Dr. Jendayi Frazer explores four areas prominently featured during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which took place in Washington, DC in August 2014. She discusses how the Obama administration can help solidify the initial steps taken at the Summit for long-term U.S. involvement with the African continent.
Yanzhong Huang notes the limited public health infrastructure in certain West African countries that are currently battling the spread of Ebola, which is a similar phenomenon to that which occurred in China during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Dr. Huang stresses the importance of foreign aid, particularly Chinese funds, to slow the spread of Ebola but points out that dependence on foreign aid is ultimately an unsustainable public health strategy.
Listen as Laurie Garrett, CFR senior fellow for global health, discusses the recent arrival of a traveler infected with Ebola in the United States, as well efforts to combat the virus's rapid spread throughout West Africa.
Obama called the world to action against Ebola, but most countries are only paying lip service to the coming catastrophe. Laurie Garrett asks two questions about this newly announced war on Ebola in this article for ForeignPolicy.com: Will personnel and resources reach West Africa rapidly enough to dam the viral flow, and will the nations of the world learn from this disaster to build institutions and long-term targets that prevent pandemics in the future?
President Barack Obama spoke with health experts at the Center for Disease Control on September 16, 2014, and the White House relased this fact sheet to outline U.S. actions to combat Ebola in West Africa and to contain its spread, including sending health workers, military forces, and medical supplies, funding vaccine development, and supporting public service announcements and education about the disease.
As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa accelerates beyond the capacity to count its toll, an unprecedented escalation in global support is evident, led by U.S. President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military intervention. In this op-ed for Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett argues, "Nothing short of heroic, record-breaking mobilization is necessary at this late stage in the epidemic."
In August 2014, African Union (AU) established the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa (ASEOWA) mission to send health personnel from Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Ethiopia to effected countries in West Africa. The African Union Executive Council released an official decision about AU reponse to the Ebola epidemic on September 9, 2014, and the first deployment of volunteers will go to Liberia, followed by a deployment to Sierra Leone.
Dr. Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, spoke at UN Special Briefing on Ebola on September 2, 2014. Dr. Liu lists priorities as "scaling up isolation centers; deploying mobile laboratories to improve diagnostic capabilities; establishing dedicated air bridges to move personnel and equipment to and within West Africa; and building a regional network of field hospitals to treat suspected or infected medical personnel."
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued this roadmap for scaled-up response to the Ebola outbreak and for coordinated international support. WHO states that it aims to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries (particularly Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) within 6-9 months and prevent international spread.
In Africa, the most daunting obstacle to economic growth is rampant corruption that robs citizens of billions of dollars every year. Improving governance in the extractive industries—which are particularly prone to corruption—would go a long way toward achieving more robust and inclusive prosperity, write Stewart M. Patrick and Isabella Bennett.
The governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have escalated their counterattack on the Ebola virus, imposing cordons sanitaires aimed at isolating entire regions of their countries in hopes of containing the enemy. Although many in the media accuse these governments of being inhumane or overly severe, Laurie Garrett pulls from her experience in the Ebola outbreak of 1995 in Kikwit, Zaire to show that these dramatic steps can work.
Laurie Garrett explains that experimental drugs and airport screenings will do nothing to stop this current Ebola outbreak. If Ebola hits Lagos, the needs for international assistance will grow exponentially.
The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit shifted the U.S. perception of how it engages with Africa, but was missing a vital component to success—human rights. Amelia M. Wolf argues that if the Obama administration wants to be "central" to development of Africa, as it has claimed, it must support the development of institutions for justice and the rule of law in collaboration with African states, and now is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Even after the World Health Organization's that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, Laurie Garrett and Maxine Builder argue in the Sunday Express that there is no clear framework for leadership in a globalized epidemic such as this, and without it, the response will be ineffective and Ebola will quickly spiral further out of control.
During August 4-6, 2014, President Barack Obama convened the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest gathering of African heads of state and governments ever assembled by a U.S. President. Fifty-one leaders focused on sustainable development, trade, collaboration, investment, and America's commitment to Africa's security, its democratic development, and its people. The summit took place during the same time as the 13th Annual African Growth Opportunity Act Forum.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »