Profs and Pints DC presents: “A Progressive Approach to Africa,” an analysis of current U.S. policies and a call for new ones that help rather than harm, with Elizabeth Schmidt, professor emeritus of history at Loyola University Maryland and author of Foreign Intervention in Africa after the Cold War.
After four years of U.S. disengagement with Africa under Donald Trump, President Biden has told the leaders of African nations that the United States is “all in on Africa’s future.” His administration has pledged reinvestment in Africa to promote development, relieve hunger, and fight terrorism on the African continent at a time when China’s investment there is outstripping our own.
But what, exactly, should our nation’s approach to Africa be? How can we effectively engage in counterterrorism there while also promoting democracy and economic growth? What policies should we be abandoning as failures, and what kinds of policies should emerge in their place?
Hear such questions tackled by Dr. Elizabeth Schmidt, the author of six books on Africa and a leading scholar of politics there.
She’ll discuss how U.S. policies toward Africa have been ill-conceived and counterproductive, with an excessive emphasis on military interventions that don’t work and instead often exacerbate crises on the continent. While mainstream policymakers and pundits haggle over how many troops are needed, which nations should supply them, and where they should be deployed, the real question should be whether present counterterrorism strategies are effective, and if not, what sort of policies should replace them.
Professor Schmidt will show why prescriptions imposed on Africa from outside often fail, and she’ll lay out the framework of an entirely different approach giving ordinary Africans the space to build a more just and democratic continent. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: Mother and child in a Somalian refugee camp in 2013. (Photo by Agata Gryzbowska / Creative Commons.)