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