Africa Development: Whose Ownership?

Date: 3/29/2010
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00am
Location: The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, 2nd Fl.
295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604  map

After centuries of colonization and imposed miracle solutions that were to save developing nations, the importance of ownership in development cannot be overstated. However, the question of “whose ownership” is far from straightforward. With millions of Africans spread across the globe from China to Australia to the United States, Africa is no longer limited to the physical boundaries of the continent. Many young Africans whose parents have left in search of a better future are now faced with the question of who will help develop Africa. What does ownership in development mean? Is development a shared responsibility? Or is it the responsibility of Africans? Does it include the Diaspora? What can the Diaspora do?

How can we increase the role of Diaspora in African development? Who are the other actors and what role should they play? What is the role of African people and how can that be enhanced?

Panelists include:
Ambassador Joy Mukanyange – Former Ambassador to Rwanda. Ms. Mukanyange is now working as Rwanda representative to UNEP. She has been a very strong advocate of women's rights in Rwanda and promoted girl’s education during her time as president of the Rwanda Association of University Women. She speaks about the need for the international community to recognize and encourage Rwanda's ability to rebuild itself as a nation rather than be eternally reliant on aid.

Andrew Garza – Founder and Director of Titaguya Schools in Ghana. Titagya Schools is a nonprofit organization that creates new early educational opportunities in Northern Ghana. Mr. Garza’s organization builds and operates pre-schools and kindergartens and will administer a scholarship program for children in the region.

Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa, Esq. – Professor and Managing Partner of Hoja Law Group.  Muna is also the Founder and Executive Director of Transitional Trade.  Hoja Law Group is specialized in assisting investors doing business in and/or investing in Africa.  She has participated in the rebranding of several countries, advising African companies as well as mentoring many African entrepreneurs.  Additionally, in the promotion of investment and good economic an corporate governance in Africa, Jacqueline is the Senior Associate with the African European Affairs Consulting group, which advises clients investing and doing business in Africa. Lastly, she has been an adjunct professor of International Law at Central Michigan University, Sociopolitics and Economics of Africa at Drexel University and Business Law at Briarcliffe College.

Ambassador Isaiah Z. Chabala – served from 1995-2000 as Zambian Ambassador to the European Union and, concurrently, to Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. He previously served as Ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations(1992-95). Currently Ambassador Chabala is president and chief executive officer of Visionary Consulting Associates, New York, which specializes in sustainable and community-based development issues including poverty alleviation, gender equality, education and empowerment of women and girls, participatory interventions, and microfinance services. He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and French from the University of Zambia, Lusaka, and a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University, School of International Affairs.


Nancy Barton –  Clinical Associate Professor of Art and Art Education: Department Chair, New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Director of the Undergraduate Program and a practicing artist who works in photography, performance, and mixed media installation. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the MoMA (New York), the Long Beach Museum, and the Shoshana Wayne Gallery (Los Angeles). Her interests include feminism, post-colonial theory, and Psychoanalysis.