CSU, Chico News

Ethics Forum: Poverty, Inequality and Village Life in Southeastern Africa

Date: 10-08-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Robert Jones

The Center for Applied and Professional Ethics (CAPE) at California State University, Chico is presenting its second fall forum on Wednesday, Oct. 13. A panel of experts will speak on “Poverty, Inequality and Village Life in Southeastern Africa: The Conditions Behind The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind in PAC 134 at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s Book in Common, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, tells the inspiring story of young William Kamkwamba, who dreams of building a windmill to bring electricity and running water to his village in Malawi. Using scrap metal and tractor and bicycle parts, the young Kamkwamba forges a crude windmill that powers four lights and a second windmill that turns a water pump. The narrative is one of vision, individualism and determination, providing a window into the life of one inventive young man and the world of a Malawian village.

The experts on the panel will discuss the serious problems of food security, health, education and governance in Malawi, which shares these problems with much of southern and southeastern Africa. These conditions contribute to a dynamic of foreign-aid dependency. Both current and historical forces—geopolitical, social, colonial and others—have contributed to the region’s hardships. The experts will look at these forces, our connections to the people of these regions, and the opportunities and obligations—if any—that Americans have to understand these forces.

The panelists include Associate Professor of Anthropology David Eaton; CSU, Chico student Koudougou Koala, founder and president of feedingnations.org; Annette Lilly Russ, founder and executive director of just1person.org; and Professor of Sociology Tony Waters.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, view the CAPE announcement at http://www.csuchico.edu/cape/announcements/boy_wind.shtml