Click here to listen to the Panel Discussion Broadcast on Ethnic and Religious Conflicts in South Sudan, the CAR, the DRC and Nigeria: Encouraging Aspects within the Chaos.
This Panel Discussion Broadcast was hosted on the ICERM Radio program, “Let’s Talk About It“.
Date: Thursday, January 16 2014 at 7:30 pm in EST, New York.
Panel Discussion Moderator: Dr. Dianna Wuagneux.
Experts / Panelists:
- Mr. Modem Lawson-Betum
- Prof. John Mukum Mbaku
- Ambassador Shola J. Omoregie
- Chris Agiri JN Esq
- Prof. René Lemarchand
Every community, whether village or nation, is an expression of the consciousness of that community in that place and time. This consciousness affects the communities’ identity, perspectives, and so their interaction with each other and the outside world.
This week, we are honored to have an exceptional panel of experts whose knowledge and expertise can help bring a deeper understanding of the individual and collective consciousness at work breeding & feeding conflict in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria.
Within the chaos, even in the direst situations, there are adaptive strategies at play. There is an emergent thinking that is working; there are individuals and budding paradigms that hold promise.
In the next hour, we hope to gain new insights into that which offers us hope & inspires optimism for Africa.
Overarching questions: Where do these healthy strategies emerge from? What can we do to foster these ideas? Support these individuals? Nurture these adaptive paradigms?
Experts / Panelists
Mr. Modem Lawson-Betum
Modem Lawson-Betum is a former long-serving diplomat from Togo, and a former Senior Political Adviser and Head of West Africa Team at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. He served the Universal Organization for nearly twenty years, in various capacities and assignments, including participation in UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast); as well as in UN-supported peace-building and mediation efforts in Guinea Bissau, Guinea, The Gambia and Côte d’Ivoire. Before separating from the UN, he served from November 2011 to September 2012 as Principal Adviser at the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Abyei is a tiny disputed area located on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Under the UN Security Council resolution 1990 of 27 June 2011, UNISFA was mandated to assist the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan in implementing their 20 June 2011 Agreement which was meant to help find a suitable solution to their territorial dispute over Abyei.
Prof. John Mukum Mbaku
John Mukum Mbakuis Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, and former (1986-2007) Associate Editor (Africa), Journal of Third World Studies. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. and an Attorney and Counselor at Law, licensed to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Utah and the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. He received the Ph.D. (economics) from the University of Georgia and the J.D. (law) and the Graduate Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Utah State Bar, Davis County (Utah) Bar Association, Utah Minority Bar Association, Southern Economic Association, Association of Third World Studies, Association of Private Enterprise Education, and a Resource Person for the Nairobi (Kenya)-based, African Economic Research Consortium. His research interests are in public choice, constitutional political economy, sustainable development, law and development, international human rights, intellectual property, rights of indigenous groups, trade integration, and institutional reforms in Africa. He has published quite prodigiously in many of the aforementioned areas in the form of books, articles and book chapters. His most recent books are Culture and Customs of Cameroon (Greenwood Press, 2005); Multiparty Democracy and Political Change: Constraints to Democratization in Africa (Africa World Press, 2006), co-edited with Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere; and Corruption in Africa: Causes, Consequences, and Cleanups (Lexington Books, 2010).
Ambassador Shola J. Omoregie is the former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) from 2006 – 2008. He is founder and President of Africa Peace Support, LLC, an international consulting firm. He retired from the United Nations in December 2008, having had a dedicated and distinguished service at the United Nations Secretariat spanning over three decades – 1978 – 2008. From 1978 – 1983, he served in Botswana as the first Resident Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia. He subsequently served in various capacities at the United Nations, including as Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia in Angola (1988-1990); Secretary of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (1992-1994); and Chief of Branch of the UN Security Council Charter Research Branch. He is the author of a new book, Witness to Transformation – My Years at the United Nations and publisher of Africa Peace and Security Monitor, a quarterly political and security analytical newsletter.
Chris Agiri JN Esq
Chris Agiri is the Director General and Founder of The Flag Foundation of Nigeria. With deep sense of patriotism and Nigerian nationalism, he believes that Nigerian national flag is the best object to be used in attracting the attention of Nigerians to wake up and answer the solemn call of nation building. A graduate of philosophy from the University of Lagos, Chris also holds Diploma Certificates in Marketing and Banking & Finance from UNILAG and a professional Diploma from The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria. Mr Agiri is most likely the only Nigerian internationally recognized Vexillologist. [Vexillology, is the historical and sciencific study of flags and banners. It is concerned with research into the origin, meaning and significance of flags throughout the millennia right down to the present day]. He is presently a Law Student with NOUN. He sits on the Board of several companies and organizations.
Prof. René Lemarchand
René Lemarchand is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He has written extensively on the history and politics of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. His book on RWANDA AND BURUNDI (1970), received the Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association. His latest works include THE DYNAMICS OF VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL AFRICA (2009) and an edited volume on FORGOTTEN GENOCIDES: OBLIVION, DENIAL AND MEMORY (2012). He served as regional advisor on governance and democracy with USAID, first in Abidjan (1992-1996) and then in Accra (1996-1998). He served as visiting lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, Brown University, Smith College, Concordia University (Montreal) and the Universities of Helsinki, Copenhagen, Bordeaux and Antwerp.