June 17th – Achebe Day

Achebe Day


This segments takes a deeper look at Prof. Chinua Achebe’s remarks of Africa as People instead of lab rats during the 25th year of the Organization for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) and where he found himself, a writer, among world economists and bankers and was yielded the floor to speak. Africa is not fiction. Africa is people, real people” was his response to the magic bullet, structural adjustment, the experts prescribed as one of the solutions, which further grinded countries like Nigeria into poverty and long-range instability. He noted corruption, which includes expatriation of funds at the root of Africa’s problem, and double consequences: cheating itself twice: wealth stolen from its treasury and the development potential of that wealth.

Furthermore, he said these experts simply conceded that Africa’s failure to advance is due to their lack of discipline. He was interviewed by award winning and renowned singer, Lady Onyeka Onwenu in a 1980’s documentary on Nigeria & the Igbos, he listed a number of reasons countries like Nigeria is and will continue to struggle economically. What happened with the green revolution scheme being one of them. He said it was an incredible example of mismanagement where funds were misappropriated and siphoned by and to political persons who don’t know “maize from millet.” Since the documentary and since his death, the economy has turned from bad to worse in many African countries. This conference wonders if AGOA can rescue Africa and if it is, the question remains: what is AGOA? what is the % of success stories? and is it late for entrepreneurs to utilize this strategy?