The Last Word for May 2013›By Steve McDonald // Thursday, May 30, 2013
May has been a busy month for us at the Wilson Center, with a trip to Kenya that served to convene new and original members of our Southern Voices Network, as well as hosting a number of local events. One major conference held here in DC on May 1 was on the subject of technology and innovation as tools to elicit social change amongst women and youth populations in Africa. A report of the whole conference can be found on the Wilson Center website, as well as some related interviews of conference.
This month’s blog posts reflect this theme through the eyes of a practitioner, African scholar, and mentor. First, you will find a piece from one of our partners in the Southern Voices Network, “Paying It Forward: How to Sustain New Generations of Female and Youth Leaders in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Africa,” by Edith Kirumba of the African Technology Policy Studies Network. Along with Edith’s piece include a submission by Liz Ngonzi, titled “Mentorship, Coaching, Board Service, Sponsorship…How Will You Pay it Forward TODAY?” and “Transformative Effects of Women, Youth and Technological Innovation” by Gregor Young of Management Systems International. Our monthly “Lessons from the Field” column was provided by Vivian Lowery Derryck titled, “Mali Matters.”
However, the big news this month, of course, is the President and First Lady’s trip to Africa in June, including a trip by Secretary of State John Kerry. In a short, precise statement issued last week, the White House announced that he and the First Lady would visit Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania from June 26 – July 3. The stated purpose of the trip was to “reinforce the importance that the United States places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade; strengthening democratic institutions; and investing in the next generation of African leaders.” It further stated the President would meet leaders from “government, business, and civil society, including youth, to discuss our strategic partnerships on bilateral and global issues.” There were no further specifics, just a confirmation of the United States’ desire to cooperate in advancing “regional and global peace and prosperity.”MORE