibia.

African-American corporate star Bozoma St. John who is the Chief Marketing Officer of William Morris Endeavor, the global talent management agency is also on the stellar list of speakers. Described as a ‘Unicorn,’ (Highly Successful Black Women so rare people think they do not even exist) ‘The Boz’s’ journey from Apple Inc. through Uber to corporate celebrity status has crystallized in connecting Africans in the diaspora back to the mother continent through the Full Circle Festival which she helped established in Ghana.

The 2019 Africa Development conference will constitute eleven panels, four keynote sessions, more than 50 speakers. At least four hundred Africans and African enthusiasts are scheduled to attend the event this year. A Harvard tour, an Open Mic Networking cocktail and an African Ball at which the culinary delights on the continent will be explored christened the ‘Taste of Africa” are part of the experience curated into the conference.

Africa’s leading Trade Finance outfit, Afrexim Bank and Nigerian Law Firm Aluko And Oyebode are headlining the platinum support for the conference. Several Harvard University institutions and Centers including the Center for Public Leadership, the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, the Kennedy School Students Government are all pitching in. Other centers like the East Asia Legal Studies, the Harvard Africa law Association, the Africa Health Forum, the Graduate School of Design and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research are also supporting the conference.

The African Development Conference is organized by students of several graduate schools at Harvard University in partnership with the Center for African Studies at the University.

The participating graduate schools are Harvard Law School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Graduate School of Design. Other Schools are the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Extension School, Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the venue for the event.

Face2Face Africa, a website dedicated to correcting some of the erratic documentation of the history of African people and recreating a new narrative for Africans and African Americans is the Media Partner of the 2019 Africa Development Conference at Harvard University.

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