Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Press Release from Office of the Former President II - Mogae to Boston University as African President-in-Resident

Republic of Botswana (10/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President “Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

C12) 5/3/09: Press Release from Office of the Former President II - Mogae to Boston University as African President-in-Resident

His Excellency the Former President Mr. Festus G. Mogae will serve as the African Presidential Archives and Research Center’s Sixth African President-in-Residence from 9th March to end of May 2009 at Boston University in the United States. He leaves for the United States Monday 9th March 2009 - a day after returning from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he is expected to attend the inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa Advisory Board Friday and Saturday. He left for Addis Ababa this morning and returns Sunday 8 March 2009.

The African Presidents-in-Residence Program is an initiative of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) at Boston University. The Program, as the name implies, is an opportunity for former democratically-elected African leaders to spend up to two (2) years in residence at Boston University. It is designed to provide an opportunity for these former leaders to transition to civilian status by providing a venue that will value and utilize their experience and expertise. APARC’s work complements the mission of Boston University’s African Studies and African-American Studies programs.

The Center also provides residential opportunities for these leaders to write, lecture, and engage the university and the broader community on African issues and matters of interest relative to Africa. It is a repository for the interviews, writings, papers, and other documents obtained from democratically-elected leaders of Africa and others who have influenced the present phase of Africa’s development. It functions as a venue to examine, debate, and contribute to the development of current policy regarding Africa. Former and current heads of state, private and public sector leaders, and students, among others, have participated in policy discussions on topics such as attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), leadership, and land reform in Africa at APARC’s annual African Presidential Roundtable summits.

APARC Director and former US Ambassador to Tanzania, Charles R. Stith met with Mr. Mogae at his Phakalane Office recently to discuss his appointment as the Sixth African President-in-Residence. In his brief comments Ambassador Stith said: “Given the turn that we have seen in US-Africa relations, starting with President Clinton and AGOA and expanding under the Bush administration, as the Obama administration inaugurates its new era of engagement, a statesman of President Mogae’s stature can provide an interactive framework for American’s to understand the importance of engaging Africa in new ways.”

Mr. Mogae welcome his appointment: “I am both honored and excited to serve as the next APARC African President-in-Residence and bridge the distance between the United States and the African continent. I am looking forward to my time in Boston and am anxious to interact intellectually with the Boston University community.”

While at APARC he will reflect on issues of interest to him and also contribute to the broader policy discussions taking place in America about Africa. At the end of three months (end of May) Mr. Mogae will return home to attend to other engagements. He will return to the United States later in the year. Other former Africa leaders who have participated in the APARC program include Sir Ketumile Masire, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Ms Ruth Sando Perry of Liberia, Karl Auguste Offmann of Mauritius, and Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro of Cape Verde.

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