One aspect of the ALA curriculum that makes ALA so unique is the Expert-in-Residence series. Experts from fields as diverse as international trade and astronomy live with our students for up to a week, leading lectures, seminars and debates on their fields of expertise. This approach of having leaders teach leaders is very effective, as both sides are engaged to the maximum of their intellect.
This past October, ALA was proud to host three distinguished experts in the oil and gas industry in the African context. Dr Emmanuel Egbogah (a Special Advisor to the President of Nigeria on Petroleum), Chima Ibeneche (the Managing Director/CEO of Nigeria LNG), and Alek Musa (Deputy Managing Director and a board member of Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria), all leading decision-makers in the Nigerian oil industry, took turns leading discussions and debates, sharing their wealth of experience with ALA students.
Topics discussed included government transparency and process in ensuring that lucrative oil profits are shared equitably; US trade policy vis-Ã -vis West African oil exports; mitigating the environmental impact of the oil industry; and a comparison of African and global oil producing nations against environmental, political and economic criteria. Throughout these seminars, the overarching theme that was addressed was whether petroleum is a blessing or a curse for Africa. Students, especially those who come from petroleum-exporting countries, had the opportunity to discuss the reality versus the intent in great detail with these three gentlemen. These widely respected experts brought a level of knowledge and understanding to the topics that would be hard to find in a textbook and ALA is proud to have hosted such esteemed and experienced African leaders.