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2015 Human Rights Conference | Development without Freedom? Justice, Human Rights, and Foreign Aid in Africa

DRI, the Bard College Human Rights Project, and the Rift Valley institute hosted a conference titled “Development without Freedom? Justice, Human Rights, and Foreign Aid in Africa” on Thurs., April 16, 2015 at NYU’s Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life. A total of 460 people participated in the event.

The international community provides aid, investment, and general budget support to governments of African countries, but fundamental human rights of individuals in the recipient nations are often dismissed. The conference involved discussion over the consequences of rights abuses for long-term development in Africa, and featured dissenting voices that do not often receive a hearing in international development forums. Please click here for the conference agenda.

For a quick recap of the keypoints made by the speakers, watch the following highlight footage from the conference.

Session 1 of the conference included introductory remarks by Yaw Nyarko (Co-Director, DRI) and Helen Epstein (Visiting Scholar, DRI), followed by presentations by David Pred (Inclusive Development International), and Frehiywot Samuel (former Ethiopian Supreme Court Judge).

Session 2 of the conference began with brief remarks by Helen Epstein (Visiting Scholar, DRI), followed by presentations by Soleyana Shimeles Gebremichael (Co-founder of the Ethiopian “Zone Nine” blogging group), and Stefan Dercon (Development Economics Professor, University of Oxford).

Session 3 of the conference began with brief remarks by William Easterly (Co-Director, DRI) followed by presentations by Jean Ensminger ( Professor of Social Sciences, CalTech), and Godber Tumushabe (Associate Director, Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies – Uganda).

Session 4 of the conference began with brief remarks by John Ryle ( Executive Director, Rift Valley Institute) followed by presentations by Mareike Schomerus (Research Fellow, London School of Economics), and Hugh Roberts (Writer and former UN official).

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