Discussion with the President of Burkina Faso and the ECOWAS Commission President

On Thursday, August 7, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted H.E. Blaise Compaoré, president of Burkina Faso, and H.E. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, for a roundtable discussion at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC. J. Peter Pham, Africa Center director, welcomed participants the event, followed by introductory remarks from General James L. Jones, Jr. USMC (Ret.), chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. President Compaoré and H.E. Ouédraogo made opening statements before Pham moderated a roundtable discussion.

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Participants included former US Africa Command commanders General William Ward and General Carter Ham, as well as Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs at the US Department of Defense; the Honorable Bisa Williams, deputy assistant secretary for African affairs at the US Department of State; Hon. Tuli Mushingi, US ambassador to Burkina Faso; H.E. Seydou Bouda, ambassador to the United States from Burkina Faso; the Honorable George Moose, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs and Atlantic Council board director; and the Honorable Mary Yates, former special assistant to the President and senior director for Africa at the National Security Council and board director at the Atlantic Council. Other participants included a number of Burkinabé cabinet ministers and ECOWAS Commission members, former US ambassadors, representatives from the private sector, US government agencies, non-profit organizations, and academia.

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During his remarks, President Compaoré touched on the themes of peace and security challenges, economic development, and democratic transitions. President Compaoré noted that such issues affect not only Burkina Faso, but also West Africa and the broader continent. He described the United States as a strong partner in helping Burkina Faso tackle insecurity and promote economic development.

President Ouédraogo outlined West Africa’s regional challenges, including the need for improved cooperation among neighboring countries to promote economic, security, and human development.

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At the conclusion of the breakfast event, H.E. Lucien Bembamba, minister of finance for Burkina Faso, and Michael S. Ansari, M.I.C. Industries chairman and CEO and Atlantic Council board director formally signed an agreement between the two parties for Burkina Faso to acquire equipment from the Virginia-based company.

Related Experts: J. Peter Pham