2007 Forum: Eyes on Africa

On Saturday, February 24th, 2007, the IRC hosted a campus-wide, all-day forum on the future of Africa, which culminated in an address by former Somalian Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galaydh. Read on for more information.

The IRC is excited to invite you to our completely student-organized forum entitled "Eyes on Africa: Voices of Today, Visions of Tomorrow," Saturday, February 24th.

The forum will begin with a light brunch at the Hill Lounge at 10:00 a.m. and then move to Skinner Memorial Chapel for opening remarks, student panel discussions, and speakers at 10:30 a.m. An Ethiopian celebratory dinner will be held in Great Hall beginning at 5:00 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The forum will feature three faculty-moderated student panels. They will address the Ethics of Aid and Development at 11:00 a.m., Inter-ethnic Conflict at 1:30 p.m., and the Environment and Development at 3:30 p.m.

The first speaker of the day will be Professor Ahmed Samatar of Macalester College, who will present at 12:00 p.m. Professor Samatar is the James Wallace Professor of International Studies at Macalester as well as the Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship, which is dedicated to the idea that "global citizenship begins at home, with a commitment to live responsibly, to regard all human beings as fellow citizens, and to be proactive in seeking the common good." Professor Samatar received his doctorate from the University of Denver and is an expert in the areas of global political economy, political and social theory, and African development. He is also the author/editor of five books and more than thirty articles, including The State in Africa: Reconsiderations. Professor Samatar is also the founding editor-in-chief of Bildhaan, the international journal of Somali studies. A Fulbright Fellow, he has been awarded grants by the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the United States Institute for Peace, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, and the St. Paul Foundation.

The second speaker of the day will be Hugh Parmer, and will take place at 2:30 p.m. Hugh Parmer currently serves as President of the American Refugee Committee(ARC), a Minnesota-based international relief agency which operates humanitarian relief operations in 12 countries around the world. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Parmer worked for the Clinton Administration in Washington as Assistant Administrator for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Humanitarian Response, where he led major U.S. humanitarian relief operations required by the Kosovo war, Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and Nicaragua, and famine relief in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The ARC works with refugees, displaced people, and those at risk to help them survive crises and rebuild lives of dignity, security, and self sufficiency, and is currently providing aid in Africa, the Balkans, and Asia. His talk, entitled, "Hope and Opportunity in Africa: A Humanitarian Perspective," will draw on his experience working with relief organizations.

Robert Telchin of U.S. Department of Commerce and Carleton College class of 1999 will be the third speaker of the day. Mr. Telchin serves as the International Trade Specialist for eight Southern and Eastern African countries at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he works closely with American companies attempting to overcome trade and investment barriers in Africa, as well as with African businesses seeking to strengthen their competitiveness and commercial ties with the United States. He also is an advisor on policy issues affecting U.S.-Africa trade, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act or (AGOA). Mr. Telchin was the Acting Economic and Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi in 2006 and the Acting Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004. From 1999 to 2003, he was the lead Research Analyst at the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), a trade organization of nearly 200 American companies dedicated to enhancing U.S.-A frica commercial relations. Mr. Telchin received his B.A. in History from Carleton in 1999. He studied for a semester at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa and wrote his senior comprehensive thesis on Early 20th Century Black South African Soccer.

The keynote speaker at the evening's dinner will be Professor Ali Khalif Galaydh, former Prime Minister and one-time Minister of Industry of Somalia and current faculty member at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. In the mid-1960s, Professor Galaydh was an official with the Somali Ministry of the Interior with the last democratically-elected Somali government. During the 1970s, he headed two large sugar operations before being appointed minister of industry in 1980. For six months in 2000, Professor Galaydh and hundreds of others Somalis participated in a Somali National Peace Conference in the city of Arta in the Republic of Djibouti. Six-hundred and fifty delegates, Professor Galaydh among them, drafted a National Charter based on Somalia's 1960 Constitution, which enshrined the rule of law, decentralized democratic self-governance, human rights, and a market-led economy. The assembly of the delegates then selected a 245-member Parliament, and, with the strong support of Parliament, Galaydh was invited to become Prime Minister in September 2000 and served until December 2001. Professor Galaydh received his doctorate from Syracuse University and taught public administration and international relations at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University from 1989 to 1996.

Mr. Telchin and Professor Galaydh will speak at 5:00 during a celebratory dinner in Great Hall. The dinner will be catered by Dashen, an Ethiopian restaurant in St. Paul.

For more information and disability accommodations, please contact the Carleton College Campus Activities Office at (507) 222-4499 or Assistant Director of the Carleton College International Relations Council Andrew Ladner at (952) 484-7258.

This event is generously sponsored by: Alumni Affairs, the Career Center, CSA, Dean of the College, Department of African/African American Studies, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, EthIC, International Student Programs, Off-Campus Studies, and the Office of Intercultural Life


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14 February 2007