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The rise of authoritarianism and the resulting restriction of space for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) create fertile ground for violence and conflict. In some parts of the world, such as in the Sahara-Sahel region, militarization and fragmentation of societies is intensifying (Metelits, 2016) and destroying already fragile local economic infrastructures, causing massive displacements and insecurity.
The seeming retreat of the international community in promoting and defending democratic values has brought about a rise in populism. The pushback against so-called external interference and CSOs has become the order of the day and nationalism is emerging as an alternative to globalization.

Against this background, the Institute for African Development in collaboration with the SAHEL Consortium will host a symposium on Restricted Spaces: Authoritarianism and Civil Society in Africa.

IAD Graduate Fellows Profile 2018-2019

The Institute for African Development awards several tuition fellowship to graduate students from sub-Saharan African whose field of study centers on African development. Africans with permanent residency or citizenship outside Africa are ineligible. Personal application are not allowed. Candidates must be nominated by their department Chair or the Director of Graduate Studies.

Distinguished Africanist Scholar

Each semester, the Institute for African Development (IAD), Cornell University, sponsors a Distinguished Africanist Scholar (DAS) visit to Cornell. The invited Scholar makes a public presentation (free and open to the Cornell and surrounding community) that goes beyond stimulating discussion to providing exciting perspectives on contemporary African issues, challenges and future policy directions. In addition, the Scholar participates in one or more classes as appropriate for his/her broad span of competence and experiences, meets with students and faculty, and as the need may arise, joins the Africanist faculty for a more intensive workshop/seminar.
Who is a Distinguished Africanist Scholar?An IAD Distinguished Africanist scholar is someone who has performed exceptionally in the academic field on matters specifically pertaining to Africa and its development.

Fall 2018 Seminar - Sustainable Development Goals and the Challenges of Inclusion

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 Fall 2018, the complex and multidimensional issue of sustainable development is the core of the theme of the seminar series. The seminar series will seek to explore questions, paths, and policies relating to the eradication of poverty and inequality and the achievement of the SDG goals.

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

In recent years, democratization has faced increasing challenges. The symposium will explore specific national causes of democratic decline and also take a look at comparative analyses to explain variations in the quality of democracy across countries in Africa. The potential decline of democracy is particularly troubling for the Africa region, given the gains made in political and civil rights for a decade or so following the early 1990s and the enormous governance challenges currently facing the region.
The symposium will focus on improving our understanding of the causes, processes, and implications of democratic decline.


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.