On Thursday, May 23, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings (AGI) and the Congressional African Staff Association (CASA) hosted a briefing for congressional staffers on U.S.-Kenya relations after the election in Kenya of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) trial. Panelists included Africa Growth Initiative Director and Senior Fellow Mwangi Kimenyi and Nonresident Senior Associate of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Joel D. Barkan. Margot Sullivan, foreign policy fellow in the Office of Congresswoman Karen Bass, moderated the discussion.
This event is part of the Africa Policy Dialogue on the Hill, a monthly congressional briefing series hosted by AGI and CASA on topical issues relevant to Africa’s growth and security.
MR. SIMPKINS: Well, good morning, everyone and welcome to the Africa Dialogue on the Hill. I’m Greg Simpkins, Professional Staff Member for the House Subcommittee Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. And our forums offer an Africa perspective on Africa issues as well as those of outside experts.
This is a monthly co-presentation by the Congressional African Staff Association and the Africa Growth Initiative of the Brookings Institution. For those who don’t know CASA, we’re a bipartisan, bicameral association of Staff Members who seek to educate our colleagues on today’s issues on the Continent and within the greater African diaspora through panel discussion, briefings and other events with decision makers and officials involved in African Policy.
Our partner, the Africa Growth Initiative brings together African scholars to provide policymakers with high quality research, expertise and innovative solutions that promote Africa’s economic development. Because of AGI’s access to the latest research from the Continent, we thought they offered a great partnership in achieving our mutual goals to inform.
To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.
I think probably that the lesson that [Kim Jong Un is] learning is that he doesn’t have to give up anything and yet people will be scrambling for summits with him. ... The longer we have these drawn-out talks, these summits, bilaterals, trilaterals, quadrilaterals, the more it buys time for them to reinforce their claimed status [as a nuclear power] but also to continue with their R&D. But I do think that there is an element of trying to mitigate the sanctions, and also Kim took all those discussions about military strikes seriously enough to try and take the wind out of the sails. ... I find it difficult to envision how or why he would give up his nuclear weapons, which have pretty much given him what he’s wanted: which is the strategic relevance, the international prestige, and deterrence.
[Regarding President Trump's shift from enthusiasm to uncertainty over the U.S.-North Korea summit] In effect, President Trump is getting a mini-lesson in talking to the North Koreans even before he talks to the North Koreans.