Middlebury

October 15, 1997

Middlebury College's Fifth Annual Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium: Democracy and Governance, Sub-Saharan Africa on the Brink of the 21st Century

"Democracy and Governance: Sub-Saharan Africa on the Brink of the 21st Century" is the topic of Middlebury College's fifth annual Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium, which will be held Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

"Students selected the topic recognizing the relationship between governance and the development of Africa in the 21st century," said Leroy Nesbitt, special assistant to the president of Middlebury College and coordinator of the project. "It is a timely subject since democracy has gained greater momentum in Africa during the last six years than at any time since the end of the colonial era."

Nesbitt added, "We're excited to have a group of distinguished panelists from all over the world, and a program that will include a performance by Kayaga, an east African dance, music and storytelling troupe."

The symposium will begin on Thursday, October 30, at 7 p.m., in Dana Auditorium on College Street with opening remarks by Middlebury College African studies professor John Spencer and student Lena Abou-Jaoude '00, who is from Ghana. Mora McLean, president of the African-American Institute, will deliver the keynote address. A panel discussion following her talk will respond to her remarks. Panelists include professor John Spencer as moderator; Nomalungelo Magagula of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland; and Julius Coles, director of the Morehouse College Center for International Programs and former senior USAID officer.

At 2 p.m. on Friday, October 31, the College's Geonomics Institute will host a roundtable discussion on HR 1432, the revolutionary congressional legislation nicknamed the "Africa Aid to Trade Bill." The event will take place at the Geonomics House at 14 Hillcrest Avenue.

Entitled "Nurturing Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa by Enhancing Trade Relations with the United States: A Roundtable Discussion of HR 1432," the event will be moderated by the Institute's president, Kathryn Wittneben. Participants will include His Excellency Paul Boundoukou-Latha, Gabon's ambassador to the United States; David H. Miller, executive director of the Corporate Council on Africa; Peter Rubin '94, legislative assistant to United States Representative Jim McDermott, HR 1432's chief sponsor; and Layn Saint-Louis, Esq. '84, of the Washington, D.C. law firm Bayh, Connaughton and Stewart.

Also on Friday, October 31, at 8 p.m., Kayaga, a dynamic troupe of African dancers, musicians and storytellers, will perform in the Dance Theatre at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts.

On Saturday, November 1, at 11 a.m. in the Redfield Room of Proctor Hall on Hepburn Road, a concluding panel will discuss current programs and projects designed to aid the development of democracy in Africa. Panelists will include: Keith Klein, director of programs for Africa and the Near East for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Washington, D.C.; Sidi Mohamed Diawara, Esq., president of the Malian Association of Information, Education and Communication for Civil Rights and Democracy; Mikael Karlström, anthropology doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago; and Joshua Forrest, professor of political science and co-director of the African studies department at the University of Vermont.

Guests who will be attending symposium events include: Renee Lake of the National Summit on Africa; Sunanda Holmes, Esq., of Education Africa; Dr. Betty Little, development consultant; Charles James '49, a former U.S. ambassador to Niger; and Lydia Clemmons Diawara, an international health consultant for such organizations as the United Nations and Oxfam.

Nesbitt believes that this symposium, like its predecessors, will enrich the study of Africa by Middlebury College students, draw attention to the economic and political significance of Africa, and create constructive discourse among experts on ways to move Africa successfully into the 21st century. According to Nesbitt, "One of the best aspects of the symposium is its ability to provide both the campus and the broader community with access to outstanding resources in and about Africa."

All symposium events are free and open to the public. For more information on the symposium, contact Leroy Nesbitt at 802-443-3166.

Events Listings: Thursday October 30 through Saturday, November 1

Thursday, October 30: Keynote address: 7 p.m., Dana Auditorium, College St. Mora McLean, president of the African-American Institute.

Panel discussion: Following keynote address at the same location. Panel responds to keynote address. Panelists will include: Nomalungelo Magagula of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland; and Julius Coles, director of the Morehouse College Center for International Programs and former senior USAID officer.

Friday, October 31: Roundtable discussion: 2 p.m., Geonomics House, 14 Hillcrest Ave. off College St. "Nurturing Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa by Enhancing Trade Relations with the United States: A Roundtable Discussion of HR 1432." Moderator: Kathryn Wittneben, president of the Geonomics Institute. Participants include: His Excellency Paul Boundoukou-Latha, Gabon's ambassador to the United States; David H. Miller, executive director of the Corporate Council on Africa; and Peter Rubin '94, legislative assistant to U.S. representative Jim McDermott.

Performance: Kayaga: 8 p.m., Dance Theatre, Middlebury College Center for the Arts, near the main campus on Rte. 30. A dynamic troupe of African dancers, musicians and storytellers.

Saturday, November 1 Panel discussion: 11 a.m., Redfield Room of Proctor Hall, Hepburn Rd., off College St. "Programs Designed to Aid the Development of Democracy in Africa." Panelists include: Keith Klein, director of programs for Africa and the Near East for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Washington, D.C.; Sidi Mohamed Diawara, Esq., president of the Malian Association of Information, Education and Communication for Civil Rights and Democracy; and Ozong Agborsangaya, program coordinator of The Carter Center.

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