Populorum Progressio: The Catholic Economic Alternative as an Elixir for the Nigerian Economic Crisis

Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Years of moral, economic, and political instability has left Nigeria in a fragile state of violent chaos. Today, more than 40% of Nigerians live below the poverty line, with many more overwhelmed with feelings of fear and despair. The crisis in Nigeria is a global humanitarian problem that must be addressed through understanding, open dialogue, and policy change. The theological and anthropological riches of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition provide a path beyond the predominant ideological narratives at work in Nigeria, many of which reflect characteristics of a "culture of death." 

Economists, theologians, theorists, and Nigerian policy makers will explore how Catholic Social Teaching can play a role in Nigerian development during this three-part summit.


Session 1: The Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

July 19 & 20 -- 10 AM - 12 PM EST / 3 - 5 PM Nigerian Time

This seminar-style session will provide an overview of the principles of the Catholic Social Teaching, especially that of the person and the common good.

Fidelis Sm

Father Fidelis Olokunboro
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Theology
Visiting Policy and Practice Associate, Pulte Institute for Global Development
Sorin Fellow, de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture
University of Notre Dame


Session 2: The Catholic Narrative and the Liberal Theory of Human Development

Wednesday, July 21 -- 8 - 10 AM EST / 1 - 3 PM Nigerian Time

Panelists will analyze the relationship between the Catholic Social Teaching and the liberal theory of human development, and how the two theories can change the dialogue in Nigeria.

Yinusa Sm

Prof. Olalekan Yinusa
Hon. Commissioner
Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development
State Government of Osun


Fr Anthony Sm

Fr. (Prof.) Anthony Akinwale, O.P.
Vice Chancellor
Dominican University


Desierto Sm

Professor Diane Desierto
Professor of Law and Global Affairs
Faculty Director, LL.M. Program in Human Rights
University of Notre Dame

Moderator: Father Fidelis Olokunboro


Session 3: Moral Economics: Subsistence Right, Policy, and a Culture of Life 

Thursday, July 22 -- 8 - 10 AM EST / 1 - 3 PM Nigerian Time

Panelists will engage in a rich discussion about how the Church’s rights-based approach to poverty can be translated into policy action in Nigeria. 

Ben Akabueze

Ben Akabueze
Budget Office of the Federation
Ministry of Budget and National Planning

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Professor Pat Utomi
Economist and Founder
Center for Values in Leadership


Casarella Headshot

Dr. Peter Casarella
Professor of Theology
Duke Divinity School



Professor Joseph Kaboski
David F. and Erin M. Seng Foundation Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame


Moderators: Father Fidelis Olokunboro and Prof. Diane Desierto


The summit is hosted by the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, with support from the University of Notre Dame's Pulte Institute for Global Development and de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. Sessions will be offered in a hybrid format, with options for participants to join virtually via Zoom or in-person in Akure, Ondo State. Those joining in-person will be required to follow COVID-19 safety protocols for mask wearing and social distancing in the venue.


Originally published at pulte.nd.edu.

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