The Great Debate

Tracking the Nigerian kidnappers

By Eliot Pence
May 14, 2014

nigeria -- candlelight vigil

Abubakar Shekau, the purported leader of Boko Haram, ignited international outrage when he announced that he would sell more than 200 of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls “in the market.” Nations around the globe offered help to Nigeria.

Post Rwanda: Invest in atrocity prevention

By Pam Omidyar
April 14, 2014

In the 20 years since the horrific 1994 genocide in Rwanda and its terrible spillover into the Congo, it has been clear that the global community remains ill-equipped to address such human-made catastrophic tragedies.

A ‘Marshall Plan’ for Africa’s employment challenge

By Tony O. Elumelu
January 3, 2014

To Africa’s many challenges, add one more: unemployment.

Unemployment, independent of any other factor, threatens to derail the economic promise that Africa deserves. It’s a time bomb with no geographical boundaries: Economists expect Africa to create 54 million new jobs by 2020, but 122 million Africans will enter the labor force during that time frame. Adding to this shortfall are tens of millions currently unemployed or underemployed, making the human and economic consequences nearly too large to imagine.

Internet access is a vital healthcare tool

By Michele Barry
September 13, 2013

When Mark Zuckerberg announced a new private sector initiative last month to make affordable Internet access available to people in developing countries, he breathed new life into a long-simmering debate within the global development community — what is the value of technology in societies suffering from urgent social, economic and humanitarian challenges? Familiar voices of criticism have been heard, pointing out that in communities lacking food, clean water and medicine, getting people online is hardly a priority.

An agenda to boost Africa’s economy

By Eliot Pence
August 30, 2013

A lot can happen in a year. This time last year, U.S. businesses and NGOs bemoaned the Obama administration’s perceived indifference to Africa. Now, they’re trying to find out how to catch the wave of interest. Major new initiatives, including Power Africa and Trade Africa, unveiled during President Obama’s first true trip to Africa this summer, as well as a reinvigorated push to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act fully two years before it’s due to expire, have given U.S.-Africa watchers a lot to consider. But what — and when — is enough for U.S. policy in Africa? What more can be done in the year ahead? How do things really shake out for investors, civil society and Africans? Here are three additional areas the Administration should consider as it deepens its commitment to the continent:

The looming U.S.-China rivalry over Latin America

By Gary Regenstreif
June 12, 2013

President Barack Obama meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) in California, June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Rice: Hitting ‘reset’ on Africa talks

By Salem Solomon
December 12, 2012

Michael O’Hanlon, in his Reuters Opinion piece, “In defense of Susan Rice” (Reuters, December 10, 2012), took issue with my New York Times op-ed article, “Susan Rice and Africa’s Despots” (December 9, 2012).

In defense of Susan Rice

December 10, 2012

The accusations against Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations and potential nominee for secretary of state, continue. They took a new turn on Monday as an Eritrean-American, Salem Solomon, wrote for the New York Times op-ed page about Rice’s supposed affections for a new generation of strongmen of Africa.

Obama, Romney missing the point on Libya

By Stephen R. Weissman
October 22, 2012

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in Monday’s foreign policy debate are again likely to examine the administration’s handling of an Islamic militia’s murderous attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and its significance for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

The U.S. needs to walk the walk on African security

By Raymond C. Offenheiser
August 9, 2012

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wraps up her travels across the African continent to showcase President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive to advance the “prosperity, security and dignity of its citizens,” she might have some explaining to do.