Africa is the poorest continent and has long suffered war, famine, and disease. But African leaders and international players are creating ways to restore peace, promote good governance, and upgrade health across the continent's 53 countries. African leaders have formed stronger regional and sub-regional institutions and committed their countries to policies and programs to stimulate economic growth and increase funding for education, health, and infrastructure.
Africa After 50 is a roundtable series that examines new trends and regional dynamics that are shaping Africa's future and will impact U.S. policy opportunities on the continent. The emergence of new strategic players, especially China, India, and Middle Eastern countries, have created a more complex diplomatic landscape for the United States and African countries to navigate. Sustained economic growth over the past decade attracts interest in the region as a frontier and emerging market for global capital. Africa's entrepreneurs, rising urban middle classes and youth, and the introduction of new media are setting the stage for the next fifty years. Political stability and security remain fragile and depend on the increasing effectiveness of national and regional institutions. The African Union and sub-regional organizations in particular, have become more assertive in conflict resolution efforts across the continent, but long-term security will also require good governance innovation at the local and national levels. This series examines Africa's outlook after fifty years of independence from this new baseline by fostering discussion about the changing demographics, political and societal institutions, and the financial and physical infrastructure that will enable positive change. Hence the series will focus on new thinking and new strategies for Africa's transformation.
The United States has struggled to implement a coherent foreign policy toward sub-Saharan Africa even as strategic interests in the region have grown. Addressing issues of national security, development, trade, human rights, environment and natural resources requires stable, dependable and well-governed regional partners. However, corruption, poor governance, conflict, environmental degradation, widespread poverty and malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS continue to bring untold hardship to a large majority of the region's 800 million inhabitants and undermine core U.S. interests in democracy and development. The Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies Program Roundtable Series on U.S. Strategic African Partners seeks to foster discussion about how the United States can play a positive role in the region by strengthening the capacity of states to provide for their people and working with other African democracies on interests of mutual concern. The Africa Program has a special focus on Nigeria and South Africa because of their size and strategic importance.
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Religious Freedom in Ethiopia: A Year of Muslim Protests
February 14, 2013
This meeting is not for attribution.
Discussion on Mali
January 30, 2013
This meeting is not for attribution.
Kintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters
The interactive Nigeria Security Tracker documents and maps violence motivated by
political, economic, or social grievances.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide