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Cablegate: Niger: Symposium On Pres. Obama, "the Audacity of Hope,"

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DE RUEHNM #0855 3072048
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 032048Z NOV 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5421
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000855

DEPT FOR ECA/PE/V/R/A MOYES AND BUTLER, AF/W, AF/RSA, DRL/AE, AND
AF/PDPA SANCHEZCROWE AND EHRNMAN
PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL PHUM SOCI KCOR KPAO US NG
SUBJECT: Niger: Symposium on Pres. Obama, "The Audacity of Hope,"
and the Nobel Peace Prize

1. Summary: The Charge d'Affaires (CDA) and Public Affairs Section
(PAS) Cultural Affairs Specialist participated in a discussion on
the merits of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize at an Abdou
Moumouni University-sponsored symposium on October 16. The
influential academic presenters, one a former IVLP participant,
expressed their views that the international groundswell for peace
and tolerance initiated by President Obama's speeches and books
justify his award. The audience was comprised of around 150
students and professors. Attendees appreciated the participation of
the CDA and his presentation of copies of President Obama's book
"The Audacity of Hope" in French to the club. End summary.

2. The Abdou Moumouni University's Department of Philosophy invited
the CDA and Cultural Affairs Specialist to participate in its
monthly discussion club "Cafe Philo" on October 16. The theme of
the evening was "The Exceptional Nobel Prize: The Audacity of Hope
of Barack Obama." Three university professors presented their views
on the Nobel Peace Prize to an audience of approximately 150
university students and professors.


3. The first speaker, professor of literature and noted novelist
Amadou Saibou Adamou, focused on the innovative vision of world
peace, tolerance, and progress described in President Obama's book
"The Audacity of Hope." Dr. Adamou Saibou also shared his
experiences with the International Visitor Leadership Program on
Democratic Governance and Civil Society. He also expressed his
gratitude at being able to go to the United States for this program
in September 2008 because he was able to experience the atmosphere
of the presidential campaign and how then-Senator Obama's message of
hope and peace resonated with vast segments of the U.S. population.
He added that Pres. Obama's message is now resonating throughout the
world, and concluded by saying that the new international momentum
for peace and tolerance initiated by Pres. Obama unquestionably
justifies the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Adamou Saibou
recently moderated a PAS-sponsored round table and Iftaar on the
theme of Muslim life in the United States during Ramadan. He also
previously spoke at a PAS event on "The Audacity of Hope."

4. The second speaker, Dr. Hamidou Talibi, professor of philosophy
and Secretary General of the University Teachers' Trade Union,
focused on the speeches President Obama gave in Cairo and Accra.
Dr. Talibi demonstrated how the President's remarks were inspiring
expressions of his strong desire for global peace and progress
through interfaith dialogue and tolerance (Cairo) and in good
governance as an essential condition for economic growth and
non-violent conflict resolution (Accra). For this reason, Dr.
Talibi also concluded that President Obama was a well-deserving
recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

5. The moderator of the discussions, Dr. Halidou Yacouba, Head of
the Department of Philosophy, underscored the need for all nations
to work together to promote peace and tolerance. This view, widely
shared by the audience, was also supported by the CDA, who observed
that the Nobel Peace Prize was an affirmation of Pres. Obama's views
on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and reflected a
commitment to multilateral approaches to world issues. He also
noted that previous Nobel Peace Prizes had also been future-oriented
- such as those bestowed upon Kofi Annan and Kim Dae Jung. The CDA
also underscored the significance of the two visits to the African
continent by Pres. Obama and the recent visit by Secretary Clinton
to seven African nations within the first six months following Pres.
Obama's inauguration, demonstrating the Administration's concern for
Africa. Finally, he noted that Pres. Obama's December acceptance
speech would be very informative regarding his vision. The CDA also
presented four copies of "The Audacity of Hope" in French to the
grateful "Cafe Philo" club.

ALLEN

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