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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Africa Action
Michael Stulman, (202) 546-7961
Africa Action Releases 'Africa Policy Outlook 2009'
WASHINGTON - January 28 - Today Africa Action released its Africa Policy Outlook for 2009. This annual publication was released one week after the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama and as millions across the African continent celebrate the new opportunities his presidency offers.
The Outlook identifies several large-scale challenges facing the Obama Administration, including humanitarian disasters in Somalia, the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It suggests that the unilateral and militarized U.S. policy towards Africa has made African people more vulnerable over the last 7 years.
"Instead of dividing Africa up between friends and enemies, Outlook urges an inclusive and multilateral approach, designed to increase voluntary cooperation, bolster UN and hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping operations, and project long term solutions to the greatest challenge to security and stability in Africa, poverty." said Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action.
"We recognize that the expectations for the new Administration are formidable. However President Obama can take a very first constructive step by initiating more collaborative models of policy design and implementation. By engaging a broad spectrum of civil society organizations, and most importantly, taking into consideration the concerns of African people, U.S. policy in Africa could be much more successful and effective, particularly with regard to long term interest in promoting human rights, democracy and development," added LeMelle.
The Outlook also cites the recurrent failed policies of international financial institutions and the need for responsible development finance and better coordination of foreign aid. It recognizes the dire importance of investments in health infrastructure and projects climate change as an urgent and unfair crisis looming over many African nations.
"The new Obama administration must have renewed commitment to effective foreign assistance that will address global challenges such as food insecurity, unfair trade and other barriers to Africa's integration into the world economy," cited Michael Stulman, Africa Action's Associate Director for Policy and Communications. "Through sustained engagement, vision and better coordination of foreign assistance policy, President Obama can promote U.S. policies that support African struggles for sustainable peace and development."
To view the report online visit http://www.africaaction.org/