Good governance in Africa is focus of August conference

Contact: Margaret von Steinen
Map of Africa

International Conference on African Development Aug. 14-16

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Pressing issues African states face in terms of sustainable development will bring scholars and policy-makers from around the globe to Western Michigan University for a conference Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 14-16.

The eighth International Conference on African Development will be held in Brown Hall on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo and is free of charge for academics, policymakers, investors, donors, students and the general public. It will feature a keynote presentation along with the presentation of some 30 papers.

Participants will be coming from across the United States, as well from nations such as Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Somalia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

This year's theme is "The Challenges of Good Governance and Leadership for Sustainable Development in African States."

"Sustainable development and democratic good governance remain the greatest challenges for Africa in the 21st century," says conference director Dr. Sisay Asefa, a WMU professor of economics and director of the University's Center for African Development Policy Research.

"The conference provides an independent forum where people can freely discuss their research and views regarding democratic governance to promote sustainable development for all African nations."

Conference details

Keynote presentation

The keynote presentation will be given at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, in 2028 Brown Hall by Professor Mammo Muchie from the Shwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa. His program is titled "Innovating Sustainable Governance in Africa: Removing Persistent Social Capital and Institutional Deficits."

Muchie's research interests are focused on African politics and the role played by technology in building systems of governance. He is widely published and has taught and conducted research at various universities in the United States and Europe. He also serves as chair of the Network of Ethiopian Scholars established in 2001.

Registration and check-in

This year, the conference fees have been waived for all attendees, including students and the public. On-site registration and check-in will take place in Brown Hall's front lobby from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15-16.

The conference is being sponsored by the WMU Center for African Development Policy Research, numerous academic and administrative units at the University, and several other organizations.

For more information or to register, visit Contact Dr. Sisay Asefa with questions at or (269) 387-5556.