AMEC's international conference scheduled for 27 to 29 August promises insightful discussion, vigorous debate and close interrogation of issues as around twenty foreign and South African speakers come together to deliberate on the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, possible futures for the region and the impact of all of this on the African continent.
Academics, politicians and analysts will deliberate and discuss critical issues facing the region and look towards scenarios that could unfold, examining the possibilities for the emergence of real democracy. There will also be discussion on whether the South African experience of transition might be useful for countries in the MENA region.
Preparations are in full-swing at the Afro-Middle East Centre for the conference to take place in Pretoria, South Africa's capital city.
Attendance to the conference is strictly by pre-registration. Those interested may register online or email conference at amec.org.za (replacing 'at' with @).
Speakers who have already confirmed their attendance include:
Ebrahim Ebrahim-Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperatation of South Africa;
Wadah Khanfar - former director general of the AlJazeera Network and now executive director of recently-launched Sharq Forum;
Larbi Sadiki - senior lecturer at Exeter University, author and columnist;
Juan Cole - professor of history at the University of Michigan and a prolific writer on issues concerning the Muslim world;
Najib Ghadbian - professor of political science and Middle East studies at the University of Arkansas and member of the Syrian National Council;
Ashur Shamis - Author, Islamist leader from Libya and advisor to the Libyan prime minister;
Mohsen Saleh - executive director of the Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations based in Beirut;
Yossi Shain - professor at Georgetown University and Tel Aviv University, specialising in international relations and comparative politics.
Phyllis Bennis - director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, author, analyst and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years;
professor of international relations and history at Boston University. He has written numerous articles, book reviews and translations and specialises in Middle Eastern politics, cultural history, Shiism and international law;
Garth le Pere – senior partner for Research and Development at DAJO Associates and professor of political science at the University of Pretoria;
John Daniel - academic coordinator for SIT Exchange. From 1997 to 1999 he was a senior researcher with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC);
Yahia Zoubir - professor of international relations and international management and director of research in geopolitics at Euromed Management, Marseille School of Management;
Francis Ikome - an African affairs analyst, Ikome works for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa;
Yasmin Sooka - executive director of the EU-funded Foundation for Human Rights in Johannesburg and former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Dr Shamil Jeppie – associate professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town, and is currently based in its Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA). He is also Director of the 'Tombouctou Manuscript Project';
Dr Mzukizi Qobo - public speaker and political risk consultant;
Mariam Al-Khawaja - Bahraini human rights activist and current acting president of the Bahraini Centre for Human Rights;
Fawaz Tello - Syrian opposition member;
Dr Taha Ozhan - Director general of the Foundation for the Political, Economic, and Social Research (SETA).
Anwar Maaroufi - Ennahda Party, Tunisia
Essop Pahad - Editor of The Thinker. Former minister in the Presidency of South Africa.
Mohammad Marandi - Dr Seyed Mohammad Marandi is associate professor in the faculty of world studies at the University of Yehran and chairs the university's department of north American studies.
The conference will discuss the uprisings across the MENA region since the end of 2010, explore possible futures for the various countries in the region and examine the impact of the uprisings on the African continent.
Click here to view the conference programme.
Attendance at the conference will be strictly by pre-registration only. To register,click here or email conference at amec.org.za (replacing at with @).