(Boston) — United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has praised BU’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) for encouraging developing democracies on the African continent.
APARC Director Charles Stith, a former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, briefed Annan upon returning from APARC’s annual African Presidential Roundtable in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was attended last month by 10 African former presidents.
“I very much appreciate your willingness to come to New York to brief me,” Annan wrote to Stith. “Hopefully, the focus of the deliberations will yield some strategic responses to the urgent challenges of peace, security and development facing Africa.”
Annan said that beyond the Roundtable, “APARC’s mission to chronicle contemporary trends and developments in Africa by engaging former African heads of state is a unique and important contribution to encouraging democratization on the continent. I commend Boston University and you for this exemplary initiative.”
Stith founded APARC to complement BU’s African Studies program — one of the nation’s oldest, established in 1953. It organizes forums regarding Africa’s global relationships, and hosts a residency program for African former heads of state.
“I accept the Secretary General’s words as a compliment to our work in developing APARC,” said Stith, “and as a testament to the legacy of excellence in African studies at Boston University.”
Founded in 1839, Boston University is the fourth largest independent university in the United States, with more than 30,000 students in its 17 colleges and schools. BU has established an international reputation for excellence in teaching and conducting research on Africa, and has built and maintained broad collaborations with institutions in Africa.
Note to Editor: For more on APARC visit http://www.bu.edu/aparc.