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K-State Today

February 8, 2017

Geography department presents diversity lecture: 'Can African countries defy the resource curse?'

By Noelle Blood

The K-State geography department will host a presentation by Francis Owusu of the Iowa State University community and regional planning department at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building.

Owusu's presentation, "Can African Countries Defy the Resource Curse? A Case for a Political Economy Approach to Natural Resource Management," is part of the ongoing College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Lecture Series.

Originally from Ghana, Owusu's research straddles the bridges between development and planning. His research focuses on planning in Africa and the developing world. This research has followed three related paths: examining the relationship between neo-liberal economic reforms and the nature of African urban economies; exploring the relationship between organizational cultures and public sector reforms; and engaging debates over the theoretical and conceptual issues surrounding development policy in Africa. Taken together, this research pushes for an alternative to neo-liberal economic policies by exploring ways of creating effective public institutions and improving the capacity of African states.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Owusu speak to our students and faculty on a topic that will be increasingly important in the very near future," said Charles Martin, head of the geography department.

At Iowa State, Owusu serves as the department head for the community and regional planning department and is also an affiliated faculty of the African and African-American studies department. He is a co-editor of a forthcoming book "Managing Africa's Natural Resources: Capacities for Development," has received numerous awards, and has consulted for several international organizations, including the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, the World Bank, and the Africa Capacity Building Foundation.

The event is sponsored by the Beta Psi Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geographic Honor Society, the geography department and the College of Arts and Sciences.