Tshepo Annual General Meeting - Thursday October 3, 2013
On October 3th 2013, the Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) in the Research and Academic Centre of the Laurier Brantford campus. The event was held in two parts, with a day and evening event.
The first part of the event opened with welcoming remarks by Dr. Bruce Arai (Dean, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Brantford). Dr. Magnus Mfoafo M'Carthy (Associate Director, Tshepo Institute) introduced guest speaker Dr. Cynthia Sottie (Director, Department of Social Work, University of Ghana) who delivered a keynote address entitled “Juggling School and Work: Challenges to Attaining Basic Education in Ghana”. In this presentation, she described the consequences of various social and economic issues that pertained to Ghanaian children. Her talk was eye-opening; such was embodied by the abundance of inquiries and lively discussions during the question period. Dr. Sottie's presentation can be found here.
Dr. Robert Ame (Director, Tshepo Institute) presented the Institute’s Annual Report and Plans for the new term, which showed promising successes and goals. It was followed by engaging dialogue on the future direction of the institute.
The meeting also included the inaugural presentation of the Harriet Tubman Award of Excellence (on Human Rights and Leadership), presented by Dr. Peter Farrugia (Co-Founder, Tshepo Institute) to student Sally Simpson, for her paper, entitled “Child Domestic Servitude in Ghana”.
With remarks by Ms. Sally Gray (Director, Office of Research Services, WLU) and a vote of thanks to the Keynote speaker by Dr. Lamine Diallo (Co-Founder, Tshepo Institute), the afternoon portion of the AGM was concluded.
The second part of the event welcomed keynote speaker Dr. James Orbinski, CIGI Research Chair in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, former International President of Médécins Sans Frontières, and now a fellow at the Tshepo Institute (further biographic information found on the Advisory Board page). His keynote address was titled “Africa, Equity, and Global Health”; it was an enriching and thought-provoking talk that included descriptions of his own experiences in Africa, as well as the inadequate health standards he had seen populations become accustomed to. He also discussed the health impacts of global warming, the subject of his book “An Imperfect Offering”. The audience received insightful and inspirational responses from Dr. Orbinski during the question and answer period. At the end, Dr. Orbinski received a standing ovation from the audience, a testament to the highly notable speaker and his address.