Kevin Njabo, UCLA Center for Tropical Research, will present a lecture on the Congo Basin Institute's multi-institutional initiative to work with Africans to find their own solutions to their own challenges.
Africa is blessed with natural resources and such abundance is usually considered the blessing for the countries that own such resources. However, Africa's rich natural resource endowment has long been at the heart of both the continent's many violent conflicts and its hopes for prosperity. The resources ranging from farmland and forests to the oil reserves, mineral deposits and its waters have been the subject of endless research, fierce debates, brutal conflicts, novels, and movies. Still most sub Saharan Africans live below the poverty line and the lack of adequate legal standards and safeguards coupled with weak government oversight and poor implementation of existing laws, have left vulnerable rural communities unprotected and uninformed.
Empowerment is key and as part of our program to build a sustainable Africa together, the University of California Los Angeles and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture are leading a multi-institutional initiative to develop the Congo Basin Institute (CBI) - a stable base where Africans can train in partnership with westerners, but working on their own solutions to their own challenges. Could this be an example of the way forward to look at the paradox of natural resources? At least we know that if appropriate steps are not taken, the development of Africa's bountiful, natural resources will continue to do harm rather than good.
Pay-by-space and all-day ($12) parking available in lot 3.
Cost : Free and open to the public