CU Holds 42nd Public Lecture
Covenant University was a beehive of activities on Friday, August 14, 2015, as the institution held its 42nd Public Lecture. The lecture which was titled, ‘A Deconstructionist Alternative in a Post-Development Africa,’ was delivered by C. Nana Fynnba Derby, PhD, a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Virginia State University, USA.
In his remarks, Pastor Yemi Nathaniel, the Mandate Secretary of the Living Faith Church World-Wide, who represented the Chancellor of Covenant University, Dr. David Oyedepo, appreciated the lecturer for delivering a lecture in an all-encompassing area, which he said, “Connects every discipline.” While making reference to the subject of the lecture, he stated, “There’s no one who will matter, who has not already discovered who he is. The value is right inside the African, but he has to strive to bring it up.”
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Charles Ayo stated, “Africa as a continent is still in search of the way forward in the quest for sustainable development. We are not poor because we lack resources, but because we have refused to embrace knowledge.”
Professor Ayo further expressed his earnest expectation that this new generation would turn the tide by restoring the wasted years and finding the way forward. He commended the lecturer for a thorough job and for her commitment to raising the bar of education in Covenant University, and by extension, the whole of Africa.
Earlier in his remarks, the Registrar, Pastor Olamide Olusegun, appreciated the guests for honouring the university with their presence and commended the lecturer for hard work and consistent pursuit of excellence in her career.
While delivering her lecture, Professor Nana Fynnba Derby, who is a Fulbright Scholar of Covenant University, quoted from Dr. Kwame Nkruma’s independence speech of March 6th, 1957, “…we must realize that from now on, we are no longer a colonial but free and independent people. … As I pointed out, that also entails hard work. That new Africa is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs. …We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our foundation – our own African personality.”
Professor Derby explained the excerpt from Dr. Nkurumah’s speech as focusing on image and affairs. Her lecture largely focused on Africa’s identity and its negative image within the international community and how such images interact with strategies to impede her growth.
Partially grounding her lecture in Nkrumah’s proclamation of self-reliance, she examined the nature and etiology of Africa’s image and identities, her application of modernization and neoliberal economic policies, and the postmodernists’ perspective of post-development and its criticisms of modernization and neoliberalism.
The resultant framework, she said, espousing deconstructions of the said identities is juxtaposed with Hernando de Soto’s (2000) theory of dead capital, which attempts an explanation of why ‘capitalism triumphs in the West but fails everywhere else’ and concludes that poor people are not wealthy because they have no possessions, but because they do not turn such belongings into wealth-generating assets.