Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 21, 2006

African Union Commissioner to Speak at U of G

Elisabeth Tankeu, the African Union’s commissioner for trade and industry, will give a free public lecture on the causes of poverty and the global efforts to eradicate it April 25, at 7 p.m. in Rozanski Hall.

The lecture is the keynote address for the international “Making Poverty History: Doing More of What Works” symposium, which is taking place on campus Tuesday and Wednesday. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Tankeu is one of the many leading experts from around the world who are attending the symposium. She was elected the African Union’s commissioner for trade and industry in 2003. An expert in long-range planning, development policies, poverty-reduction strategies and environmental and gender issues, she also served as Cameroon’s minister of plan and territorial development. A graduate of the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and an economist by training, Tankeu has been a consultant for the United Nations and the World Bank.

As commissioner for trade and industry, she is responsible for promoting intra-African trade and for negotiations involving the World Trade Organization and the EU-Africa Economic Partnership agreements. She also initiates and oversees measures that encourage African countries to develop common positions for trade negotiations, and designs strategies to build the supply-side capacity of African countries in regional and international markets.

In addition to Tankeu’s lecture, there will be a talk by Agnes Wakesho Mwang'ombe of the University of Nairobi in Kenya, who will discuss “Poverty Issues for Women and Youth” Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. She is the principal of the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences and does work aimed at improving the livelihoods of farming communities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition, Gerald Helleiner of the Munk Centre for International Studies at Trinity College will speak on “Poverty: Local, National and International” at 1 p.m.

Other symposium participants include Martha Greig, president of the Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association of Canada and a traditional midwife; and Phocus Ntayombya, a U of G graduate, vice-president of UNICEF staff associations in Eastern and Southern Africa, and the former general director of environment for the government of Rwanda.

They are among a group of experts who will take part in panel discussions Wednesday aimed at finding solutions to poverty. More information, a list of participants and registration forms are available online.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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