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Former President Mogae to Nigeria to deilver Inaugeral Claud...
18/02/11

His Excellency the Former President Mr. Festus G. Mogae travels to Nigeria tomorrow, Wednesday 16th February 2011, at the invitation of the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi. He has been invited as Guest Lecturer for the inaugural Claude Ake Memorial Lecture which will take place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday 18th February 2011.

Claude Ake was a professor of political economics and an international scholar born on 18th February 1939 in Rivers State. He was killed in an air crash on 7th November 1996 in Nigeria. He taught in universities in Nigeria, United States, Canada, Tanzania and Kenya. He held visiting research fellowships at Oxford, Cambridge and the Brookings Institution.
He was also a visiting Professor at Yale University.

Professor Ake was a prolific writer and socially-engaged scholar. Some of the books he authored include Revolutionary Pressures in Africa; Social Science as Imperialism: A Theory of Political Development; Democratization of Disempowerment in Africa; Democracy and Development in Africa; and The Feasibility of Democracy in Africa.

He was known for dedicating his scholarship primarily to the improvement of the condition of an average African. One of his arguments was that:
"Ordinary Africans do not separate political economy from economic democracy or for that matter from economic wellbeing. They see their political empowerment as an essential part of getting the economic agenda right at last and ensuring that development is managed better and its rewards evenly distributed."

Professor Ake's scholarship did not end with being radical, pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist, but also involved in critiquing African dictatorships including the military regimes of Nigeria. He commented in his writings on the disappointment of Africa's independence and poor governance.  "The foundation upon which Africa's democratic movement is based is the bitter disappointment of independent and post independent plans. Poor leadership and structural constraints have turned the high expectation of independence into painful disappointment forcing many African leaders to rely more on coercion which has deepened their alienation. But coercion and alienation have worsened the prospects of development leading to further coercion and alienation."

President Mogae's lecture topic will be "DOOM TO BOOM: RE-ENGINEERING THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RIVERS STATE FOR CITIZEN PROSPERITY: LESSONS FROM BOTSWANA."

He is expected to return Sunday 20th February 2011.

 

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