I cannot believe my 10 weeks at USIP are over and summer is drawing to a close. Almost time to get back to school and tackle 2L year! In completing my last week, I was able to turn in my revised Afghan country page primer with all of my edits and citations. That was a wonderful project for the summer and was just the right amount of work. I look forward to seeing the final result eventually online. The digital library also was in a good shape when I turned it over.
During the last week of July, U.S. National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice made a brief speech as an introduction to the first ever U.S. - Africa Leaders Summit that took place the first week of August. Amb. Rice spoke about both the challenges and opportunities Africa faces. She also explained why Americans should be invested in Africa’s success. Ambassadors from 17 African nations and representatives from two dozen embassies attended. Other guests included senior officials from the State Department and USAID, USIP Board members, leaders of NGOs, and private sector leaders. Here is a link to the transcript of that speech:
Here's another great piece from the Congressional Research Service with helpful background info regarding the summit:
From USIP about the summit:
"President Barack Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will be a success to the extent that it updates the perception of Africa’s economic, political and social potential without underestimating the remaining problems of violence, dictatorship and corruption, according to two former assistant secretaries of state for African Affairs." - Emily Fornof, USIP
"The outdated image of Africa in the U.S. fails to recognize the incredible advances there over the past 60 years...The Obama administration can reinforce the positive aspirations of Africans by acknowledging and drawing on the more accurate 'political, economic and social dynamism that now characterizes the continent...'" - Emily Fornoff, USIP, quoting and citing Ambassadors Johnnie Carson (Senior Advisor at USIP) and George Moose (Vice Chairman, Board of Directors at USIP)
"Still, the U.S. and its African partners must openly confront the challenges that remain...The continent is still home to five of the world's most violent conflicts and the majority of its fragile states. Good governance remains an issue, as well. Unless these problems are 'addressed squarely', Africa's promise will not be achieved." - Emily Fornof, USIP, quoting and citing Ambassador George Moose (Vice Chairman, Board of Directors at USIP)
"The U.S. can draw on Africa’s impressive progress and its enormous potential by jointly developing an all-embracing strategy to confront the continent’s central challenges: violence and institutional weakness." - Ambassador George Moose (Currently, vice chairman of the board for USIP. A retired career member of the Foreign Service, Moose served as U.S. ambassador to Benin and Senegal and later as assistant secretary of state for African affairs. He also served on three occasions in different capacities as a U.S. representative to the United Nations.)
What a wonderful summer this has been! I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I learned so much. Thank you for following along. Happy summer and take care.