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Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama to Deliver Inaugural Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum Lecture at Bard College on Monday, December 9
In the Wake of the Death of Nelson Mandela, the Achebe Leadership Forum Will Examine “Africa’s Future: Mandela, Achebe, and Empowerment in Africa”
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—President John Dramani Mahama of the Republic of Ghana delivered the inaugural Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum Lecture on Monday, December 9, 2013. The forum took place in the Sosnoff Theater at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, beginning at 4:00 p.m. In light of the recent passing of Nelson "Madiba" Mandela, the forum explored "Africa's Future: Mandela, Achebe, and Empowerment in Africa." The Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum brings together international leaders and thinkers to discuss Africa’s challenges, in keeping with Professor Chinua Achebe’s life and work.
The Forum opened with a performance by the Ghanaian music group Sankofa. Attendees were then welcomed with a talk on the legacy of Chinua Achebe, who taught at Bard for nearly 20 years. Noted Ghanaian poet Abena Busia gave a reading, and Professor Christie Achebe spoke on “Professor Achebe's Life in Perspective: The Writer and the Quest for Exemplary Leadership and Good Governance in Africa.” President Mahama gave a lecture entitled “Women in Africa: How the Other Half Lives.” Following the lecture there was a discussion with President Mahama; the Honorable Nana Oye Lithur (the Republic of Ghana’s Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection); Amini Kajunju, president of the Africa-America Institute; and professors Myra Young Armstead and Peter Rosenblum of Bard College. The subject of the discussion was “The Role of Women in the Development and Democratization of Africa.”
Achebe Leadership Forum, Sosnoff Theater, The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard CollegeIntroduction of Performers | 3:55
Drew Thompson Assistant Professor of Africana and Historical Studies, Bard College
AfroPulse Dance Performance | 4:00
Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble | 4:05
Welcome on Behalf of Bard President Leon Botstein | 4:25
Birthday Tribute from Nelson Mandela to Chinua Achebe | 4:30
The Legacy of Chinua Achebe | 4:40
Poetry Reading: "A Song in Seven Stanzas" and "Still Morning Yet: A Poet Daughter's Farewell" | 4:45
Professor Achebe's Life in Perspective: The Writer and the Quest for Exemplary Leadership and Good Governance in Africa | 4:55
Introduction of H.E. John Dramani Mahama | 5:05
“Women in Africa: How the Other Half Lives” | 5:10
Roundtable Discussion: The Role of Women in the Development and Democratization of Africa | 5:30
Closing Remarks | 6:10
Mahama has a keen interest in technology and agriculture, being a farmer himself. He is particularly interested in finding the most effective ways to improve agricultural productivity and works to encourage more young people to see farming as a viable business rather than a subsistence activity. This has translated into a passion to see the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) create new opportunities for people living in the Savanna areas of the country, which includes the three Northern Regions, and Ghana’s northern parts of the Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions. An avid reader, author, and historian, Mahama has written for several newspapers and other publications, and recently published his first book, a memoir entitled My First Coup D’etat and Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa.
President Mahama’s lecture is sponsored by Bard College President’s Office, Bard College Center for Civic Engagement, the Achebe Center at Bard, and the Chinua Achebe Foundation.
About the Chinua Achebe Foundation
Apart from his literary exploits, Achebe earned a reputation as a leading critic of corruption and bad leadership in Nigeria. He wrote extensively about racial and ethnic bigotry and left behind a reputation as one who lived as a formidable advocate for the poor and less privileged, as well as the voiceless in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. While he was the editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series, it served as a vehicle for the promotion of a body of African literature produced by a whole generation of African writers, including Wole Soyinka, J.P Clark- Bekederemo, Christopher Okigbo, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, Nuruddin Farah, Buchi Emecheta and Okot p’Bitek, among others. Achebe taught at Bard College from 1990 to 2011.
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December 11, 2013.
This event was last updated on 12-11-2013