Foundation hosts international conference on strengthening democracy in Africa

From Felix Ikem, Nsukka

The Grace Uzoma Okonkwo Foundation (GUOF) is set to host International Conference to examine the extent at which African democracies is being practised with focus on deepening democracy and rule of law for the development of the continent.

Prof Florence Orabueze, the Founder and Board Chairman of the foundation disclosed this in Nsukka on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the forthcoming 4th international conference of the foundation.

She said that the conference theme, “Democracy and the Rule of Law in 21st Century Africa: A Multidisciplinary Reflection” would allow scholars and other participants from different universities across the country to interrogate and find out if what is practiced in Africa is really, liberal democracy as well as discuss how to promote rule of law under democratic governance in Africa.

“The Grace Uzoma Okonkwo Foundation in collaboration with the Department of English, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State will be hosting her 4th International conference with an opening ceremony on 11th May 2023 at Jerry Marriott Hotel, Nsukka.

“Presentation of papers in parallel sessions will be on Friday, 12th May 2023, while departure is on Saturday, 13th May 2023.

“Respect for Rule of law is the backbone of liberal democracy in developed countries but the critical question is, why is it that democracy practiced in Africa does not respect rule of law?

“These scholars from different universities and disciplines will provide answers why democracy practiced in Africa is not the same as that of developed countries of the world,” she said.

Orabueze, who was former Director, of the Institute of African Studies (IAS), UNN said further that Prof Aloysius Okolie, the Vice-Chancellor, of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) would be the keynote speaker, while Prof Gaji Dantata of Faculty of Education, Bayero University, Kano would be among Lead Paper presenters.

She disclosed also that Chief Nnia Nwodo, former president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo will chair the occasion with UNN Emeritus Professor El Anatusi as the Special Guest of Honour, while Prof Greg Nwakoby, Vice-Chancellor
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State would be the Chief Host

“HRH Igwe George Asadu, Traditional Ruler of Ihe-Owerre Nsukka community would be the Royal Father of the day, while some distinguished Nigerians who have done much to ensure peace in the country would be conferred with the Pillar of Peace award.

Also speaking, the Secretary Local Organising Committee (LOC) Dr Uche Okonkwo said the committee was working round the clock to ensure that scholars and dignitaries expected were present during the conference.

Okonkwo said that the outcome of the conference would make the public know what is wrong with democratic governments in Africa and how to change the narrative.

The GUO Foundation was Instituted by Prof. Orabueze in loving memory of her late mother Mrs. Grace Uzoma Okonkwo, who died in 1983 as a philanthropist, a lover of peace and education.

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