AAI Announces Participation in African Leaders Speak Conference at Harvard Kennedy School

Kofi Appenteng, President and CEO of the Africa-America Institute, had the honor of joining three former Heads of State, and other distinguished guests, at the Africa Leader’s Speak conference at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on April 24-25th, 2018. The former Presidents of Nigeria (His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo) and Tanzania (His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete), and the former Prime Minister of Cape Verde (His Excellency Carlos Wahnon Veiga) participated in panel discussions on a broad range of topics related to the progress of Africa in the 21st century.

On Wednesday, April 25th, participants tackled topics such as Agribusiness, the role of the Private Sector, and Security and Continental Integration. Kofi Appenteng of AAI delivered remarks on Education and Technology. He stated that, “In a world where technology has fueled an increasingly rapid acceleration of change, the pursuit of incremental change has arguably lost its utility. We believe in the power of education: in the nurturing and building of mindsets of curiosity, confidence and grit. The development of a sense of agency that one can contribute to the solving of problems and making beneficial change in the world has become a critical educational outcome.”

“Technology can enhance collaboration that leads to innovations in pedagogy, increases access to content, and all at dramatically lower cost and greater scale. AAI is delighted to support the work of the Harvard Center for African Studies at Harvard University under the visionary leadership of Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong.”

The financial sector was well represented with attendance from the African Export-Import Bank, the African Development Bank, amongst others.

One of the highlights of the conference included an open public forum led by Thoko Moyo, Associate Dean of Communication and Public Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The three former heads of state debated issues, engaged the audience, and answered questions. The discussion included mention of African challenges and opportunities, as well as African leadership and the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

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