Columbia University Presents

The 7th Annual African Diplomatic Forum

The New Frontier of African Leadership

Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) presents the 7th Annual African Diplomatic Forum (ADF) to be held at SIPA on Friday November 22nd, 2013 from 9:00AM to 6:00PM.

This conference will focus on how the nature of African leadership across the public, private and, non profit sectors and the different industries and levels of government among them is changing in response to these new challenges and opportunities.

Keynote Speakers for the Conference:

  • George Ayittey – Founder and President, Free Africa Foundation; Africa Specialist; and Author of Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2004) 

  • Colin ColemanHead of Investment Banking, Sub-Saharan Africa, Goldman Sachs


In addition to keynote speeches, ADF will provide attendees with a variety of engaging and interactive panels, including:


Panel 1: Bridging the Gap: Fostering Investment in African Infrastructure


  • Moderator: Akbar Noman, Senior Fellow, Initiative for Policy Dialogue; and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Thiam, Founding Partner and CEO, Thiam & Co; and Former Minister of Mining, Energy and Hydraulics, Republic of Guinea
  • Joel Moser, Partner and Head, Energy & Infrastructure Group of Kaye Scholer LLP; and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Mark Rosenberg, Senior Analyst for Africa, The Eurasia Group
  • Jamal Saghir, Director, Sustainable Development Department, Africa Region, World Bank


Panel 2: New Media, New Voices: The Impact of New Media on Society and Good Governance


  • Moderator: Anya Schiffrin, Director, Journalism Training Programs, Initiative for Policy Dialogue; and Director, International Media, Advocacy, and Communications Specialization, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
  • Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, Founder and Managing Online Director,
  • Karen Attiah, Freelance Journalist, Blogger, and Consultant, World Bank (SIPA Graduate, 2012)
  • Dayo Olopade, Journalist and Writer, The New Republic, Slate, Dailybeast; and Knight Law and Media Scholar, Yale University
  • Erika Rodrigues, Social Marketing and Branding Specialist,


Panel 3: Human Rights, Law, and Building African Capacities for Justice


  • Mahmood Mamdani, Director, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University, Uganda; and Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, and Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
  • Tseliso Thipanyane, Adjunct Lecturer, Columbia University Law School; and Former CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission


Panel 4: Women as Catalysts of Change in the African Development Story


  • Moderator: Sara Minard, Socio-economist and Lecturer-in-Discipline of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Farai Gundan, Co-founder, and Contributor, Forbes USA, Forbes Africa, Forbes Women Africa, Forbes Life Africa
  • Mpule K. Kwelagobe, Managing Director, Pula Agriculture Fund; Founder, MPULE Institute for Endogenous Development; and President of Botswana-based MPULE Foundation
  • Katie Meyler, Founder, More than Me (MTM)MTM gets girls off the street and off to school in one of the poorest slums in Liberia.
  • Macintosh Johnson, Program Coordinator, More than Me, Liberia
  • H.E Dr. Hadja Saran Daraba Kabba, First woman secretary-general of the four-nation Mano River Union (The Mano River Union, which comprises Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, was established in 1973 with the objective of promoting regional integration along economic lines).


The forum will conclude with a networking session. Registration is open via our website (

Sponsors of ADF 2013 include: Arik Air, Columbia University Institute of African Studies


Website & Registration:

Email: [email protected]



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