President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Congressional Black Caucus ALC’17

The “Iron Lady” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia joined Congresswoman Karen Bass for the Seventh Annual Africa Braintrust.  Congresswoman Bass’ press release indicated the goal was to explore the various ways the United States can renew our commitment and engagement across Africa via panels, issue-specific discussions and featured speakers by noted African and Diaspora academics, members of civil society, and members of the private sector who are each experts in their respective fields.

U.S. policy toward Africa is at a crossroads. An Assistant Secretary for African Affairs has yet to be appointed and the budget put forward by the White House has called for deep cuts to the Department of State and USAID. Many across Africa are asking if this signals a shift away from Africa. Given the long history of US-Africa relations, this is a good time to illustrate our continuing commitment to engaging with African nations. The Seventh Annual Africa Braintrust will explore the various ways the United States can renew our commitment and engagement across Africa via panels, issue-specific discussions and featured speakers by noted African and Diaspora academics, members of civil society, and members of the private sector who are each experts in their respective fields.

Panel I: Security and Insecurity in Africa

  • Moderator: Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Amb. Ertharin Cousin, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Dr. Dorina Bekoe, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, Quilliam International

Remarks By H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Panel II: Encouraging Prosperity Across Africa

  • Moderator: Dr. Brahima Coulibaly, Brookings Institution
  • Dana Reed, The Africa Center
  • Scott Eisner, US Chamber of Commerce
  • Matt Essieh, EAI Information Systems

Panel III: Developing Meaningful Partnerships with African Nations

  • Moderator: Dr. Menna Demissie, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
  • Semhar Araia, UNICEF USA
  • Verna Eggleston, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • C.D. Glin, U.S. African Development Foundation

Closing Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Scenes from the Congressional Black Caucus 47th Annual Legislative Conference.  This year’s Annual Legislative Conference theme, “And Still I Rise”.