What I said in my Graduation Speech


Dennis Penu (MSc Governance & Development)

On 12 September 2016, I had the privilege of presenting a graduation speech on behalf of the 2015-2016 class of graduating advanced master students from the Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium. I share with you what I said to the public audience that day. The audio-visual of that speech starts at time 1:30:00 in the recorded proceedings located in this link

Distinguished Guests, new students, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of myself and my colleagues I thank you for making time to share in this memorable time of achievement with us as we graduate from this rigorous training process at the Institute of Development Policy and Management of the University of Antwerp. One of the very first clauses we heard during our training here is: ‘Asia is not a country’. Continue reading


UN’s ‘ISIL Resolution’: Implications


©UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Clearly, the UN ‘ISIL Resolution’  did not intend to authorize military action in principle. Nevertheless, I think that it has authorized it in practice.As a result, the France-UK-US alliance may seem now united with Russia in ‘action’; but not in ‘intention’ about operations in Syria. In this article I discuss why the UN’s Resolution 2249 may not intend to, but could awaken ‘the ghosts of Muammar Ghaddafi and Saddam Hussein’ . Find the article here: UN’s ‘ISIL Resolution’: Implications




World leaders are heading to the General Assembly this September 2015 to decide on how to sustain the world’s development. But at whose expense? Is Africa safe to sit in the back seat of the “solar-powered” bus en route to save the earth from environmental catastrophe? If we are the least culpable in the climate destruction so far, then maybe we should be most vociferous in the consideration of the Sustainable Development Goals that are pro-green and….. that could spell doom for Africa’s own development momentum.  In my latest article, I explain why our (African) leaders should not “sleep on the job” this September at the UN.

Burundi, Constitutionality and the Dynamics of Political Conflicts in Africa



Like a few others, I don’t support the complete and wholesale embargo on third term-ism (or fourth term-ism et cetera) in presidential tenure in Africa. But this should not come with violence. What if the machinery for peace in a country turns out to be the fuel for conflict? Wouldn’t it help if we no longer looked at African countries as traditional societies in conflict because of ethnicity?  In my article published by the Initiative for Policy Research and Analysis, I explain how Burundi exemplifies the difficulties associated with Constitutionality and the Dynamics of Political Conflicts in Africa.

Say Bye to Ebola but Watch its By-product



Liberia fought a difficult battle with Ebola and won. But not without sustaining scars. As the world celebrated the end of Ebola in the country, I called for cautious optimism, which in retrospect, was a valid concern after all; there was another scare after the 42-day period of zero cases. Kindly follow the link below to read that article with the Initiative for Policy Research and Analysis.

Goodbye Ebola, Hello Caution