Opportunity of Africa’s youth; Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says he won’t vote for the ANC; tensions rise in Libya; Kenya asks UN to terminate ICC trial; Africa’s role in global economy growth›By Leadership Project // Friday, May 10, 2013
Continue reading for some of today’s news stories.MORE
March 24, 2013 News›By leadership project // Friday, March 1, 2013
March 1, 2013
Continue reading for articles including those on corruption as a global phenomenon, the future of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Kenya’s hopes for a peaceful and fair election, and Africa’s macroeconomic setting threatening gains that were made in the 1990s.MORE
Washington Tone-Deafness Part II›By Francis A. Kornegay // Monday, February 18, 2013
By Francis A. Kornegay
Senior Fellow, Institute for Global Dialogue, Pretoria
The Global Swing States report (German Marshall Fund-Center for a New American Security) exposes serious flaws in American foreign policy thinking by excluding South Africa from their equation involving India and Brazil as rising democratic powers. Washington’s foreign policy mind-set still has a way to go in order to adapt to these changing world realities. Given the major gaps that exist in the current U.S. administration’s own thinking, starting with President Obama himself, it is not surprising that South Africa is bypassed in Global Swing States or that Africa is treated simply as an object for US-‘swing state’ attention, rather than possessing its own agency for charting the continent’s direction. In President Obama’s ‘Person of the Year’ Time magazine interview, he mentioned everything except Africa as a priority in his second term foreign policy.MORE
How Should America Respond to Economic Opportunities in Africa?›By Steve McDonald // Monday, February 11, 2013
By Steve McDonald, Director of the Africa Program and Leadership Project, The Wilson Center
U.S. policy toward Africa has been on autopilot for much of the past four years, following a laundry list of good intentions that established priorities for Africa’s well-being and U.S. security interests. However, a truly sustainable and forward-looking U.S. policy toward Africa should refocus attention on Africa’s opportunity as an economic powerhouse of the future, a strategy that combines both domestic self-interest and an opportunity to help Africa move forward. An emerging landscape of stable economies and growing democratic freedoms in much of Africa is allowing the continent, for the first time, to take advantage of its extensive natural resource endowments, its improving human capital, and its increasing attractiveness to global investors. U.S. policymakers have shown recent signs of understanding Africa’s position and are seeking to strengthen economic relations with African countries. They would be wise to formulate a comprehensive economic policy, not just with interagency coordination, but also in full partnership with the legislative branch, with the private sectors in Americaand Africa, and with African governments.MORE
The Perfect Storm for an Enhanced AGOA›By leadership project // Thursday, December 6, 2012
By Stephen Lande and Dennis Matanda
In September 2012, just as the 3rd Country Fabric was about to expire, the non controversial AGOA provision was, in a surprise turn of events, unanimously approved by the US Congress. The bill had, due to partisan gridlock, languished for over a year, and in the process, both American and African businesses suffered loss from the uncertainty of renewal. But the manner in which 3rd Country eventually passed gave hope to the then despondent that renewal of the AGOA program would be seamless and also well before its July 2015 expiration date. Also, the 113th Congress, which commences January 2013, has already indicated that they intend to address AGOA in the same time frame as the Generalized System of Preferences [GSP] program which enables US companies to import certain products from selected developing companies free of duty. Thus, uncharacteristically, Congress could renew AGOA within this session or even by end of this year!
However, while renewing AGOA is important, if the program were significantly enhanced to address imports from Africa to the US, exports to Africa from the US and especially US investment in Africa, this might even be more beneficial to even more stakeholders. A new initiative from the Obama Administration, from Congress or stakeholders would ensure that the flagship US trade and investment program for Africa lives up to the original expectations of being truly transformational and not just a cosmetic extension or renewal like has happened on four occasions in the past 12 years of AGOA’s existence.MORE
Emerging Powers and Africa’s Development Agenda in the 21st Century›By Mzukisi Qobo // Monday, December 3, 2012
By Dr. Mzukisi Qobo
There continues to be a growing interest in Africa’s development challenges and the continent’s future prospects. The commodity boom that took place from 1997 to 2007 accounts for much of this positive commentary.
Coincidentally, Africa’s new emerging partners, China and India, have also helped to spur its growth, due to the vast amount of vital resources found within the continent that are seen as strategic necessities to power their own growth and modernization. Beyond natural resources, the involvement of these new partners in Africa spans diverse sectors, such as infrastructure, agriculture, and finance, with state-driven capital fueling acquisitions in the case of China, and intensifying private sector engagement in the case of India.MORE
November’s Last Word›By Steve McDonald // Thursday, November 29, 2012
By Steve McDonald
So, here we are. We have weathered one of the most divisive American election campaigns in recent memory. What does this mean for Africa? Current signals coming from high level administration officials are that the President will pay a great deal more attention to Africa in his second term than he did in his first. The White House is already beginning to plan for a major Africa trip that will most likely be scheduled in the spring of 2013. While dates and countries are far from being set, a great deal of thought will go into this trip in terms of what the focus will be, and what signals or messages the President wants to impart. Even though the trip alone will be an important statement, the key is going to be in finding the substance behind the rhetoric and fanfare. No doubt, as Africa welcomes back the first U.S. President of direct African heritage, the ceremony and celebration will be exceptional. However, if the June 14, 2012 Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on Sub-Saharan Africa continues to maintain its status as the ruling policy document towards the continent, not much will change.MORE
China’s Investments in Africa›By leadership project // Tuesday, November 20, 2012
There is agreement among those who follow China-Africa relations that state-owned and private Chinese companies have become major investors in Africa over the past 10 years. Even Chinese individuals are investing small amounts in enterprises ranging from restaurants to acupuncture clinics. It is possible that in the past several years, China was the single largest bilateral source of annual foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa’s 54 countries.
There is, however, considerable confusion as to what constitutes Chinese investment in Africa. Many analyses, especially journalistic accounts, conflate investment with multi-billion dollar loans from China to African governments that often use the loans to build infrastructure by Chinese construction companies. These loans tend to go to resource rich countries such as Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ghana and are usually repaid by shipping natural resources to China. These loans are not FDI; they are commercial deals, albeit often with a concessionary loan component. It is important to keep them separate from investment.
So how much have Chinese companies and individuals invested in Africa? I have concluded that no one, including no one in China, knows the answer to this question.MORE
November 14, 2012 News›By leadership project // Wednesday, November 14, 2012
November 14, 2012MORE
EUROPE’S INTEGRATION AND AFRICA’S: Any message for US Policy?›By Francis A. Kornegay // Thursday, September 13, 2012
By Francis A. Kornegay, Jr. Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center
At the beginning of September, the New YorkTimes praised European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi’s decision to ease the Eurozone crisis by throwing the ECB’s financial clout behind protecting Spain and Italy from financial collapse. This was seen as its biggest steps yet in stirring the European Union (EU) toward a “more federal Europe” rather than a “collection of nation states that often seem to share little more than a common currency and a slumping regional economy.”