LIU INSTITUTE NETWORK FOR AFRICA
I did not conceive the idea for the Liu Institute Network for Africa, but I have helped make it happen. I co-founded the network with Tebogo T Leepile, who originally conceived the idea, at the University of British Columbia in 2017. The network explores global issues affecting Africa and African issues affecting the world. Currently, 69 graduate students, post-graduate and post-doctoral fellows, professors and other university officials are members, and community stakeholders have asked us to create a special membership category for them, based on the feedback I got from Vancouver Coop Radio when I was interviewed about the network. Under its banner, I am leading a project (with Dr Akinwale Orifowomo at the Obafemi Awolowo University and Dr Bukola Ruth Akinbola at the University of Ibadan) on “Agenda 2063,” Africa’s latest sustainable development policy. The African Bar Association sponsored me in July 2018 to present this policy at its annual conference in Kenya, and I have convened a panel on the policy in the Canadian Law and Society Meeting in June 2019.
The network has modest but significant achievements. Through Dr Henry Nwandemere, a community leader in Vancouver and retired official of the United Nations, a parliament member in Canada has asked the network to represent the African diaspora by writing a request to be submitted to the Prime Minister, stating how the Canadian government could support the African diaspora. Also, leaders in UBC— including my colleagues (university policy makers) in the UBC Senate— and community members in Canada have shown interest in our work. Some organizations have asked to partner on policy initiatives.