Executive vice-chairman, Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP), Dr. Tunji Olaopa, is the keynote speaker at the forthcoming 18th edition of the Africa Conference.
The Conference, which is an annual gathering of intellectuals from across the world would hold between March 30 to April 1st at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. This year’s theme is titled “Leadership and Institutions in Africa”.
The Conference, which will discuss and analyse thematic issues that are germane to the understanding of Africa and African diaspora is convened by Professor Toyin Falola, a renowned professor of History and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair Professor in the Humanities, and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Olaopa’s keynote is expected to interrogate the relationship between the factor of leadership and the structural imperatives of institutions as basis for understanding the decisional capacities of African leaders who are expected to pilot Africa into global economic competitiveness.
In accepting to give the keynote, Dr. Olaopa stated that this year’s theme is an area of his research focus and therefore a domain of scholarship and practice to which he has dedicated most of his intellectual and professional life, till date.
“This year’s Conference happens to be one to which I have dedicated my intellectual and professional life. It will therefore be a distinct honour and pleasure for me to share with scholars and policy makers at the conference, a number my reform ideas at the intersection of development, politics and institutional (dis)articulation in Africa. I sincerely hope that the insights I have garnered in my confrontation with the public service and governance institutions in Africa will sufficiently invigorate the deliberations and discussion at the conference”.
Furthermore, Olaopa indicated that his post-retirement reform platform; ISGPP, a nongovernmental think tank that is founded on the objective of making the government work better than it is presently doing through research, policy analysis and executive education, has also dedicated itself to a range of the concerns that the Texas African Conference sets as it’s objectives.
Highlights of the conference include the presentation of two hundred papers; the Banquet Address by Ms Ayisha Osori, Abuja-based lawyer and consultant; the announcement of winners of five awards, including the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Africanist Award, the Ali Mazrui Award for Research Excellence, the Barbara Harlow Prize; two dinner-dance parties, a tour of Austin, and a closing dinner. Ms. Florence Atiase who recently retired from the University of Texas at Austin will talk about her experience as a teacher at the University of Texas at Austin.