Boston University invites RB for African Presidential roundtable

former President Rupiah Banda
former President Rupiah Banda

BOSTON University has invited Zambian ex-president to African presidential roundtable.

Former President Rupiah Banda, has been invited by the Boston University (BU) African Presidential Center to make a presentation at the 2013 African Presidential Roundtable, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The former President’s presentation is expected to touch on what Western countries can do to provide assistance in facilitating the electoral process in Africa and what the current generation of leaders need to do to further stability and democracy on the continent and, more specifically, in their own countries.

The 2013 African Presidential Roundtable will be centered on what needs to be achieved for Africans to gain greater involvement in the electoral process in their respective countries.

Banda’s office said in a statement, released  on Monday, that the former president has since written to President Michael Sata informing him about the South African assignment which will run from 5 to 8 June under the theme “The Cost of Democracy”.

Banda was last Friday due to have left for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the invitation of the African Union to attend the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the continental body’s forerunner, the Organization of African Unity.

But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which had earlier informed this office about the invitation and asked for his passport to facilitate the purchasing of the air ticket, said it was not possible to make last-minute preparations for the trip.

This is the second time that the former president had been blocked from travelling outside the country since he was slapped with corruption charges.  Banda was also blocked from travelling to Nairobi to attend the inauguration ceremony of Kenya’s new President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In inviting Banda to the 10th African Presidential Roundtable, slated for Constitution Hill in the Winnie Mandela Courtyard, BU African Presidential Centre director Charles Stith said the former Zambian head of State’s election monitoring experience would be crucial to the event.

“Given this year’s focus  ‘The Cost of Democracy’ and your experience of monitoring elections across the continent, I felt the insights you could provide would be invaluable,” wrote Ambassador Stith in the invitation letter to the retired Zambian politician.

Last year, Banda spent nearly three months at the Boston University in the United States of America as President-in-Residence, lecturing at the institution and other associate universities both within and outside the country.