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Future of the Congo to be topic at two-day colloquia

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
(217) 333-0568;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Several scholars from the Democratic Republic of Congo will be among the participants discussing Congo’s future during a colloquium at the University of Illinois Oct. 11-13.

The theme of the event, organized by the UI’s Center for African Studies, department of linguistics and Center for Research on the Congo, is "Reclaiming the Congo and its Potential for Africa: The Role of the Congolese Intellectuals and Friends of DRC." Activities begin at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in Room 101 of the International Programs and Studies Building, 905 S. Fifth St., Champaign, with registration and a pre-conference workshop, "Visions for a Prosperous and Democratic Congo."

Also that day, Adam Hochschild, visiting lecturer in journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and author of the book "King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa," will give a Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lecture at 4 p.m. at the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana. His topic is "Background to Catastrophe: King Leopold II and the Conquest of the Congo."

The keynote address will be presented at 9:20 a.m. Oct. 12 by Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, United Nations Development Program, Abuja, Nigeria. The talk will take place in Room 407 of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. Also, the DRC’s ambassador to the United States, Faida Mitifu, is scheduled to speak. Subsequent sessions and panel discussions, presented by scholars from the DRC and the United States, and by representatives of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, will be held in various locations at the Union.