Former prime minister of Kenya to deliver the Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Lecture

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Raila Amolo Odinga, former prime minister of Kenya, will give the annual Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 9.

Titled “Afro-Optimism: Has the Pendulum Swang Too Far?” the talk will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave. The lecture is sponsored by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale Law School, and the Yale School of Management. The event is free and open to the public.

Odinga is currently the leader of the opposition coalition known as the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy. He served as prime minister of the Republic of Kenya and member of Parliament for Langata Constituency within the city of Nairobi, Kenya, from 1992 until 2013. He became prime minister following the signing of a National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, which created the office to facilitate power sharing between the main protagonists of the controversial 2007 elections in Kenya.

Odinga has been involved in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Kenya since the 1970s, and for his efforts was detained three times without trial. During the 1990s, he worked closely with the International Republican Institute as a resource person for peace and conflict resolution in the then war-torn countries of Mozambique and Burundi, and offered similar support to peaceful electoral processes in Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Odinga has received honors and recognition for his various roles, including an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Nairobi for his role in restoring peace to Kenya following the controversial 2007 elections. He has been recognized by Maseno University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Limkokwing University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2011, he was appointed special peace envoy of the African Union following the post-election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

The Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale was established in 1992 to support intersecting endeavors among specialists in international relations, international law, and the management of international enterprises and organizations. Previous lecturers in the series have included Michael Doyle, Gary Hart, Tom Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Sam Nunn, Sadako Ogata, Samantha Power, Mary Robinson, Raghuram Rajan, Eboo Patel, Mo Ibrahim, and Marwan Muasher.

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Marilyn Wilkes: marilyn.wilkes@yale.edu, 203-432-3413