Students at SIPA certainly play a large role in directing policy discussion. A great example of this is the SIPA Pan-African Network (SPAN). Each spring SPAN sponsors a forum and a brief description of the event this year is below. For more information please visit the SPAN Web site as well as the African Economic Forum Web site.
From a modest beginning in 2004, the annual African Economic Forum (AEF) has grown to become the largest Africa-focused event at Columbia University. Originally conceived of and organized by the SIPA Pan-African Network (SPAN), a graduate student organization, AEF is a two-day event featuring expert panels and keynote speakers. The students’ intent is to foster a public discussion on the core issues of African development by having experts of various, and sometimes opposing, perspectives openly debate the merits of different approaches and policies.
Speakers at the conference will include Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (World Bank, Managing Director – pictured to left ) William Kamkwamba (African Leadership Academy, student) and George Ayittey (Free Africa Foundation, President / Economist / Activist).