Ahead of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, wherein 50 African heads of state will descend on Washington, D.C. for a 3-day conference with U.S. government officials and business leaders, Brookings scholars Vera Songwe, Witney Schneidman and Amadou Sy discuss the summit’s top agenda items, including trade and investment, economic competitiveness and good governance.
“When President Obama went to Africa he said, ‘Africans want strong institutions, not strong men.’ We are receiving strong men in the U.S. next week and the question is: Are we going to have an important message for the strong men in terms of whether we need to begin to move towards transitions?”
“I think what the administration is trying to do is to really enter into a dialogue with the leaders from Africa to identify critical areas that they can work on together. You’re absolutely right, this is like a non-China summit, this is not going to be about big A-packages being rolled out.”
“If you look at the data on Africa, the number of aid-dependent African countries is going down … Africa is less aid dependent, and I think we understand with the situation here in Congress and Senate that getting U.S. taxpayer’s money for Africa is not an easy task. That’s why I think we should applaud this focus on the private sector.”
Today’s sanctions were predictable after the Mueller indictment, which identified specific Russians involved with the troll factory...However, these individuals are small fish. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the so-called ‘Putin’s chef’ in charge of the Internet Research Agency, was already on the U.S. sanctions list for his activities in Ukraine. The administration deserves credit for following through on their promise to impose new sanctions, but much more still needs to be done to realistically deter Russia.
It’s a good move by the administration to impose sanctions...but it’s still not enough to respond to growing Russian aggression.