Reflections on 2007 Seminar by Guest Lecturer Ms. June Arunga

I just got back from Ghana where Franklin had invited me to be part of the faculty at the student seminar he organized. I did not know what to expect when I was heading out there, but was so pleasantly surprised by what he managed to accomplish on a shoe string budget!

The seminar was so impressive, that the entire faculty was in agreement that it should at a minimum be an annual event, and even has the potential of ultimately growing into a university.

Franklin used the IHS model and executed it beautifully. He got the smartest students he could from 9 West African countries, some even flew from as far as England to attend. It was a mix of Post graduate, graduate and undergraduate students who were all passionate, curious and with above average intellectual fire power.

The faculty was made up of globally respected, seasoned industry specialists, whose presentations could easily be sold to industry players in their respective fields, and so nothing was in the abstract. I learned so much about African land tenure, the history of the aid industry, its philosophical underpinning and evolution and many other fascinating topics Franklin had chosen.

Franklin truly has the foresight to know what his comparative advantage is as the visionary, and the humility to surround himself with the smartest minds he can find, so that from first contact with his institute, its credibility is well established. His M.O.(Modus Operandi) is certainly one I hope myself in my media work and other African think tanks in theirs will follow.

I just wanted to share this, since you have been so instrumental in helping IMANI come as far as it has. This is just to let you know, it is not in vain. Franklin and IMANI will be around for a long time, and with more support, I foresee IMANI having the same kind of success IHS has had, with alumni in government, policy making, in the media, and academia.

Thanks for all the great connections you and others in the movement continue to orchestrate. For the 50 students who attended that seminar, I could tell it was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

June Arunga