Panelists stress Africa’s crucial role in shaping the global future

Carnegie Panel Discussion
Carnegie Panel Discussion

A U.S. Africa strategy panel organised by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Tuesday emphasised Africa’s vital role in shaping the global future.

“Africa is – and increasingly will be – critical in making decisions about the future of our
international community,” Judd Devermont, special assistant to the U.S. president, said at a
seminar to discuss the status of the U.S. Strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa unveiled by
President Biden a year ago. “For every single priority issue for [the U.S.] government, our
people, African people, the continent has to be at the table.”

The other panelists included Amb. Molly Phee, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African
affairs; Amb. Johnnie Carson, special presidential representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders
Summit Implementation and chair of the Afrobarometer International Advisory Council; Amb.Elsie S. Kanza, Tanzanian ambassador to the United States and Mexico; and AfrobarometerCEO Joseph Asunka.

The deliberations centered on progress toward the core objectives of the strategy, including
systems and processes established to realise the outcomes of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit and how recent developments such as electoral transitions and economic and geopolitical factors enable and constrain progress.
Amb. Phee noted that “Africa is strategic, and what we are trying to do is to make structural change internally and externally to help realise that vision. There are a lot of ways we are trying to consolidate the work we do in health, food security, and climate change.”

Amb. Carson highlighted transformative programmes, particularly the flagship digital
transformation initiative addressing critical technological needs in Africa and the creation of
the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement, a commitment made at the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders summit. Commenting on the announcement of the council’s inaugural members, Carson said, “The Diaspora Engagement Council is a programme which is designed for the secretary of state and the president to hear and take advantage of the voices of the diaspora community in the United States to strengthen the relation between the administration and the black community at large, and also to take advantage of the enormous knowledge, expertise, and energy that exist in the diaspora community. It’s a deliverable that was delivered.”

Speaking on Tanzania, Amb. Kanza noted that the U.S. continues to be her country’s
strongest ally and that “With respect to democratic reforms, Tanzania is one of the
beneficiaries of the Democratic Initiative that was launched in September last year at the
United Nations General Assembly. We are committed to deepening and broadening
democracy in Tanzania.

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