What is the African Presidential Center?

The African Presidential Center might be a small organization on Boston University’s campus, but it acts on a global scale. The former US Ambassador to Tanzania, Charles Stith, began this organization with the intent to chronicle and facilitate developmental growth in Africa. The Center works with fifteen democratic African countries: Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Throughout the year the Center focuses on five major programs that offer particularly unique insights into contemporary trends and developments in Africa. With the President-in-Residence program, a former democratically elected African head of state takes up residence at Boston University and speaks at various venues throughout the United States. The Public Papers/Private Conversations Project is an oral and documentary history project focusing on current trends and development in Africa. The African Leaders State of Africa Report is comprised of reports presenting the perspectives of select African heads of state relative to their respective countries and regions. It is an annual report that allows us to disseminate the African point of view to those presently involved in creating policy and shaping opinions about Africa. The African Presidential Roundtable is a gathering of former African heads of state, policy makers, and public sector leaders. Discussants come together on a yearly basis to deliberate on issues of growth and development as they pertain to the continent. The APC American – African Universities Collaborative is a partnership between the Center, HBCUs, and African Universities that is designed to provide students at partnering institutions to the full range of APC programs.

The role of the African Presidential Center goes beyond these five programs in a number of yearly events and outreaches. Throughout the year various research initiatives are taken on by interns in an effort to further understand the change in Africa. Interns also focus on bringing awareness and increasing discussion both on campus and globally.

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