MONDAY, AUGUST 4TH
Creating Our Own Space & Changing the Conversation
Taking place on the eve of President Obama’s African Leaders Summit, the Empowered Africa Dialogue will provide an alternative space where grassroots citizen-activists, scholars, progressive NGOs and community organizers from Africa and the United States will not only critique significant issues related to US-Africa policy, but also discuss alternative strategies and policies from a progressive and proactive perspective.
Positioned as a challenge to the African Leaders Summit, Empowered Africa will gather a broad range of constituencies and multi-issue organizations from the United States and Africa that have influenced progressive organizing on U.S.-Africa relations. These organizations include those working on human rights, conflict, labor, gender, climate justice, health and sustainable development locally and transnationally.
The Dialogue is an important opportunity to focus renewed attention on Africa by bringing in new energy from young activists and organizers on the continent. Participants from Africa and the U.S. come with many experiences and multiple perspectives on how to shape not only foreign policy agendas but also domestic ones.
Defining the Moment
In his second term, President Obama initiated three programs to demonstrate an interest in Africa. He committed $7 billion over five years to “Power Africa,” a largely corporate initiative aimed at increasing access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was established to train 500 young people from Africa in entrepreneurship and business, civic leadership, and public management. The final project is the African Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 5-6. Our people’s event will occur the previous day.
The heads of state summit, the first of its kind, provides us with a unique opportunity to help shape the public debate and hold the Obama administration and African heads of State accountable on critical issues of peace and militarism, democracy, sustainability and climate justice.
Our goals are to build solidarity between U.S. and African based activists and to provide a space to critically engage US-Africa policy and strategies to transform it.
This event is open to the public, but registration is required. For more information, please contact Anita Plummer at empoweredAfrica2014@gmail.com.
Empowered Africa Working Group: US-Africa Network, Howard University African Studies Department, American Friends Service Committee, ActionAid USA, Oxfam International, AfricaFocus Bulletin, Priority Africa Network, and Unchain Africa Press.