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Middlebury Institute faculty members Edgard Coly and Abdelkader Berrahmoun say MIIS is the perfect place to host a discussion about African issues from the African perspective. “With plenty of media coverage focusing on negative news in Africa, we wanted to bring in positive voices who are not only academics, but also current practitioners in the field who have intimate knowledge about the challenges and potentials therein,” says Berrahmoun. Their ideas are the inspiration behind “Voices of Africa: Emerging Opportunities in the 21st Century,” the first of what promises to become a great tradition of creative and innovative annual events focusing on Africa.

Along with a group of passionate students, Berrahmoun and Coly have gathered an impressive group of speakers and artists for a full day of events in the Irvine Auditorium on Saturday, April 25th. The event is free and open to the public. The conference is divided into four main themes:

  • African Arts and Culture: A Force for Social Change on the Continent
  • African Women in Leadership
  • Sustainable Economy: Models for Development and Economic Justice
  • Africa Addresses Climate Change

“When deciding upon the conference themes, we were cognizant to address a wealth of topics that are currently of importance and undergoing change on the continent,” explains Coly. Speakers were chosen carefully, adds Berrahmoun; “They all serve as powerful voices from the African perspective.”

Other exciting aspects of the conference include a showcase spotlighting multiple student projects and exhibits related to work and research in different African countries and the musical finale promising to get everyone dancing and singing to the tunes of Mr. Malima Kone and the Harmonies.

For more information about the Voices of Africa conference click here.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir