Conversations on Africa Series: Setting U.S. Policy in Africa for the Next U.S. President

April 21, 2016

8:30 am - 3:00 pm

B-338 Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC 20515



The Africa-America Institute will host a full-day Conversation on Africa (COA) forum on Thursday, April 21 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 

As the U.S. presidential election heats up, the COA theme, Looking Ahead: Setting American Policy in Africa for the Next U.S. President” offers a platform for congressional leaders, U.S. Government officials, policy experts and Members of the African Diplomatic Corps to discuss and propose U.S.-Africa policy priorities for the next Administration.

 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM  Registration and Continental Breakfast Welcome

9:00 AM to 9:15 AM  Remarks  

  • Amini Kajunju, President & CEO, The Africa America Institute
  • The Honorable Karen Bass, Ranking Minority Member, House Subcommittee on Africa

9:15 AM to 10:15 AM  Panel One – “Africa: What Should the Remaining Priorities for the 114th Congress Be?”

Moderator: Witney Schneidman, Senior Nonresident Fellow, The Brookings Institute 

  • Gregory Simpkins, Majority Staff Director, House Subcommittee on Africa
  • Melvin P. Foote, CEO & President, Constituency for Africa
  • Aysha House, Director of External Affairs, U.S. African Development Foundation
  • Stephen Lande, President, Manchester Trade, LTD.

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Panel Two – “Reflections: The Obama Administration’s Approach to Promoting Education in Africa”

Moderator: The Honorable Vivian Lowery Derryck, President & CEO, The Bridges Institute

  • Julie Hanson Swanson, Deputy Chief, Education Division, Bureau of Africa, USAID
  • Her Excellency Mathilde Mukantabana, Rwanda Ambassador to the United States  

11:45 AM to 1:15 PM Policy Luncheon and Fireside Chat: “Identifying Best Practices for U.S. Engagement in Africa”

Moderator: Amini Kajunju, President & CEO, The Africa-America Institute

Brigety Official Photo eblast



The Honorable Reuben E. Brigety II, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University



1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Panel Three – “Beyond the Obama Administration: What Can We Expect for Africa?” with U.S. Presidential Candidate Representatives

Moderator: Carol Pineau, Producer, Writer, Director and Journalist

Representative: Campaign of the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton – Michelle Gavin, diplomat, international policy leader, and Managing Director of The Africa Center

Representative: Campaign of the Honorable Bernie Sanders – Walakewon (Wala) Onyinyechukwu Blegay, African Advocate, Co-counsel for the World Conference of Mayors and founder of Alliance of Liberians in America

Representative: Campaign of Donald Trump – Jeffrey “J.D.” Gordon, U.S. foreign policy advisor and national security expert and supporter of presidential candidate Donald Trump

Representative: Campaign of the Honorable Ted Cruz – Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and adviser to the Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign

Representative: Campaign of John Kasich – Ambassador Herman Jay Cohen, former U. S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

3:00 PM to 3:10 PM Summary, Reflections and Closing Remarks

Steve Pfeiffer, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright and AAI Board of Trustees 

Follow the discussion at #AAICOA @AAIAfrica

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