GSPIA Scholars Cohosts Conference on Sustainable Development in Africa
By Danielle Loustau-Williams
The Ford Institute for Human Security and the African Studies Program co-hosted a conference entitled, “Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa” on March 29 – 30, 2012 at the University Club. The two-day event was supported by the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). Panels included Millennium Development Goals; Health and Environmental Sustainability; Educational Sustainability; Governance, Conflict Mitigation and Development; and Gender Equity.
The conference opened with keynote speaker, Mr. Clive Mutunga, a senior research associate at Population Action International. Mr. Mutunga lectured on the under-appreciated importance of population dynamics in understanding climate change and sustainable development.
Several GSPIA scholars presented their ongoing research. On the panel for gender equity, Peace Medie (PhD candidate) presented her dissertation research on policy implementation in post-conflict African states. Patrick Freeman (MPIA ’09) presented on power, elections and women in Africa. Dr. Müge Finkel presented on gender development and gender empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa.
Following this panel, Zachary Karazsia (MID ’12) presented a case study on Rwanda for the Governance, Conflict Mitigation and Development panel moderated by GSPIA Professor Dr. Taylor Seybolt. Alongside Zack, was Dr. Thomas Mogale (GSPIA PhD ‘95), who presented on local governance issues in South Africa. Prof. Mogale is currently the Director of the Graduate School of Public and Development Management of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
While all the speakers made valuable contributions, GSPIA representatives were especially insightful, speaking eloquently and contributing to the depth and scope of their panel topics. Special recognition should also be given to GSPIA conference organizers, Hallie Powell (MPIA ’13), Nitsa Bucritz (MPPM’10), Kristin Frye (MID ’13), Diane Roth Cohen and Dr. Louis A. Picard, Director of the Ford Institute for Human Security, who worked very hard to put together a smooth and productive event. Generous funding from these sponsors made the conference possible: University Center for International Studies (UCIS), UCIS African Studies Program, UCIS Global Studies Center, School of Education’s Institute for International Studies in Education, University Honors College, Office of the Provost, Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies, and Ford Institute for Human Security.
For more information about the full agenda for the conference and abstracts of the research presented, visit: http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/africa/Conference2012/SDC.htm