Showing posts from April, 2012

2012 Columbia University African Economic Forum: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi's Keynote Speech

On Friday and mostly on Saturday, April 13-14, 2012, Columbia University's School of International Policy held the 9th Annual African Economic Forum.   Nick Tattersall,  Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University, introduced t he first keynote speaker:  Sanusi Lamido Sanusi  , Governor of Nigeria's Central Bank. Mr. Sanusi hails from Northern Nigeria; on Wikipedia , he is called "Mallam" (" learned " or "teacher," from the Arabic language), as he is also an Islamic scholar---probably a rarity in the banking world! He spoke softly (a little too softly for some of us, as the microphones were not working too well on the first day of the Forum) and couched his words carefully; however, his goals for Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular were quite clear: self-sufficiency leading to prosperity, and independence from foreign economic interests. I cannot, of course, provide here the full speech; howev

Africa in Harlem

Last Monday was one of those days when my professional life joins my personal life and passions. Tesfaye Tesseme at King Towers I visited the Manhattanville Housing Development to see the Senior Center 's art program, coordinated by Tesfaye Tessema, a NYCHA art consultant, who also happens to be an internationally recognized painter of Ethiopian origin. From there, I went on to King Towers, to see the children's art program that Tesfaye also teaches. Painting at Manhattanville Senior Center The King Houses Community Center director, Dawn Foster, is of Jamaican origin, and her spouse is Egyptian. The Center's children are of a variety of origins: Jamaican, Senegalese, Puerto Rican, etc. By the time I was done, it was too late to return to the office, so my friend and I walked towards Park Avenue on 116th Street, looking for a place to have a cup of coffee. We found a Moroccan hookah restaurant, " The Kiosk ." Instead of coffee, we had North Afric

Guest post from Wendy Lee

on the occasion of the 9th Annual African Economic Forum - New York City: "Africa Reclaiming Africa" The African Ingenuity I am not an African, but in the two years of   my Peace Corps service   in Cameroon, I had fallen in love with the African people. Like most naive twentysomethings who set out to go “change the world”, I was humbled by my time in Cameroon. The country changed me in more ways than one. I barely made a dent in changing my village, much less the world. I discovered Africa beyond the mainstream portrait of the continent. Africa is a massive place, and while civil wars, famines, and the like do still exist in parts of the continent, the Western media somehow rarely highlights the incredible growth that is taking place in this part of the world. In working with the Cameroonian people, they taught me the realities of African life. Western solutions to problems often do not align with these African realities. Western perceptions of Africans often