This past week (19-22 September 2012) in Washington, DC marked The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 42nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) on Legislative and Policy issues impacting the African-American community.
The CBC is an organization representing black members of Congress and the CBCF is the nonprofit that aims at serving to improve socioeconomic circumstances of African-Americans and other marginalized communities. Generally ALC dedicates a half a day or a few sessions to Africa Affairs, however this year, included a day-long event called “Africa Rising: A Continent of Opportunity”.
Africa Rising, a free event hosted by Karen Bass (US. Rep. for California) held at the Washington Convention Center on Friday, 21 September featured 3 Panel discussions:
- Africa’s Growing Economy
- Health Investment for Africa’s Future
- Emerging Threats to Political Stability
Free Lunch and cultural reception also provided….
Headliners included (to name a few):Tebelelo Seretse (Amb. of Botswana to the USA), Johnnie Carson (Amb. Asst. Secretary of State for African Affairs), Emira Woods (Co-Director for Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies), Jay Ireland (President and CEO, General Electric Company Africa), Ertharin Cousin (Executive Director UN World Food Programme)
Cameos: Jesse Jackson (USA civil rights pioneer), Sterny Hoyer (US. Rep. for Maryland)
Some Take Aways:
-In terms of development, people forget that most sub-saharan African countries are less than 60 years old. Ghana (aged 55) being the oldest following decolonialization”
-While HIV, poverty, political stability are top priorities for Africa, the issue of climate change is also a major concern
-The issue of narco traffic is a major concern for Africa as w. Africa has become the new hub from Central America to europe
-Landgrabs! People are loosing ancestral homes 2M acres of land have been appropriated in Liberia recently
-Odious Debts remain a problem crippling many African nations from progressing
- Few Multi-national Corporations are moving toward CSR and putting Africans in charge of Africa
-Medical Research advancements are slowly reaching Africa
I commend CBC for making Africa apart of its agenda. This a great way of bridging Africa and African-American relations!!!