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Spring 2018 Seminar - African Economies, Development Models, and Structural Transformation

The Institute for African Development hosts a weekly seminar series under the general theme “Issues in African Development,” with a special topic each semester. In Spring 2018 we will be considering how new development models might help to transform African economies in ways that will support inclusive growth on the continent. To overcome the daunting and persistent challenges to development that Africa faces, the continent is in need of a full transformation of the existing colonial-legacy structures of society. The seminar series will seek to explore new models of development and policies that can effectively achieve these transformations.

IAD Statement in Response to President Trump's Comments on African Countries

The faculty of the Institute for African Development strongly protest the racist and derogatory statements made by U.S. President Donald Trump, calling African states “shithole countries.” As an institute that brings Africans, Americans, and a wider international community together as colleagues, teachers, students, and researchers, we are appalled and insulted by Trump’s outrageously offensive remarks. His characterization of Africa not only insults Africans on the continent and in the African Diaspora, but also denies the great contributions that Africans have made, and continue to make, to this country. We at IAD join with the Africanist scholarly community in solidarity against the bigotry that Donald Trump’s remarks represent.

IAD Spring Symposium - Elections and Governance: “Democratic Backsliding in Africa?” April 27-28, 2018, Cornell University

The symposium will explore the specific national causes of democratic decline; or, that take on a comparative focus to explain variations in the quality of democracy across the African continent.In recent years, the democratic gains of the Third Wave of democratization have come under challenge in many countries around the world, and accusations of and evidence for democratic backsliding has increased. The potential decline of democracy is particularly troubling for the Africa region, given the gains made in terms of political and civil rights in the decade after early 1990s and given the enormous governance challenges in the region.

Proposals that analyze specific national cases of democratic decline; or that take on a comparative focus to explain variations in the quality of democracy across the African continent are welcomed.

Symposium in Zambia Tackles African Income Inequality

Wealth and income disparities present problems everywhere, but they are especially acute in Africa, where 330 million people survive on less than $1.25 a day. Inequality is not just a moral issue, said Muna Ndulo, professor of law and director of Cornell’s Institute for African Development (IAD), it’s a “global threat.” “Poverty and rising income and wealth disparity breed despair and fuel conflict,” he said. “These challenges need to be addressed together if we are to have a more equitable world.”

IAD Graduate Student Project - Strengthening Women’s Entrepreneurship in Non- Timber Forest Products: Néré Processing in Madina Oula, Guinea

The IAD Graduate Student Project Grant supports innovative community-initiated projects in rural communities in Africa. The grant seeks to foster hands-on experience for Cornell students’ in projects that will positively impact the well being of the community where the project is placed. The grant does not fund startups. Projects must be community-initiated and sustained once the project is completed.

Book Launch: The Economy of Ghana Sixty Years After Independence

The Economy of Ghana Sixty Years after Independence (2017) is a new release from Oxford University Press, edited by Ernest Aryeetey, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana; and Ravi Kanbur, T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. This event celebrates the launch of the book with remarks by editor Ernest Aryeetey; with discussant Sandra Greene, Professor of History, Cornell University. The event will be moderated by Cornell Professor of Law and Director of IAD, Muna Ndulo.

Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa - Fifth Anniversary Panel Discussion: Africa in the Next Decade

Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ILR Conference Center Room 423: The Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa is a definitive and comprehensive account of the key issues and topics affecting Africa’s ability to grow and develop. On the fifth anniversary of its release, Cornell University will host an Editors' Panel Discussion, "Africa in the Next Decade," featuring Ernest Aryeetey, Shantayanan Devarajan, Ravi Kanbur, and Louis Kasekende.

Fall 2017 Seminar - China and Africa: Political, Cultural, and Economic Engagement

Although China–Africa engagement is not new, the engagement has increased remarkably in recent years, as highlighted by the phenomenal growth in trade and investment between China and Africa. Trade volumes between the two rose significantly, from US$10 billion in 2000 to more than US$198 billion in 2012. In 1996, China displaced the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner. China’s impact on African economies has been diverse, depending in part on the sectoral composition of each country’s production. Overall, China’s increased engagement on the continent has generated important gains for African economies and presents a significant opportunity for Africa’s growth and integration into the global economy.

The fall seminar series is expected to provide a forum for discussion and interrogation of these and other issues related to China’s rapidly growing engagement with Africa. We will begin with a broad overview of the topic, provided by Ambassador David Shinn. Subsequent presentations will include a historical perspective on China’s engagement with Africa, the importance of rhetoric in intercultural engage-ment, the impact of Chinese migration in Africa, the effects of China’s ocean policy on African maritime security, China-Africa litigation and dispute settlement, the importance of knowledge transfers between cultures, industrial labor relations with Chinese firms in Africa, the importance of African governance in partnership with China, and Chinese investment and financing models for infrastructure in Africa.

IAD News Bulletin Spring 2017

IAD is pleased to announce the release of our 2017 Bulletin. The publication features stories from the many-faceted faces of IAD: Student internships in Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, and Cameroon; a visit from Distinguished Africanist Scholar Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, who delivered a timely lecture on empathic leadership; Graduate Fellow profiles; updates on our symposia and seminars; an article on African Studies in East Asia, and so much more.