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Stith lauded by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

Charles Stith, APARC founder and director, received high praise recently from U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Charles Stith, founder and director of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC), received high praise recently from U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Annan wrote to Stith to express his admiration for APARC’s annual African Presidential Roundtable held this year in Johannesburg, South Africa in April.

“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,” Annan wrote. “I commend Boston University and you for this exemplary initiative.”

Stith founded the center in 2002 as a unique approach to studying current trends in democratization and free market reform in Africa. In addition to encouraging a multidisciplinary approach to teaching about Africa, APARC established a residency program on campus for former democratically elected leaders who relinquish their offices voluntarily. Through this program, APARC helps the sharing of knowledge between these former heads of state and other public and private sector leaders regarding Africa’s global relationships.

Before founding APARC, Stith served as a U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, where, among many achievements, he persuaded the African state to sign the first Open Skies Agreement with the United States. He graduated from Baker University and the Interdenominational Theological Center’s Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, and received a Master’s in Theology from Harvard University Divinity School.