Sustainable Development in Africa Conference Explores Continent’s Most Pressing Issues
On May 18th, Students for Africa and the Africa Center hosted the annual Sustainable Development in Africa Conference. This year's conference focused on the intersectionality between academic conversations around Africa and how cultures across the continent contribute to a diverse perspective and understanding of African Issues.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Ambassador Fred Ngoga-Gatereste. During his address, he discussed the future of Africa in the face of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Ambassador Ngoga-Gatereste highlighted Africa's agency when discussing the continent's opportunities and challenges in realizing its development goals.
The second sub-theme of the conference, "African International Politics and the Good Governance of Climate Change," featured Ms. Nyadak Pal, Professor Luka Powanga, and Professor Robert Uttaro in a panel moderated by Ph.D. candidate Susan Cossa. The panel brought together experts to discuss climate change governance in Africa. They explored rural community engagement, sustainable energy access, and women's roles in climate resilience.
In the next session, "Africa Rising: Innovative Solutions to African Issues," Professors Singumbe Muyeba, Jonathan Moyer, M.D. Kinoti and Ms. Fatou Doumbia shared insights on housing insecurity, poverty, data analysis, tea farming practices, rural women's empowerment, and local economies. The panel highlighted the significance of African-led solutions, the role of women in inclusive leadership, and the need to develop a more equitable monetary system.
The final panel of the day, "Africa & the Diaspora," invited Professors Trishula Patel and Suzanne Ghais, Mr. Niguisse Benyene, and Mr. Amsalu Kassaw, to a panel facilitated by Dr. H. Malcolm Newton, which explored the history, reach, and engagement of the African diaspora; including communities with diasporas on the African continent. The panel further examined the definition of the African Diaspora, including its historical and present impact.
The student focus and involvement in the event were a unique aspect of the conference. Throughout the day, 12 students from different universities in Colorado, Washington D.C., and Ghana showcased their research on various sustainability issues and potential solutions.
Korbel students Natalie Impraim and Lindsey Mandolini (now alumni) served in leadership roles and were instrumental in the organization and success of the event. While exciting to plan such an important conference, Impraim is grateful for the support she has received. She notes, "I am just so thankful to the entire SFA conference planning committee and our faculty advisors, Professors Singumbe Muyeba and Abigail Kabandula, for their unending support and encouragement throughout the process."