Mahama To Speak At Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum In New York

President John Mahama will deliver the maiden Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum Lecture at Bard College in New York, USA. A statement released by the organising committee of the Forum said the lecture, scheduled to take place on December 10, 2013, is intended to discuss the challenges facing Africa, in keeping with the life and works of the late renowned novelist who died early this year. The theme for the event, ‘Africa’s future: Hopes and impediments’, is believed to be inspired by Achebe’s commitment to peace, progress and development of the continent. The statement said that immediately after the lecture, there will be a symposium, which will focus on the role of women in the development and democratization of Africa, with Mahama and four others as panelists. This year’s lecture is sponsored by the Bard College President’s Office, Bard College Centre for International Affairs and Civic Engagement, the Achebe Centre at Bard and the Chinua Achebe Foundation. The Foundation was established by the novelist in the early 1990s. Chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, it has, from inception, worked tirelessly to promote peace in Africa through the arts. It has showcased the continent’s complex cultural heritage to the world while making efforts to recapture the lost components of fine African art, literature and languages. Apart from his literary exploits, Achebe earned a reputation as a leading critic of corruption and bad leadership in Nigeria. He wrote extensively about racial and ethnic bigotry and left behind a reputation as one who lived as a formidable advocate for the poor and less privileged, as well as the voiceless in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. While he was the editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series, it served as a vehicle for the promotion of a body of African literature produced by a whole generation of African writers, including Wole Soyinka, John Bekederemo-Clark, Christopher Okigbo, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, Nuruddin Farah, Buchi Emecheta and Okot p’Bitek, to name a few.