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As 2020 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 annual tradition of asking practitioners, experts, and policymakers to weigh in on the most important and impactful developments of 2019 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 ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, people power and the rise of popular protests in Sudan and Algeria, increased violent extremism and pastoral violence across many parts of the continent, the influence of countries like Turkey and the Gulf States in the Horn, the role of Africa’s creative sector in driving economic growth, and the importance of Ghana’s “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” initiative for the global African diaspora, among other topics. 

We hope that you enjoy reading and sharing this volume!

Please note that the views expressed in these essays are solely the responsibility of the authors, and not those of the Wilson Center. 


About the Authors

Viola Llewellyn

Co-Founder and President, Ovamba Solutions, Inc.
George Boateng

George Boateng

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Research Analyst, African Center for Economic Transformation

Leila Ndiaye

President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development
Olusegun Sotola Headshot

Olusegun Sotola

Senior Researcher, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA)

Alex Vines

Research Director and Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House

Sophia Moestrup

Deputy Director, Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI)

Adotei Akwei

Managing Director for Government Relations, Amnesty International

Joseph Siegle

Director for Research, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
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
Hannah Beckett Akuiyibo

Hannah Akuiyibo

Former Senior Program Associate

Hana Alem

Staff Intern (Program)
Diana Warira

Diana Warira

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Communications Officer, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
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

Grant Harris

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

Terence McNamee

Global Fellow;

Major General Roger L. Cloutier Jr.

Commander of U.S. Army Africa

Vivian Lowery Derryck

President and CEO of the Bridges Institute, Former Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID
Dr. Marc Sommers

Marc Sommers

Former Fellow;
Independent Consultant

Marisa O. Ensor

Research Professor, Justice and Peace Studies Program and Institute for the Study of International Migration, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Adesoji Adelaja

Adesoji Adelaja

Global Fellow;
John A Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Olufemi Vaughan

Olufemi Vaughan

Global Fellow;
Alfred Sargent Lee and Mary Ames Lee Professor of Black Studies, Amherst College
Ian Gorecki

Ian Gorecki

Program Assistant

Elem Eyrice Tepeciklioğlu

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

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

Shahrazad Hired

Former Program Assistant (Communications)
Gamuchirai Mhute Headshot

Gamuchirai Mhute

Former Program Associate

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