<p>An international gathering of scholars, government officials, and civil society groups from Nigeria, Europe, and the United States will explore the problems and prospects of the upcoming Nigerian elections during the 2009 Achebe Colloquium Friday, Dec. 11, 2009.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Acclaimed Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor at Brown University, will convene officials from the Nigerian government, United Nations, European Union, and other international organizations for a one-day colloquium exploring the 2010 Nigerian elections.

The Achebe Colloquium will be held on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009, at the Westin Hotel in Providence, R.I. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Nigeria’s next election cycle will begin in February 2010 with state government elections in Anambra, a state in the southeast. Anambra sparked some of the most violent and protracted scenes of ballot rigging and resistance during the 2007 elections, and many believe the conduct there in 2010 represents a test case for how orderly subsequent elections will go in the rest of the country.

The Achebe Colloquium will cover themes relating to the problems, prospects, and pathologies of 50 years of Nigerian independence; strategic interests of Nigeria and the United States; challenges of the Anambra elections in 2010; lessons and problems related to monitoring elections in Nigeria; and strategies for free and fair polls in future elections. John Stremlau, vice president for peace programs at The Carter Center, will deliver opening remarks. Other invited guests include Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, several current political candidates from Anambra, and two former U.S. ambassadors to Nigeria.

For a conference schedule and registration details, please visit www.brown.edu/web/achebe-colloquium/. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009.