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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 3, 2004

Speaker To Address African Traditional Government, Western Democracy Sept. 10

Kofi Nuidevuu Awoonor, a Ghanaian visiting scholar, will discuss "African Traditional Governance and the Western Liberal Democratic System," Friday, Sept. 10, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council. The event will be held at the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. and is co-sponsored by University of Iowa International Programs and is part of the African Studies Program fall series of events.

Awoonor is a visiting scholar at the UI, whose visit is the result of the three-year grant from the U.S. Department of State for the development of a linkage between the Universities of Iowa and Ghana. He is a noted Ghanaian poet, novelist and scholar as well as a former diplomat. Prior to serving as Ghana's ambassador to the United Nations, Awoonor served as ambassador to Brazil with concurrent accreditations to Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Guyana and Surinam; then as ambassador to Cuba with concurrent accreditations to Nicaragua, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. He has held several academic appointments at the University of Ghana at Legon, where he is currently Writer-in-Residence. Awoonor earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at SUNY, Stony Brook.

The noon lunch will be catered by Africa N'Zungu (Soleil Banguid). The cost of attendance is $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. Checks may be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. Reservations cannot be received any later than noon, Tuesday, Sept. 7. Reservations may not be made by phone but last minute adjustments may be made. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge, or Marianne Weiss at the temporary number of 319-335-0351.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Monday, Sept. 13, following the noon news. This event is sponsored by the ICFRC with additional support from Loomis Construction, Inc. and Helen Lee Hensleigh and Howard Wenger. 

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. Annual membership fees are $50 per person, $75 for a household of two, $25 for additional house member; and $20 for full-time students or visiting scholars.

ICFRC is affiliated with International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,