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Africa Policy Leaders Demand a New Direction in President Obama's Policy toward the African Continent

June 20, 2013

As President Obama plans trip to Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa, a press conference at the National Press Club will give voice to those calling for change in his Africa policy.

When: Monday, June 24, 2013, 12:30 PM ET (6:30 PM SAST)
Where: National Press Club, Murrow Room, 529 14th St NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC
Speakers: Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International; Dev Kar, Global Financial Integrity; Emira Woods, Institute for Policy Studies; Sarah Pray, Open Society Foundations; Kysseline Chérestal, ActionAid USA; Nii Akuetteh, independent Africa policy analyst; Mwiza Munthali, TransAfrica – Moderator
Coffee, tea, light fare will be provided

Washington DC – Leaders from the Africa policy community will host a press conference on Monday, June 24, to give their thoughts and analysis on U.S. policy towards Africa in advance of President Obama’s trip to the African continent later that week, visiting Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa. The press conference will be broadcast live on the IPS YouTube Channel.

The leaders will release a policy briefing book and an open letter statement critical of the Obama Administration’s policy toward Africa and calling for a new approach to trade and investment, militarization, land grabs and more in the region. They represent a diversity of voices within the Africa Advocacy Network (ADNA), a major network of advocacy groups calling for peace, justice, and sustainability in Africa.

“What the peoples of Africa are asking for is U.S. policy that will first do no harm,” says Mwiza Munthali of TransAfrica. “The U.S. involvement many times has had a negative effect, not positive, and at times has actually thwarted the progress that Africa has made.”

“President Obama’s trip is likely to focus on trade and investment, but actually U.S. policy toward Africa has been driven by militarization and land grabs,” said Emira Woods of the Institute for Policy Studies. “Instead, U.S. policy toward Africa should open the way for the people of Africa to control their own destiny.”

“The United States should take the lead in international efforts to promote greater transparency in the world’s financial system so that poor countries are able to retain more of the scarce capital that is currently being illegally shifted abroad,” said Dr. Dev Kar of Global Financial Integrity. “At the G8 Summit, President Obama committed to taking steps to ensure that the true beneficial owners of corporations in the United States are transparent. While he made similar commitments two years ago as part of the Open Government Partnership, the President needs to match his words with actions.”

ADNA Members will also be available for interview from the following organizations: Jubilee Network; Friends of the Congo; Mennonite Central Committee, U.S. Washington Office; Africa Faith and Justice Network; Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate; Africa Action

WATCH LIVE BROADCAST on the IPS YouTube Channel

** Speakers available for interview ** 

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The Africa Advocacy Network (ADNA) is a network of over 50 organizations calling for better policy toward Africa by the United States, United Nations, and other organizations.