From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
South Africa Invites Dr Alusine Fofanah
By Abdul Karim Kabia
May 8, 2008, 17:47

A one time SLPP Member of Parliament and a meritorious lecturer, Dr. Alusine Fofanah has been invited to lecture at the prestigious Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, as a visiting lecturer on 29th May 2008. This information was revealed to the Awareness Times by email from South Africa yesterday May 7th 2008. Dr. Alusine Fofanah, who headed the Human Rights Committee of the Sierra Leone Parliament for many years, is presently a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Social Studies, Njala University. As a human rights lecturer, his subject area looks at the historical perspective of the conflict of Sierra Leone from 1961 to present, vis-à-vis the history and analysis in the area of governance and human rights that led to the conflict.

Dr. Alusine Fofanah: Former Chairman of Human Rights Committee in the Sierra Leone Parliament

The occasion in South Africa at which Dr. Fofanah will provide his lecture is part of the University’s 100 years Anniversary, which will also be used to recognize major human rights scholars of the African continent.

When contacted by this medium, Dr. Fofanah confirmed the invitation extended to him adding that it was indeed an honour and great recognition of the academic endeavours of a Sierra Leonean like himself to be invited by the University of Pretoria. He said even when in Parliament (2002-2007), he used to assist the University of Pretoria through its online lecture programmes for students. At the time he could not frequently travel because of his Parliamentary commitments.

"My recognition undoubtedly came as a result of my selfless and dedicated role played in promoting issues of human rights over the years, more especially when I was a member of parliament through major legislations I championed in that regard," the astute educationist opined. According to him such legislations included the Gender and Child Rights Bills in 2007.

"Based on some of these factors, I was identified amongst human rights scholars and activists from around the continent to deliver this all important lecture," he assured. Dr. Fofanah went on to say that the invitation would give him the opportunity to talk at continental level about the causes of the Sierra Leone war, the different roles played by the various stakeholders including the government, civil societies and the international community. He said part of the package of delivery will be how the conflict was resolved through peace accords and the intervention of the international community. "I will also get the opportunity to listen to other scholars in the debate on the new paradigms in the area of human rights in Africa," he further stated.

Dr Fofanah will leave the shores of Sierra Leone on the 20th instant for a fortnight’s sojourn in Pretoria. He expressed his fervent hope to travel back home with some of the students on field trips to the constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone and other higher institutions of learning.

The Center for Human Rights is an academic department of the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria. As such it presents a one year full-time Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa. The programme is presented in partnership with seven other universities representing all the sub-regions of Africa among which are the Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), American University in Cairo (Egypt), Catholic University of Central Africa (Cameroon), Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), University of Ghana and Makerere University (Uganda).

Teaching is designed such that lecturers are brought to teach very specific topics from their area of expertise. This means that the Lecturers are invited to Pretoria for a short period of time. This usually ranges from a few days to one week. Each foreign lecturer receives an honorarium which is processed through the university’s financial channels and complies with all tax regulations.

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