News

“Trump’s Africa Policy: Creating a ‘Useful’ and a ‘Useless’ Africa”

By pdquella
November 16th, 2016 in Center News.

By Abel Djassi Amado (Simmons College)

“So much of what Trump may, or may not, adopt as official US foreign policy towards Africa is uncertain. One of the things that will, however, influence what impact a Trump White House has on African countries will be the ability of African leaders to astutely define their own national interests.”

Following last week’s US presidential elections in which Donald J. Trump won 290 to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 232 electoral college votes, much focus has rested on President-Elect Trump’s domestic strategy, but few are clear on the outlines of Trump’s foreign policy. This lack of clarity is particularly acute with regards to what might constitute America’s Africa policy under a Trump presidency. Although the results in the Midwestern state of Michigan are still to be called, there is no escaping the fact that the world will have to contend with, and make preparations for, a Trump White House.

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Photo credit

Special Event, Dec 7–Networking, Philanthropy and Fundraising: How to Build Meaningful Relationships for You and Your Organization

By pdquella
November 15th, 2016 in Center News.

Networking, Philanthropy and Fundraising: How to Build Meaningful Relationships for You and Your Organization

December 7, 4-6 p.m., 232 Bay State Road, Rm. 505, Boston, MA 02215

Special event of the BU African Studies Center and Diaspora Studies Initiative

Co-sponsored with BU Research and the Office of Alumni Affairs

The ability to be a world-class networker has never been more important in helping to shape your professional career and institutional development. In this session, we will share strategies and practices that can help develop your networking capacities. As increasing pressure continues to grow on institutions, universities, and civil society organizations from a funding perspective, the workshop will explore also the linkages between networking, philanthropy and fundraising. It will share insights on emerging trends in these sectors and equip participants with skills and ideas to build meaningful relationships to meet the professional and institutional challenges.

  • Learn how to build and manage your network
  • Gain insight into nurturing meaningful professional relationships
  • Pick up tips and skills to help with your career development
  • Explore emerging potentials of philanthropic giving
  • Learn best practices on varied fundraising methods

BU faculty, staff and students, civil society organizations and our diaspora community are welcome!

The event is facilitated by Diaspora Matters, a global consultancy and training firm based out of Dublin, Ireland which provides services in areas of networking, fundraising, and diaspora engagement in development. Since its inception, Diaspora Matters has researched, written and spoken extensively on how different countries are engaging their diaspora communities. It has worked globally in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, and North America with clients including institutions such as Accenture, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, EU, Google, HSBC, KPMG, UBS, United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI), USAID and World Bank.

Dr. Martin Russell is an experienced scholar and consultant on the topics of networking, fundraising, and philanthropy. He has written on a range of topics relating to diaspora strategies including the role of government in diaspora engagement, representation rights, diaspora media, diaspora networking, and conflict transformation. Publications to date include “Diaspora Engagement through Representation: A Discussion” and “Diaspora Strategies: Explore the Role of Government,” Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit. He has spoken at numerous international conferences engaging several key stakeholders active in the diaspora engagement process, ranging from academic conferences to public speaking at organisations such as Fulbright.

Please RSVP to rodima@bu.edu

Africa Diaspora Initiative & Africans in Boston Event Raises Issues of Governance and Politics

By pdquella
November 14th, 2016 in Center News.

The Boston University African Studies Center co-hosted the first ever African Diaspora & Governance Symposium at Boston University last Saturday. The event brought together African diaspora activists from the greater Boston area to discuss the issues of diaspora organizing and networking for effective participation in governance and political life.  The Symposium, co-hosted with Africans in Boston, featured Dr. Sylvester Okere, President of the United People for African Congress (UPAC), and Attorney Candice McKinley, the Vice-President of UPAC and a civil rights and education attorney.Africans in Boston Diaspora-Governance Symposium-

Dr. Okere stated that the community of African immigrants is one of the most educated, dynamic and diverse communities in the United States, “We have the people, talents, skills, experience, values and unique culture that distinguish us. Let’s come together and change the narratives that have been dragging us down. In order for the ethnic African community in the United States to become relevant and be fully integrated into the American political system, we must first be organized.” Dr. Okere called for ethnic Africans in the U.S. to overcome the scars of colonialism, discrimination, and marginalization, and work towards creating solidarity to transform the local immigrant communities as well as those of the African motherland. Dr. Okere was the first immigrant to fill Africa’s seat of the National Democratic Party to represent the African diaspora, and first African immigrant to speak on a national platform on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial.

Attorney Candice D. McKinley, an African American attorney, political strategist and gender activist, urged African immigrants to understand their heritage, and to be selfless, purposeful, and intentional in their struggle to unite the diaspora to achieve their dreams. “I come from down South where we had the same issues of mistrust among different African American groups from different regions, but we managed to overcome these and now speak with one voice,” said the young mother and former teacher who spent time in Tanzania working for women empowerment and Rwanda genocide cases.  Atty. McKinley highlighted the important role of women in diaspora work: “Women must know their worth, purpose in the world, and intend to be change agents. Society has engrained in men to be leaders rather than women. While women currently make up 51% of the American population, we are still not seen as an equal to men. Including and encouraging women to be at the political table would help to garner systemic change that will benefit future generations.”Africans in Boston Diaspora-Governance Symposium-11

The ethnic African organization UPAC is a non-segmented body committed to mobilizing the estimated 3 million African immigrants in the United States for empowered participation in the social and political lives of the communities in the U.S. as well as for the development of their motherland.  The organization serves all ethnic Africans in the diaspora. Recent initiatives include the struggle to involve African immigrants in relevant high level policy discussions, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, as well as engaging their active participation in the 2016 presidential elections.

Mr. Voury Ignegongba, President of Africans in Boston and convener of the event, said that he was overjoyed by dozens of African immigrants from different African countries living in Boston who attended the symposium, demonstrating that Africans have the desire to put their differences aside and unify for a common cause while far from their homelands.  Africans in Boston is an organization that fosters the socio-economic and educational development of its members by offering a platform that connects the African diaspora in the greater Boston area and in the state of Massachusetts.

“It is very refreshing and encouraging to see a group of African immigrants come together here today in search of better lives,” remarked Harrison Maina from Kenya (Boston University Metropolitan College). “Since UPAC has taken the lead to organize the highly disjointed and scattered African communities in the diaspora, it is up to us to join in and render our talents and skills. Let all African community organizations that are genuine about their intent to make Africans more united and respected now consider joining UPAC.”  These calls were echoed by several other participants of the Symposium. The attendees included Geoffrey Nsereko of Radio Uganda Boston, Pastor Isaac Balinda of Uganda, Rev. Christine Nakyeyune of the Ugandan Anglican church in Waltham, Chioma Nnaji of Africans for Improved Access, and Dorothy Sebbaka of Women of Purpose International.

“In the present era of ever-growing migration and mobility, diaspora contributions to the development of their countries of origin are crucial,” said Dr. Daivi Rodima-Taylor of BU ASC Diaspora Studies Initiative. “We are proud to contribute to creating a forum for local African diaspora communities to discuss strategies for productive diaspora engagement and empowerment.”

Photos by: Harrison Maina, Ajabu Africa News

Susanne Mueller in NY Magazine: Comparing the Potential for Election Violence in Kenya & the US

By pdquella
November 7th, 2016 in Center News.

By 

It’s understandable why some people are concerned that there will be violence during or immediately after tomorrow’s presidential election. After all, for the entire final stretch of the campaign, Donald Trump has been pre-complaining that the results of tomorrow’s election will be “rigged,” and has repeatedly refused to say that he will accept the results, full-stop (well, he did say he’ll accept them if he wins). And while one can’t necessarily take the craziest things a given candidate’s supporters say at face value, some of his supporters have spoken openly and excitedly about the possibility of violence and revolution.

“People are both vastly and incorrectly overstating the prospects for electoral violence here,” Susanne Mueller said in an email. Mueller is a political scientist currently based at Boston University’s African Studies Center, and a widely publishedexpert on the Kenyan political system, which produced one of the more infamous recent examples of election violence.

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Nov 14: Eradicating Poverty, Sharing Prosperity: Effective Policies for Equitable Societies

By pdquella
November 4th, 2016 in Center News.

Bostonia: Machozi’s Calling (please support the scholarship effort)

By pdquella
October 30th, 2016 in Center News.

Machozi’s Calling

The priest’s return to the people of eastern Congo surprised few of his friends. His murder surprised no one.

By Art Jahnke
here was one thing about Father Vincent Machozi that worried his religious superiors in the Brighton, Mass., house of the Augustinians of the Assumption. Machozi, a contemplative priest from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), operated a website, Beni Lubero Online, where he posted grisly iPhone photos of victims of violence in the DRC province of North Kivu, as well as reports that often identified the killers as military or government agents. Machozi (STH’15), who was working toward a PhD at BU’s School of Theology, hoped that the photos of dead and dismembered bodies would galvanize site visitors to help end the violence. His superiors, on the other hand, feared that they would invite the revenge of the warlords and militias who controlled the lawless province, and who could easily direct their retaliation at some of the 150 Assumptionist priests working in schools and orphanages in eastern Congo. They asked that Machozi never link the site in any way to the Assumptionist order.

Nov 15: Nimi Wariboko “Demons as Guests: Aesthetics of African Traditional Religion & Pentecostal Hot Prayers in Nigeria”

By pdquella
October 25th, 2016 in Center News.

African Diaspora & Governance Symposium, Nov 5, 4-6 pm

By pdquella
October 25th, 2016 in Center News.

SPH Welcomes New Global Health Chair, Patricia Hibberd

By pdquella
August 1st, 2016 in Center News.

When Patricia Hibberd looks at her smartphone, she sees a chance to save young lives.

Hibberd, the new chair of the School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health, has been working in Malawi, India, and Pakistan to develop a low-cost thermal imaging system for smartphones that would help to detect bacterial pneumonia in children in countries where standard chest X-rays are not available. The prospect of giving resource-strapped clinicians a way to diagnose the world’s leading cause of death of children under age 5 marks a new chapter in her 25-year quest to stem childhood pneumonia, sepsis, diarrhea, and other illnesses.

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Outcast Majority: Challenging Assumptions about Africa’s Exploding Youth Population

By pdquella
July 21st, 2016 in Center News.

v_butoday_marc-sommers-head-shot

BU African Studies researcher Marc Sommers’ new book argues for rethinking the status quo to meet the challenges of Africa’s youth population explosion. Photo by Lesley-Anne Long

Marc Sommers’ interest in Africa’s youth dates back more than three decades to his work in Kenya, where he was headmaster of a girls’ secondary school. In the ensuing years, he has returned to Africa routinely as a scholar and analyst, and his growing body of research suggests that the prevailing wisdom about the continent’s youth is misguided and calls for significant reform. As a visiting researcher with the African Studies Center at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Sommers (CAS’94) has written about postwar youth in Rwanda and South Sudan, among many other nations.

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