African Day: Institute Set To Host Int’l Conference On Pan-Africanism At Uyo Varsity In May  

African Day: Institute Set To Host Int’l Conference On Pan-Africanism At Uyo Varsity

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A civil society think tank, known as The Pan African Dialogue Institute (TPADI), will between May 23 and 26, 2024 host its first international conference on “Dialogue and Pan Africanism,” as part of its programmes scheduled for this year’s African Day celebration by the institute.

Leaders of the then 32 independent African States had on 25 May 1963  signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which brought the Organization of African Unity AU) into existence. 39 years later in 2002, the OAU established its own successor, the African Union, and adopted May 25 every year as International African Day to celebrate the continent and highlight her continued struggle against neocolonialism, exploitation and adversity.

TPADI, conceived in 2016 and began in 2021, is focused on the propagation of Pan-Africanism.  It is organising its maiden international conference and formal launch of the Institute at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, where it is domiciled.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, TPADI president, Dr. Effiong Joseph Udo, said the international conference is being organised in collaboration with the Centre for Deep Dialogue and Critical Thinking, Directorate of International Programmes and Faculties of Arts, Law, Social Sciences, and Communication and Media Studies of the University of Uyo.

African Day: Institute Set To Host Int’l Conference On Pan-Africanism At Uyo Varsity In May
Dr Effiong Joseph Udo

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Highlighting what Pan-Africanism is all about, Dr Udo cited the African Union’s definition which says it is “an ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide.” He pointed out that this is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to ‘unify and uplift’ people of African descent. “From the early days of Pan Africanism till today, the advocacy for the unity, solidarity, and empowerment of people of African descent worldwide continues to be a potent force driving discussions on identity, liberation, and socio-political progress of the continent and its people,” he noted.

He stated that since the adoption of 25 May as International African Day, only nine African countries (The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) are known to observe the day as a public holiday with celebrations, while 46 other countries, including Nigeria “are less aware of this very important day.” “In this regard, TPADI makes it possible for Nigeria to celebrate Africa Day, for the first time ever,” he declared.

Udo disclosed that Patrick Otieno  Lumumba, a Kenyan lawyer and African activist, will be the keynote speaker at the conference, while plenary speakers will include Prof. Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha (DR Congo/USA), Prof. Mary Nyangweso (Kenya/USA), Prof. Emmanuel Akpabio (Nigeria), Amb. Daniel Guttierez (Rep. of Belize). Others are Prof. Joseph Ushie (Nigeria), Dr. Donatus Ukpong (Nigeria), and Prof. Chris Ekong (Nigeria). Others are Prof. Peter Esu (Nigeria), Dr. Jean-Louis Ikambana (USA), Prof. Aniekan Brown (Nigeria), Prof. Mojisola Iseyin (Nigeria), Prof. Gabriel Umoh (Nigeria), Dr. Ubong Essien Umoh (Nigeria), among others.

African Day: Institute Set To Host Int’l Conference On Pan-Africanism At Uyo Varsity In May

He stated that “The conference seeks to provide informed Pan-Africanist perspectives on a wide range of issues affecting Africa and its people everywhere in the world,” and called for presenters to explore the trajectories of development in the continent from the lens of Pan-Africanism.

Explaining further the thematic framework of the conference and what it intends to achieve the University Don said: “It will be interesting to probe the different approaches, theories, philosophies or ideologies that have been adopted at community, national and continental levels by key players to drive developmental efforts.

“How much have the indigenous knowledge systems and practices been embraced or discarded in propelling the continent towards genuine freedom and development? The transformation of the lingering social, political, and economic impasse in the continent requires the critical evaluation of African scholars and professionals toward the achievement of stability, peace, and freedom as envisioned in the 2063 Agenda of the African Union.”

He also revealed other distinguished personalities from within and outside Nigeria that will attend the event including former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (to be chairman of the occasion), former Vice President of Republic of The Gambia, Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang, Vice President of Colombia, Francia Margue, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, and Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Prof. Ndaeyo, and many others.

According to him, Governor Eno will lay the foundation for the International Headquarters of the Institute at the University of Uyo.

“There will be speeches, fairs, cultural displays, and other events on Africa Day,” he added.

He thanked the University of Uyo Vice Chancellor and his Management team “for embracing the study of Pan-Africanism, and supporting the hosting of the conference.”

“My expectation is that with the hosting of the international conference and the launch of the institute, Nigeria will not only join to keep alive the intellectual dimension of Pan Africanism, but also become a major player in championing the struggle for unity, human and environmental dignity, self-determination and cultural renaissance that are needed for the genuine development and prosperity of the African people worldwide,” he further stated.

 

 

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