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Mamphela Ramphele, managing director of the World Bank, will address a symposium of students and faculty from area universities from 2:30-4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at Old Dominion University. The program will be held in the Hampton/Newport News Room of Webb University Center.

The symposium, sponsored by the World Affairs Council, is free and open to the public. Registration is required, however.

Ramphele, a South African national, assumed her position with the World Bank in May 2000. As a member of the senior leadership team, she is responsible for managing the institution's human development activities in the areas of education, health, nutrition, population and social protection. She provides oversight and guidance to the bank group's efforts with client governments in strengthening human development support systems.

The World Bank is the world's largest source of development assistance, providing nearly $16 billion in loans annually to its client countries. It uses its financial resources, highly trained staff and knowledge base to help each developing country onto a path of stable, sustainable and equitable growth in the fight against poverty.

Prior to joining the bank, Ramphele was vice chancellor of the University of Cape Town, a post she assumed in 1996, becoming the first black woman to hold this position at a South African university. She joined the university as a research fellow in 1986 and was appointed deputy vice chancellor five years later.

During her tenure at Cape Town, she published books and articles on education, health and social development issues.

Ramphele started her career in the 1970s as a student activist in the Black Consciousness Movement and she has been honored widely for her contribution to the struggle against apartheid. She has also worked as a medical doctor, civil rights leader, community development worker and academic researcher.

From 1977 to 1984, Ramphele was banished by the South African government to the remote township of Lenyenye, near Tzaneen. There she continued her work with the rural poor and established the Ithuseng Community Health Program.

Ramphele has received numerous prestigious national and international awards, including 10 honorary doctorates acknowledging her scholarship, her service to the community, and her leading role in raising development issues and heading projects for disadvantaged people throughout South Africa.

Ramphele qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Natal in 1972. She holds a doctorate in social anthropology from the University of Cape Town, a degree in administration from the University of South Africa and diplomas in tropical health and hygiene and public health from the University of Witwatersrand.

For more information or to register, call 683-5195.

This article was posted on: December 20, 2000

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