H.E. Dr. Mathabo Tsepa, High Commissioner of Lesotho to Canada gives the official welcome for the event.

H.E. Dr. Mathabo Tsepa, High Commissioner of Lesotho to Canada, welcoming participants to the event.

More than 100 participants attended the event, “The African Union’s Agenda 2063: Assessing the Development Vision for Africa”

The Institute of African Studies event resembled a day-long conversation that addressed issues such as sustainable development, governance, women’s rights, youth, and culture in Africa. The event was co-organized with the African Diplomatic Corps and the African Women Diplomatic Forum.

nduka-otionoModerator and African Studies Professor Nduka Otiono said the day reflected the mission of Carleton’s Institute of African Studies.

“This day has really demonstrated the interdisciplinary nature of our Institute of African Studies,” said Oitono. “We have more than 50 professors who are cross-appointed to other departments, so we can approach African issues from many angles.”

He mentioned the final panel, in particular, which was entitled “Empowering Youth, Cultural Heritage, Values and Ethics”. It began with Irene Tamajong, who spoke about the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, also known as the AIMS-Next Einstein initiative, which has graduated 748 scientists from 42 African countries since 2003.

“We need homegrown solutions for the difficult challenges we have at home. We have to define the future we want for Africa,” said Ms. Tamajong.

She was followed by Carleton English and African Studies Professor Pius Adesanmi, who joked that “culture” is an afterthought at African conferences.

“The problem is the developing world sees culture as entertainment. But I see African kids in Canada who need that culture. They don’t have a base to connect to,” said Adesanmi. He also called on the assembled group, which included ambassadors and high commissioners, to harness the energy of the day’s discussions.

“Our institute is your institute. Let’s keep doing this and grow this partnership year after year,” he said. Many in the crowd nodded in agreement.



Thursday, March 12, 2015 in ,
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