Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Lansine Kaba speaks at USIP forum on Guinea
Dr Lansiné Kaba
The Center for International Policy and Innovation (CIPI) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) held a joint event to discuss the challenges and prospects for Guinea's democratic transition featuring Dr. Lansiné Kaba, Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University’s Qatar campus. The panel discussion was hosted at USIP's offices November 2, 2010. View photos from this event.
Winner of the prestigious Herskovits Award given by the African Studies Association to scholarly work on Africa published in English, Dr. Kaba is the author of many works on Guinea, Islam and politics in Africa.
In the years since independence in 1958, Guinea's history has been one of political intimidation, harassment, and oppression. Despite Guinea's adoption of multiparty politics in 1993, the country's democratic transition never effectively took place. Now, after the death of President Lansana Conté and the end of the transitional military-led administration, many argue that Guinea has a chance to finally embark on a democratic transition. Certainly, the international community has focused on the elections as the conclusion of the political crisis in Guinea and the launching of a new democratic transition. However, as the second round of the elections revealed, there are severe institutional weaknesses, deeply rooted mistrust between political parties, and divisive ethnic grievances that Guinea must overcome. What governing challenges does Guinea face? How can ethnic tensions and grievances be successfully managed? What role can civil society play in consolidating the democratic transition? How can the international and regional stakeholders effectively ensure the success of the democratic transition?
CIPI partnered with Dr. Dorina Bekoe, Senior Research Associate for Africa in the USIP Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, to bring Dr. Kaba to Washington to participate in the forum. Bekoe opened the proceedings, which were chaired by Dr. Jendayi Frazer, CIPI Director, and featured remarks by Kaba and by Mr. William Fitzgerald, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
The discussants spoke about the second round of presidential balloting in Guinea, which had just been postponed again days prior to the forum. The panelists considered the challenges facing the future president in transitioning Guinea to democracy and the U.S. government’s policy toward Guinea.
Separately, CIPI partnered with the H. John Heinz III College Washington, DC, to host a Meet and Greet for Carnegie Mellon alums in the Washington area to meet Dr. Kaba, learn about his research, and the CMU Qatar campus in Doha’s Education City.
- Listen to the audio of the event at USIP's website