U.S.-Africa Partnership: The Last Four Years and Beyond

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson observes elections in Dakar, Senegal, February 26, 2012. [U.S. Embassy photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Johnnie Carson serves as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

After more than 40 years of experience in Africa — and the ebbs and flows of hope and conflict — I’ve become ever more optimistic about Africa’s future. As those of you who know me are aware, I like to base my conclusions on analysis and factual observations. Here, too, my optimism is grounded in real developments: expanded democracy, rapid economic growth, and greater security and opportunities for Africa’s people. It’s now realistic to think that the 21st century will not only be shaped in Beijing and Washington, but also in Pretoria, Abuja, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa.

In my January 16 remarks at the Wilson Center, I elaborated about this optimism and the Obama Administration’s policies in Africa. Somalia and South Sudan are two places where no one previously believed… more »