March 1st – Kofi Sefa-Boakye
Director of the Successor Agency, Formerly the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Compton
“The Quest for Elusive Growth: A Tale of Two Cities- Accra (Ghana) and Compton (US)”
Seminar Description: For decades, the stigma of disparity of income in the wealth of nations has occupied a prominent place among economists, policy makers and social scientists. Various questions being asked include: Why are some nations rich and poor divided by wealth and poverty, sickness, food and famine? Why does it take only three days to construct a highway bridge in Los Angeles and over a year to complete a similar bridge in most emerging markets economies? Voluminous publications explaining such divergence have flooded international conferences without the magic elixir to alleviate the conundrum. Similar explanations have also been offered to explain the plight of low income communities in developed countries. With Kofi Sefa-Boakye’s unique background and intercontinental roots in Africa (Accra) and US (California), this seminar will analyze the issues contributing to this situation both internationally and locally and provide some practical explanations to understand this elusive quest for urban growth world wide.
Dr.Sefa-Boakye has over 30 years of professional experience in community economic development, urban planning, transportation and redevelopment in urban communities. Kofi is the Director of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Compton and holds masters degrees in Economics (MA) and Urban Planning (MPL) as well as a Doctorate degree in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California. As the Agency Director, Kofi utilized his multifaceted background in negotiations, economic development and policy analysis to assist policymakers in structuring smart growth policies and economic development strategies that have become a framework for revitalizing urban communities.
In addition to his professional qualities, Kofi is a prolific writer whose articles on urban issues have blazed the op-ed pages of Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Business Journal and Planetizen. In 2008, Kofi’s article on the resurgence of urban communities (Planetizen, December 29, 2008) captured the imagination of development professionals nationwide. Kofi Sefa-Boakye is an, International Council of Shopping Centers and a Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami.
Discussant: Allan Kotin, Adjunct Professor, Price School of Public Policy
Full-length Recordings: Recordings will be available on YouTube and iTunesU one or two weeks after the seminar.