The 9th Annual Columbia University’s African Economic Forum (AEF): Highlights

Omoy Lungange April 23, 2012

“Amazing Africa! Arise, my people! We are blessed with so much. It is NOW our time to position ourselves to be a blessing to our future generation, their children, and grand-children. We owe them this much.” This is the echo that excitedly rang on Friday, April 13 to Saturday April 14th, 2012, in Harlem, New York, during the 9th Annual African Economic Forum at Columbia’s Campus.

The 9th Annual Columbia University's African Economic Forum (AEF): HighlightsThe Forum successfully executed its theme, "Africa Reclaiming Africa."The Keynote Address was delivered by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi, most famous for effectively transforming Nigeria’s banking industry during it global financial crisis disaster in 2009. Mallam Sanusi was also recognized with the global award for Central Bank Governor of the Year, as well as for Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa. The TIME magazine also listed him in its list of 100 most influential people of 2011. Last November, he was chosen by  Forbes as the 2011 Person of the year.

During the AEF, the importance of women’s role in the progress of Africa was highlighted. Mallam Sanusi stated that we cannot examine Africa’s poverty without looking at the importance of the African woman, for under the feet of a poor African man there is a poor African woman. African women play such incredible roles and soul-saving functions, mostly indiscreetly, in times of poverty, during wars and natural disasters. For instance, when children are hungry and the men loose their sources of livelihoods, everyone turns to and relies on the wife and/or mother for support. And in most cases, it is our African mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who provide all that is required to put body and soul together within our communities.

Mallam Sanusi also added entrepreneurship for women, if properly applied, could allow semi-literate women to obtain training in industry techniques, educational opportunities, and market development, as well as on the importance of marketing their products. This process, he said, would require the establishment of micro-banking to facilitate easy loans to meet their day-to-day requirements. He concluded by promising that he personally will increase women management to top business position in Nigeria by 40%.

More highlights from the 9th Annual African Economic Forum’s event included vendors displaying African Arts & Crafts, prints of colorful and vibrant paintings by Congolese designer Gabriel Ba Ramazani Amundala, a wonderful African Fashion Show, and a Beauty Pageant won by Kadiatou Fadiga Miss Guinea USA 2012. Paris-born sisters and Grammy nominated artists; Les Nubians also graced the fashion panel with their presence.

AEF’s events also included a wide range of topics including: information revolution, peace and security, sovereignty, creativity entrepreneurship and the path to Success, financial service and banking, green revolution, wealth funds, tourism, and public health.

Overall, the event was a very informative two-day-weekend filled with professional Afropolitans and leaders who are obsessed and enthused about Africa and its development,  and who in spite of Africa’s flaws and imperfections, love the continent and still believed in its people!

In the past, South Africa was the only country you will read about in the media, exposed tfor its successful development. However, today more African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia…etc) are exposed for significantly making progress during the past decade. As Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi mentioned, we (Africans) must continuously fight against corruption through transparency.

He encourages the leaders of tomorrow, to first build infrastructure within each African country in order to build the economy, which will then manufacture industries, subsequently building jobs and income, finally building the economy and in turn, increase the growth of the economy which will then create income.

Last Edited by: Updated: June 19, 2018


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