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Africa Action Releases Africa Policy Outlook 2010

 


Thursday, January 21, 2010 (Washington, DC) – One year after President Obama was sworn in to office, and less than a week before his State of the Union address, Africa Action today released its Africa Policy Outlook 2010, also published by Foreign Policy in Focus.

The Outlook is an annual publication forecasts the key issues and developments in Africa policy, such as climate change, the global economic crisis, HIV/AIDS, foreign aid and other country topics, and it analyzes trends in U.S. relations with Africa under the current administration. It is now available athttp://www.africaaction.org/

The report also calls into question U.S. commitment to long-term development goals.  In the global economic crisis, with less money being made available for investment in health, infrastructure, education, and the fight to combat climate change, the U.S. is missing a historic opportunity to bring meaningful change for poor people in Africa.

Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action, said, “In 2009, we formally bade farewell to President Bush, and shared President Obama’s vision of hope and change for U.S. foreign policy.  His bold commitments to human rights during his campaign commanded the attention of those people all around the word.”

However, as Africa moves into a new decade, the Africa Policy Outlook for 2010 identifies several challenges facing the Obama Administration.

“The U.S. has tripled the budget for U.S. military programs in Africa and revitalized the IMF and it’s failed lending policies, while at the same time, flat-lined funding for life-saving HIV/AIDS programs. Africa deserves a more sophisticated approach than what has been afforded to its people,” adds Gerald LeMelle. 

“The Obama administration has so far chosen to emphasize the importance of the U.S.’s military role on the continent.  However, the question now is whether, by treating dissent with military force rather than traditional law enforcement techniques, the U.S. is undermining democracy and at the same time encouraging extremism and the growth of anti-Americanism.”

Michael Stulman, Associate Director for Policy and Communications said, “The U.S. should leverage its enormous economic and political power to lead the international community in a global flight to eliminate poverty, disease, and conflict. U.S. policy towards Africa must support the full spectrum of human rights across the continent, and be inseparably integrated as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy. Human rights are the foundation for political and social stability and economic progress.”

The full text of the Africa Policy Outlook 2010 is available on the Africa Action website, http://www.africaaction.org.

Gerald LeMelle is the Executive Director of Africa Action, the oldest organization in the U.S. working on African affairs. Prior to joining Africa Action, Gerald served as the Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy at Amnesty International USA.Gerald is available for comment at 202-546-7961 or michael.stulman@africaaction.org

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Africa Action, 1634 Eye Street, NW., Suite 810, Washington, DC 20006 United States



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