Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham writes for the Hill on the US-Africa Leaders Summit:

Some 50 official delegations, many led by heads of state or government, as well as hundreds of top-level business leaders and civil society representatives, converged on Washington this week in response to an invitation from President Obama to the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Yet most policymakers — to say nothing of ordinary Americans — have yet to come to terms with the surprising reality of the Africa on display in the many official and unofficial encounters across town.

Of course, U.S. policymakers have come a long way from the time two decades ago when, under President Clinton, Pentagon planners issued a document entitled “United States Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa” in which they declared that they could “see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa” and pronounced themselves to be convinced that “America’s security interests in Africa are very limited,” or, less than 15 years ago, when President George W. Bush, then campaigning for the White House, told PBS’s Jim Lehrer that “while Africa may be important, it doesn’t fit into the national strategic interests as far as I can see them.”

Read the full article here.

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