Former President Rupiah Banda has concludes residency at Boston University. During his residency, President Banda delivered a series of lectures in the United States, and also in Ghana, Tanzania, and South Africa, sharing his perspective and experiences as the Fourth President of Zambia with students, faculty, and public- and private-sector leaders.
In the final lecture of his residency in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, President Banda offered wise advice to democratic governments on the continent, saying:
“What people want are solutions, services, and accountability. They have no use for ideology, no attraction to the anger and attacks, and no patience for incompetence. The message I am hearing from so many young people, not only in Africa, but around the world and particularly in places I have been to under the African Presidential Center lecture series, this year, is that they are ready to work together, united, to pursue pragmatic solutions to social problems, and the problems they face—namely unemployment. And this is precisely the difference between governance and government: the embracing of democracy as a tool to facilitate cooperation rather than only perpetuate competition.”
President Banda also participated in the 2012 African Presidential Roundtable, an annual forum hosted by the African Presidential Center, which brings together former heads of state and government, public and private sector leaders, and students and faculty from APC’s American-African Universities Collaborative. In 2012, President Banda was joined by his colleagues, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania, President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde, President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, President Amani Abeid Karume of Zanzibar, President Nicéphore Soglo of Benin, and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.
President Banda served as the Eighth President-in-Residence at Boston University’s African Presidential Center, and his residency ran from March-November, 2012. As part of his residency, President Banda also visited schools and universities that are part of the African Presidential Center’s American-African Universities Collaborative, including Morehouse College, Elizabeth City State University, the University of Dar es Salaam, and the University of Ghana, Legon.
As President-in-Residence, President Banda follows such notables as former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, President Q. Ketumile Masire, former president of Botswana, President Antonio Monteiro, former president of Cape Verde, and Mo Ibrahim prize-winner President Festus Gontebanye Mogae, former president of Botswana.
The African President-in-Residence program is an initiative of the African Presidential Center at Boston University and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The African Presidential Center has taken an unprecedented approach to studying democratization and free-market reform in Africa.
Through this residency program for former democratically elected African leaders, the African Presidential Center provides a forum for sharing the insights and expertise of past and present heads of state and government.
The African Presidential Center’s other initiatives include its internationally renowned African Leaders State of Africa Report, as well as its annual policy forum, the African Presidential Roundtable.