Summary Report of the 2015 CIMPAD Conference

 

summaryConference Theme: Ideals and Practice of Effective Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa
The CIMPAD preconference was held in Lusaka on June 19, 2015. There were 15 participants from the US in attendance and over 100 local college students, faculty and a Cameroonian delegation of 5 individuals.

The general conference was held in Livingston, June 22 – 25. There were 26 US participants and approximately 200 in attendance from the continent. The conference provided exposure to a variety of paper presentations and discussions. The topics included Economic Development, Performance Management, Civil Society and Governance, and Public Health. There were a series of master classes on strategic management, Education and Collaboration in Higher Education, and several round table discussions that focused on agriculture and food security, finance and economic development. The special guest speaker to open the conference was Zambian Vice President Inonge Wina. There were a number of special presentations that included a Key note Address by Ambassador Mr. Peter Kasanda – Deputy Secretary to Cabinet, Hon. Danny Toka Chingimbu - Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Mrs. Priscila Issac – Director Electoral Commission of Zambia and Mrs. Margaret Kapinda Acting Director – Local Government Administration. From the US government, Ms. Kristie Mikus who works for the US Agency for International Development served as speaker. There were some challenges with program scheduling which is not unusual in planning international conferences; however, flexibility was demonstrated in rearranging times to accommodate all speakers.

CIMPAD engaged partners for the future in Zambia, and assisted the Zambia Society of Public Administration (ZSPA), a new organization, experience a successful conference. Beyond the conference, there will be some outputs that are tangible with ZSPA and other organization that has the potential to make a major impact in Zambia. CIMPAD has the opportunity to nurture, and return in the future to help this new organization, and celebrate its success.
The Zambia conference highlighted the sustainability of CIMPAD with the presence and participation of our board members from the continent of Africa, Waswa (Uganda), Victor (Namibia), and Mpho (Lesotho). Also participants from other African conferences who hosted CIMPAD conferences in their Countries. One of our strategic goals of CIMPAD is to keep our partners (intra-Africa) visible and involved through ongoing communications.

Recognizing the cost of intra-Africa travel, CIMPAD will explore more options to keep our Africa partners engaged. It was recommended that we hold a mini-conference and dinner in the USA in alternate years, and focus on issues that link the Diaspora and the US. CIMPAD vision is also to engage elementary, middle and high school students and inform Americans regarding opportunities and challenges in the Diaspora and the US, and to build linkages.

The decision was made to hold a CIMPAD conference in the US on even years, beginning in 2016. Waswa, Ugandan board member recommended that CIMPAD publish a periodic newsletter, which he will edit. This will be distributed to previous conference participants. In addition to the newsletter, CIMPAD will explore web-based interactions between US and the Diaspora.
Ms. Pauline Lambou from Cameroon extended an invitation to hold the 2017 CIMPAD conference in Cameroon. The CIMPAD Board of Directors voted to explore the feasibility of the 2017 CIMPAD in Cameroon.

There were concerns regarding the language differences. However, CIMPAD has hosted prior conference where English was not the primary language.
Lessons learned from the Zambia conference included the opportunity to clearly outline all roles and responsibilities, and to expand the number of partners who work with CIMPAD to sponsor the conference. In Zambia, we were fortunate to partner with ZSPA. There was a high level of participation by the government. Conference PowerPoint presentations from the conference will be posted on the CIMPAD website.

In summary, the conference in Zambia was successful. From the very beginning, there was good partnership between the government, ZSPA and CIMPAD as demonstrated with the signing of the MOU by leaders of the organizations and the Secretary to the Cabinet partners in developing the conference. This partnership led to the large number of government employees at the conference. The Zambian Conference had a wide cross-section of presenters that included individuals from the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. Several universities and banking institutions were also represented.

In closing, we celebrate the outstanding work CIMPAD accomplished with our colleagues in Zambia. We were able to work through challenges of program scheduling. We will continue in our pursuit of strong partners who will also help to grow CIMPAD and expand our capacity to work in a multicultural environment.

Expectations for the 2017 conference will be discussed with the host country. An MOU between CIMPAD and the host country will be developed outlining the roles and responsibilities for both.