The African Presidential Center at Boston University is an unprecedented and unique approach to studying democratization and free market reform in Africa. Through a residency program for former democratically elected Africa leaders and access to their papers, and through access to present democratically elected leaders, the Center provides a forum for them to share and a venue for others to benefit from their insights and expertise. The Center offers an exceptional opportunity to see the present phase of Africa’s development through the eyes of the “architects of that change.” The Center also serves as a setting for policy debates and deliberations on democratization and free market reform in Africa.
Africa is undergoing a profound period of change. In the 1950s and 60s, that change was from colonization to independence. In the 1990s and into this century, the change is equally profound. The change is the trend toward democratic and free market reform. The Center’s role is to chronicle this phase in Africa’s development, encourage a multidisciplinary approach to teaching about Africa, and establish a forum for African leaders to engage other political, business, academic, and public sector leaders regarding Africa’s global relationships.