SC State celebrates its cultural diversity with the annual “International Awareness Month"

Sunday, November 30, 2008


The SC State community will spend the month of November 2008 celebrating the cultural diversity of the campus and the 40-plus nations represented by its students, faculty and staff.

International Awareness Month will open with a Parade of Nations international flag procession on Monday, Nov. 10, at 11:45 a.m. The parade, which will be led by the Marching 101 Band drumline, will start at the front of the campus, beside the Donma Administration Building, and end at the Student Center Plaza, with a dance performance by student organization UJIMMA.

The keynote speaker for the event will be His Excellency Ombeni Sefue, Ambassador of Tanzania to the USA. He will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony for International Awareness Month at 12 p.m. in the Bulldog Lounge in the Kirkland W. Green Student Center.

Also, during the opening ceremony in the International Awareness Appreciation Award will be given to two faculty/staff members and the “International Student of the Year Award” will be presented to an international student who is exemplary in academic performance, and who has demonstrated going beyond the call of duty in University and community service.

Other activities during the month include a Foreign Film Festival, and a Forum.

The Forum – sponsored by the international programs committee and the Department of Social Sciences – features a panel discussion entitled “Meltdown and Bailout: The 2008 Financial Crisis in the US and World Economies.” It will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m. in Belcher Hall, Room 436. The featured panelists will be: Dr. Harry Miley, assistant professor of Business; Dr. Benedict Jua, assistant professor of Political Science and Interim Chair of the Department of Social Sciences; and Mr. Lamin Drammeh, coordinator of the Textbook and Learning Materials Program (TLMP).

Ambassador Ombeni Y. Sefue began his work as Tanzania’s Ambassador to the U.S. on June 15, 2007. Before that, he served as his country’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Canada from October, 2005 to June, 2007.

A career diplomat, Ambassador Sefue left the Foreign Service in 1993 to work for over two years as Speechwriter and Personal Assistant to the then President of Tanzania, His Excellency Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

Following General Elections in 1995, the new President, His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa, retained Ambassador Sefue as his Speechwriter and Personal Assistant with added responsibilities until 2005 when the President’s term came to an end.

Ambassador Sefue, among other things, worked closely with President Mkapa when he served on the Commission for Africa (The Blair Commission) that produced its report, Our Common Interest: Report of the Commission for Africa in March 2005, and participated with him at the G8 Summit session that discussed the report at Gleneagles in early July 2005.

He also worked closely with President Mkapa when the President served as co-chair of the ILO World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization between 2002 and 2004, participating in the preparation of the Commission’s report, A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities For All, issued in February 2004.

In the close to 13 years that he worked for two presidents, Ambassador Sefue was involved in the work of the United Nations; the Organization of African Unity and later African Union; the Commonwealth; the Southern African Development Community (SADC); and the East African Community (EAC). He worked with President Mkapa on the peace process in the Great Lakes Region; the World Economic Forum in Davos and in Cape Town; the Sino-African Forum; as well as the TICAD process.

Within the country, Ambassador Sefue helped President Mkapa, and worked with Hernando de Soto’s Institute for Liberty and Democracy, to establish a Property and Business Formalization Program for Tanzania. He was also involved in working with the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative to develop an HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Plan for Tanzania, as well as the Mkapa National HIV/AIDS Fellows Program. He worked with President Mkapa during a far-reaching and extensive political and economic reform process in Tanzania that included significant improvements in the macroeconomic framework and the business climate.

Prior to joining the Presidency on secondment from the Foreign Service, Ambassador Sefue had risen through the service ranks and served as Counselor at the Embassy of Tanzania in Stockholm, Sweden, from 1987 to 1992. The Embassy had multiple accreditation to Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

Born on August 26, 1954, in Same District, Tanzania, Ambassador Sefue studied Public Policy and Administration at what is today Mzumbe University, and later earned an M.A. (with distinction) in the same field at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at The Hague, The Netherlands, in 1981. He also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Tanzania-Mozambique Center for Foreign Relations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has certificates in International Negotiations, and in Economic and Social Problems of Developing Countries.

He and his wife, Anita, have two children—a daughter (1989) and a son.

SC State’s annual celebration of International Awareness Month is sponsored by the institution’s international programs committee. For additional information, contact Dr. Learie Luke at (803) 536-8683 or