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As 2019 begins, it is important to reflect on the top developments that occurred in Africa, in U.S.-Africa relations, and in Africa's role in the global arena over the past year. The Wilson Center Africa Program continued its tradition of asking experts, practitioners, and policymakers to weigh in on the most important and impactful developments of 2018 for the continent, and their implications for U.S.-Africa relations. They responded with the brief and insightful essays in this volume. 

We thank them for their contributions, which provide analysis on topics including the Trump Administration and Africa; reform efforts in Ethiopia; the implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); the growing ties of countries like China, Russia, and Turkey across Africa; successes and challenges in women’s leadership; and reflections on the key issues and opportunities for democratic governance and elections in Africa, among other topics. 

Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, which had impacted the Wilson Center, we had a slight delay in publishing this year’s edition of Africa: Year in Review. We thank you for your patience and understanding!

We hope that you enjoy reading and sharing this volume!



Ambassador Herman J. Cohen

Assistant Secretary of State for Africa under President George H.W. Bush, 1989-1993
Hannah Beckett Akuiyibo

Hannah Akuiyibo

Former Senior Program Associate

Laura Lane

President of Global Public Affairs, UPS, and Member, President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA)

Major General Roger L. Cloutier Jr.

Commander of U.S. Army Africa

Grant Harris

CEO, Harris Africa Partners LLC and former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, White House

Alex Vines

Research Director and Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House

Elem Eyrice Tepeciklioğlu

Faculty Member, International Law Implementation and Research Center, Yasar University, Turkey
Terence McNamee

Terence McNamee

Global Fellow;

Leila Ndiaye

President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development

Matt Kandel

Research Fellow and Resilience team member for Building REsearch Capacity for sustainable water and food security in drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA)
Jamie Van Leeuwen

Jamie Van Leeuwen

Former Public Policy Fellow;
CEO & Founder of the Global Livingston Institute and Director of Youth & Community Engagement at the Emerson Collective

Nathan Davis

Director of Strategy of the Global Livingstone Institute
Franklin Oduro

Franklin Oduro

Deputy Executive Director/Director of Programs , Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD)

Vivian Lowery Derryck

President and CEO of the Bridges Institute, Former Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID

Ann L. Phillips

Former Public Policy Scholar;
Former Professor of International Security Studies Director, Program in Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction, George C. Marshall Center, Germany

Toni Weis

Senior Program Officer, Africa, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Naomi Sand

Program Assistant, Africa, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)
Getachew Zeru Gebrekidan

Getachew Zeru Gebrekidan

Former Southern Voices Network Scholar;
Lecturer, Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University

Sophia Moestrup

Deputy Director, Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI)
Ambassador Nureldin Satti Headshot

Ambassador Nureldin Satti

Co-Chair, Wilson Center's Sudans Working Group;
Retired UN Senior Official; Former Ambassador of Sudan to the United States, France, Portugal, Switzerland and the Vatican

Rushdi Nackerdien

Regional Director for Africa, International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in US-Africa relations.    Read more