From August 4-6, 2014, the Obama Administration hosted the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit that took place in Washington, DC. Over 50 African Heads of State attended with a goal of strengthening US-Africa engagement. The Africa Program and its colleagues provided daily coverage of the event from a variety of perspectives, delving into what the summit means for US-Africa relations going forward. Check out the links below for more:
"If the US is really serious about partnering with Africa in an alternative way than the Chinese and others, not only for trade and investment but also for Africa’s security, its democratic development and ultimately its people, then responsible leadership from both ends will have to be the main key to success." Read Dr. Ludovic Lado's piece on the importance of governance and sound leadership in order for Africa to move forward on all fronts. Dr. Lado is Director of the Institute of Human Rights and Dignity at the Centre de Recherche et d’Action poir la Paix (CERAP) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and a member of the Africa Program's Southern Voices Network.
“The Africa of today is not the Africa of 50 years ago and continuing to look at Africa through that lens I think causes us to lose opportunities.” As presidents, prime ministers, and other policymakers from across the continent gathered in Washington, DC, Africa Program Director Monde Muyangwa sat down with ECSP’s Roger-Mark De Souza to discuss why the summit is important right now.
Commentary in Real Time
"One central message that emerged from the event, held at the national Academy of Sciences as part of this week’s ongoing U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, is that food security – for Africa or the world – won’t be achieved through agricultural productivity and other supply-side gains alone." Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of The Wilson Center's Population, Environmental Change and Security Program, weighs in.
On Tuesday, August 5 Congresswoman Karen Bass hosted this event, which featured Africa Program Director Monde Muyangwa as moderator during the first session. Bass is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations at the United States Congress.
"This must not be a one-off event that serves as an Obama “legacy,” but the beginning of a process that brings ongoing understanding, insight, strategy, and debate to the highest levels of US and African governance," write Steve McDonald, Public Policy Scholar and Africa Expert at The Wilson Center.
Africa Program intern Rohita Javangula contributes a youth perspective to the discussions surrounding the US-Africa summit and focuses her analysis on three main areas - the need for greater regional engagement between the US and African regional entities; African leaders holding each other accountable on governance issues facing the continent; and incorporating the youth voice into policy discussions.
Public Policy Scholar Steve McDonald grades the Obama Administration on the summit by discussing tangible outcomes. He argues, "Maybe the most important outcome, one that I feared would not happen, is a commitment by the President to make this a regular consultation."
Dr. Monde Muyangwa, Director of the Africa Program at The Wilson Center, provides an in-depth analysis on summit expectations, tangible outcomes followings its closure, and recommendations for next steps the United States government should take to ensure sustainable engagement with Africa.