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Nigerian Emir speaks at African Leadership Day

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2004) -- Students, faculty and African leaders will gather at Ohio University to discuss the environment for leadership for African Leadership Day on Sept. 24. African Leadership Day will feature an interactive workshop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Bentley Hall, room 233, followed by a keynote address by His Royal Highness A. Bashir Albishir Bukar, emir of Machina, Yobe State, Nigeria.

Nigerian Emir A. Bashir Albishir BukarHe will speak on "Traditional Rulership in Nigeria: Facing the Reality" at 3:10 p.m. in Bentley Hall, room 124. The emir earned his bachelor's degree in education and French and a master's degree in public administration at the University of Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria. He worked as a teacher, school headmaster and civil servant before being named emir.

"We have established African Leadership Day to both recognize and discuss the great contributions of our current students to African progress and to celebrate the leadership demonstrated by our special guest, the Emir of Machina," said Steve Howard, director of African Studies and the Institute for the African Child. "Nana Kwaku Owusu-Kwarteng, the organizer of African Leadership Day and an Ashanti chief in his own right, has been our student and friend over the past 10 years, so this day has been declared in his honor as well."

African Leadership Day is sponsored by the Institute for the African Child to provide participants the opportunity to learn and engage in dialogue about topics of leadership for education, health and the environment; leadership development; and developing leadership skills for women in rural areas. A panel of three speakers and a facilitator will lead an hour-long interactive presentation on each of the three topic areas.

"Leadership for African development is a major theme for African Studies at Ohio University so this is a great way to begin a new academic year," said Howard.

"One of the strengths of our program is the varied experience and background of the students we bring in," said Nana Owusu-Kwarteng, assistant director of the Institute for the African Child. He hopes that the African Leadership Day will allow those who have held leadership positions in Africa to share their experiences and that others will have the opportunity to learn alongside the African leaders.

Ohio University's African Studies Program is a designated Title VI National Resource Center for Africa supported by U.S. Department of Education funding. As such the program provides students, scholars and members of the broader community opportunities to develop their understanding of this important world region. Since 2002 Ohio University has been building partnerships in Nigeria through a grant from the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development (ALO). These Institutional Partnerships in Higher Education for International Development grants are meant to mobilize the resources of American higher education in support of international development cooperation. Through these partnerships in Nigeria faculty and staff from Ohio University have established a relationship with the Emir of Machina, who serves an area where their recent work has been focused.

African Leadership Day is free and open to the public. For more information contact Nana Owusu-Kwarteng at 597-1368 or owusu-kw@ohio.edu.  

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Media Contact: Institute for the African Child Assistant Director Nana Owusu-Kwarteng, (740) 597-1368 or owusu-kw@ohio.edu

Editors: Speakers will be available for interviews during African Leadership Day. A photo of the emir is available at www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/EMIR.JPG

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