Now in its fourth edition, the Babacar Ndiaye Lecture that will take place today, brings together leaders in the public and private sectors, think tanks, academia and the general public to engage with one of the most thought-provoking speakers in the world today. This year’s keynote speaker is Professor Kishore Mahbubani, the foremost expert on China and the author of several books including the latest published this year “Has China Won?” and “Has the West Lost It?”. Mahbubani was with the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years. He had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and New York, where he served twice as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002.
A regular on international news networks, he is known for his strategic thinking and candour. In his latest book, he implies that the West is misreading China and has been quoted as saying that “many developed countries are now facing the prospect of secular stagnation.” In his writings and public appearances, Professor Mahbubani has made the case that the balance of power has been shifting from the West to the East and, that the Coronavirus pandemic has the potential to accelerate this change.
Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist at Afreximbank said that “in a world that is changing, with ever greater uncertainty and complexity, it is more important than ever to understand the current geopolitical shifts and discern where the trends are pointing to.”
The event will also include opening remarks by Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank; a tribute to Dr Babacar Ndiaye by his former colleague, Mrs. Arunma Oteh, Vice President Corporate Services, African Development Bank (2006-2009), Vice President & Treasurer, World Bank Group (2015-2018) and currently Professor at Oxford University, UK; and a Question and Answer session. The event promises to offer an insightful and provocative look into global geopolitics and the ways into which Africa could position itself to take advantage of the current dynamics. The Babacar Ndiaye Lecture series, launched by Afreximbank 4 years ago, honours the founding role of the late Dr Babacar Ndiaye played in the establishment of Afreximbank. As President of the African Development Bank from May 1985 to August 1995, he is credited with championing the Africa’s economic growth and progress. Describing Dr Ndiaye, President Oramah had this to say: “Dr Ndiaye saw tomorrow and pursued his vision with vigour undeterred by numerous obstacles. This is what the lecture series aims to achieve, to help us strengthen our vision for Africa and help us navigate the turbulent water.”
Speakers at previous Babacar Ndiaye lectures include Professor Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Columbia University Professor, Columbia University, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Columbia University Professor and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, HE Dr Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Federal Republic of Nigeria and General William E. “Kip” Ward, former Commander of the US Africa Command, Africom.