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Promoting African Development is Focus of Policy Conference

May 10, 2005

In international circles, the year 2005 frequently has been called the year in which "something" finally will be done about Africa's extreme poverty. An international conference Thursday, May 12, through Saturday, May 14, in Chicago and on Northwestern University's Evanston campus, will bring together policy experts and scholars to identify the strategies most likely to alleviate poverty and spur economic growth on the African continent.

Paul Applegarth, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), will deliver the conference's keynote address at 12:30 p.m., May 13. Created in 2002 by President Bush, MCC is charged with providing developmental assistance to "countries that rule justly, invest in their people and encourage freedom." Like all events of the conference, Applegarth's lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place in Hardin Hall, 633 Clark Street, Evanston.

The conference will begin Thursday evening at 5 p.m. with remarks from Myles Wickstead of the Commission for Africa. Created by Tony Blair, that commission two months ago issued a highly awaited report with recommendations for accelerating development in Africa. A panel on the report and its implications will meet from 5 to 7 p.m. at Chicago's Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus Ave. Registration for this session only is required. Contact Northwestern's Program of African Studies at (847) 491-7323 or e-mail african-studies@northwestern.edu for details.

The conference on “Aid, Governance and Development in Africa” brings together an A-list of experts in international development from Africa and the U.S., and reflects the international consensus regarding the importance of significantly increasing financial assistance to Africa.

“The time has also come for the American university community to join this global effort, especially by helping Africa rebuild its human and institutional capacities,” said Richard Joseph, director of Northwestern University's Program on African Studies.

The University's Program on African Studies and Center for International and Comparative Studies are sponsoring the conference with the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

For details about Chicago or Evanston locations and times of panels on institution building and development from an African perspective; governance and capacity building; development assistance; and lessons learned in the field about executing the "good governance agenda" or about participating panelists, visit the Program of African Studies' Web site at www.northwestern.edu/african-studies or call (847) 491-7323.

Topics: Campus Life