PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe will convene an international group of scholars, officials from African governments, the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and other organizations for the two-day Achebe Colloquium on Africa, a seminar on the importance of strengthening democracy on the African continent. The Achebe Colloquium on Africa will be held Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, 2010, at the Marriott Hotel in Providence, R.I. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. It is sponsored by Brown University.
This year’s colloquium will focus attention on three African nations — Rwanda, Congo, and Nigeria — and the crucial issues impacting the countries, the continent, and the world.
The colloquium’s two Rwanda-focused panels will ask whether genocide could happen again and what role a strengthened democracy might play in preventing future catastrophic violence and stabilizing self-governance. Three panels will explore the economic stakes behind the Congo’s “African World War,” the value of a regional approach to a peaceful resolution of this crisis, and the impact of this crisis on the Congolese people. On day two of the colloqium, participants will discuss Nigeria, specifically, the issues of recovering looted funds, political transparency in elections, and the Niger Delta environmental crisis.
Keynote speakers include Margot Elisabeth Wallström, former vice chairperson of the European Union and U.N. special representative of the secretary general on sexual violence in conflict; Stephen Rapp, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues; and Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers State, Nigeria. Edwin Clark, former minister of information, and writer Chukwuemeka Ike are also invited as special guests of honor.
This will be Brown’s second annual Achebe Colloquium on Africa. The 2009 event focused on the problems and prospects of the 2010 Nigerian election.
The colloquium schedule and registration details are available online at www.brown.edu/web/achebe-colloquium/.