Akufo-Addo storms Harvard with ‘Africa Beyond Aid’

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akuffo-Addo is headlining an impressive list of speakers for this year’s Africa Development Conference, the premier policy platform on Africa at Harvard University.

The Ghanaian President who has won international acclaim for his message of ‘Africa Beyond Aid’ will deliver the Executive Keynote address at a Forum event put together by Harvard Kennedy’s School’s Institute of Politics and the Center for African Studies of the University.

The Africa Development Conference celebrates its tenth year of bringing resourceful minds together at Harvard University to think about the state of the continent and its people as well as the opportunities that continue to be untapped in several countries.

The event scheduled for March 29 and 30, 2019 is anchored on the theme ‘New Global Partnerships for Africa’s Development: Creating Our Desired Future Together.”

“We want to look at all the moving parts in the march towards Africa’s development especially from Africa’s international partners.” Says Thebe Tsatsimpe, the President of the Africa Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“We are aware of what China is doing on the continent, the European Union’s new engagement policy of investing 100 billion Euros in direct investments, the United States’ Build Act as a counterpoise to China and what other actors like Japan and India are also doing on the continent.

Africa meanwhile is creating a continental Free Trade Area which when fully operationalized will be worth something like $ 2 Trillion. As students and professionals who are attending the conference, we ask the question, how can we plug into these exciting platforms to help create the future of Africa?” Asked Tsatsimpe.

The Institute of Politics, one of the best political Think-Thanks in the world will host the President at the ‘Forum Event’ reserved for distinguished global leaders.

Students and faculty from all over Harvard University will win a special opportunity to listen to the President but a vast majority of attendees have to reserve their seats through the Africa Development Conference (ADC). Kojo Frempong, a Co-Chair for the 2019 conference told Ghanaweb “There is a high degree of expectation and enthusiasm among Africans here at Harvard.

However, we expect students and professionals from New York, Maryland, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Vermont, Maine and off course Massachusetts to attend the conference. To reserve their spaces, they should get on to the website, We are running out of space so the earlier people get on, the safer it will be for them,” said Kojo Frempong.

While President Akufo-Addo is the main draw, other titans who will be speaking at the two-day conference include Hon. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing of Nigeria, Dr. Albert G. Zeufack, the World Bank’s Chief Economist on Africa and Bience Philomena Gawannas, the UN Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa.

Other speakers include Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, the African Union’s Permanent Observer at the United Nations, Biendi Maganga-Moussavou, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (GRAINE Program) of Gabon and Ipumbu W. Shimi, the President of the Central Bank of Namibia.

African-American corporate star Bozoma St. John who is the Chief Marketing Officer of William Morris Endeavor, the global talent management agency is also on the stellar list of speakers.

Described as a ‘Unicorn’ (Highly Successful Black Women so rare people think they do not even exist) ‘The Boz’s’ journey from Apple Inc. through Uber to corporate celebrity status has crystallized in connecting Africans in the diaspora back to the mother continent through the Full Circle Festival which she helped established in Ghana.

The 2019 Africa Development conference will constitute sixteen (16) panels, four (4) keynote sessions, and more than fifty (50) high-level panelists. At least four hundred (400) Africans and African enthusiasts are scheduled to attend the event this year.

A Harvard tour, an Open Mic Networking cocktail and an African Ball at which the culinary delights on the continent will be explored christened the ‘Taste of Africa” are part of the experience curated into the conference.

Africa’s leading Trade Finance outfit, Afreximbank and top-notch Nigerian Law firm Aluko & Oyebode are headlining the platinum support for the conference. Several Harvard University institutions and Centers including the Center for Public Leadership, the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, the Kennedy School Students Government are all pitching in.

Other centers like the East Asia Legal Studies, the Harvard Africa law Association, the Africa Health Forum, the Graduate School of Design and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research are also supporting the conference.

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