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(Boston) — Charles Stith, director of Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) and former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, will address African former heads and others at the June 8 concluding session in Mali of a summit hosted by the Club de Madrid and National Democratic Institute (NDI).
The African Statesmen Initiative (ASI), which opened on Sunday, is considering challenges of peaceful political transitions in Africa and allowing African former heads of state share experiences on humanitarian and democratization efforts. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright is the convener of the gathering.
Albright invited Stith for creating APARC, its African Presidential Roundtables, and its Balfour African President-in-Residence Program, which has hosted three of the participants in the ASI summit — Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Karl Auguste Offman of Mauritius, and Ketumile Masire of Botswana, the current president-in-residence at BU. Nine of the former heads of state attending the ASI participated in the 3rd APARC African Presidential Roundtable earlier this year in Johannesburg and Boston.
The ASI seeks to encourage democratic former heads of state to continue to play a constructive role in democratization efforts on the African continent and provide a forum for these leaders to share experiences on initiatives on democratization and other challenges that they have undertaken since leaving office. Boston University’s APARC studies and chronicles contemporary trends and developments in Africa and provides a forum for African leaders to engage other political, business, academic, and public sector leaders regarding Africa’s global relationships.
African former heads of state participating in the ASI event include: Nicéphore Soglo of Benin; Mahamane Ousmane of Niger; Ketumile Masire of Botswana; Alhaji Shehu Shagari of Nigeria; Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro of Cape Verde; Abdulsalami Abubakar of Nigeria; Arístides Maria Pereira of Cape Verde; Yakubu Gowon of Nigeria; Dauda Kairaba Jawara of Gambia; Manuel Pinto da Costa of Sao Tome and Principe; Jerry Rawlings of Ghana; Miguel Trovoada of Sao Tome and Principe; Malam Bacai Sanhá of Guinea-Bissau; Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania; Amos Sawyer of Liberia; Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique; Albert Zafy of Madagascar; Sam Nujoma of Namibia; Karl Auguste Offmann of Maritius; and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.