Beninese economist Bertin Koovi to receive honorary doctorate from Latin American universities
BY ALAN GREEN
It’s an honor most scholars and politicians hope for. Dr. Bertin Koovi, a Beninese politician and scholar who specializes in fundamental economics—the aspect of economics geared towards meeting fundamental needs with existing natural resources—will soon receive an honorary doctorate degree from universities in Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru and Cuba. The recognition comes years after Koovi’s tour in these countries from 15 May to 28 August 2016 to lecture about fundamental economics, which, the local officials say, has helped their economies.
The decision to honor Koovi came from the reputable research institution that is the Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisa Científica Ltda. On 7 December, Koovi will receive the distinction from the University of Brazil on its own behalf and on behalf of the several other academic institutions mentioned earlier. The degree will later be certified by the Brazilian Ministry of Higher Education.
Then on 10 December, the Bolivian parliament will honor Dr. Koovi for his contribution to the build-up of fundamental economics in the country back in 2016. This will pave the way for our scholar to receive the equivalent of the U.S. Medal for Merit awarded by none other than the president of Bolivia himself, Evo Morales, during a gala dinner at the presidential palace, with the local political elite and the diplomatic corps in attendance.
In an exclusive interview with The African Magazine, Dr. Koovi could barely hide his excitement about the upcoming distinctions. But the selfless politician—who ran for the presidency of Benin in 2016—is also a Pan-Africanist who eagerly submitted the names of several other African great achievers so they could be considered for the same honor. The submissions were positively received by the Latin American and Cuban authorities who acknowledged the outstanding achievements of Jeromino Osa Osa Ecoro, secretary-general of Equatorial Guinea’s ruling party, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, PDGE; Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, former governor of the Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Guillaume Kigbafori Soro, speaker of Cote d’Ivoire’s parliament, in their respective fields. All three leaders have received the formal notifications.
Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro
Mr. Ecoro, secretary-general of Equatorial Guinea’s ruling party, has excelled in his duties as the prime leader of the party (the next in line after President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo) including, more recently, his brilliant performance during the grand celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of el Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial, whose inception goes way back in October 1968. Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro will receive the honorary doctorate degree in political science, and, Dr. Koovi added during our interview, on behalf of the entire people of Equatorial Guinea.
Moïse Katumbi Chapwe
Mr. Katumbi is a Congolese business tycoon who served as the governor of the very important Katanga province, located in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, from 2007 to September 2015. He has been credited with resurrecting the province’s economy through infrastructural development and foreign investments and notable economic reforms. Mr. Katumbi, as he is commonly referred to, will receive an honorary degree in recognition for his educational policy in the Katanga province during his tenure.
Guillaume Kigbafori Soro
Mr. Soro is the speaker or Cote d’Ivoire’s parliament. A political icon in this West African nation, Speaker Soro held several important offices before rising to the speakership several years ago. They include his high-profile position as the nation’s prime minister. As speaker, Soro has left his mark by pushing several landmark laws. He will receive an honorary degree in law.
These upcoming distinctions will complement previous ones Dr. Koovi has been blessed with in the past, which include the following: Honoris Causa Doctor in Communication Psychology from the Ibero-American Higher Education Council in Lima, Peru (15 May 2016); World Ambassador for Higher Education from the World Academy for Education in Mexico, in July of the same year. This is not to mention several other titles bestowed upon the Beninese scholar (see next article on Dr. Koovi).
People who are familiar with Dr. Koovi’s commitment to the ideal of Pan-Africanism tell The African Magazine they are not surprised he has sought to bring these outstanding other African leaders along to receive the honor to be bestowed upon him.
A native of Benin, Dr. Koovi currently lives in Equatorial Guinea where he served until recently as the official in charge of the good image of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. In this capacity, Dr. Koovi arranged for the Academic Council of the Ural State University of Economics in Russia to bestow upon President Obiang the title of Honorary Professor in December 2014, in a lavish ceremony held in Equatorial Guinea. President Obiang recently promoted Dr. Koovi to the position of high commissioner attached to the office of the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in charge of economic diversification. Koovi is responsible for contributing to the build-up of fundamental economics through fishing, cattle rearing, agriculture and tourism.