Atlantic Council Africa Director J. Peter Pham was a featured speaker at an African ambassadors’ roundtable on “Regional Solutions to Challenges in Africa” at the National Press Club today.
Along with Pham, other speakers on the panel moderated by Joseph K. Grieboski, chairman of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, were H.E. Michael Moussa-Adamo, ambassador of the Gabonese Republic to the United States, and H.E. Rachad Bouhlal, ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States. Also participating in the event were H.E. Stanislas Moussa-Kembe, ambassador of the Central African Republic to the United States; H.E. Serge Mombouli, ambassador of the Republic of Congo to the United States; H.E. Cyrille S. Oguin, ambassador of the Republic of Benin to the United States; H.E. Cheikh Niang, ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to the United States; H.E. Daouda Diabaté, ambassador of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to the United States; Ambassador Bisa Williams, US deputy assistant secretary of state for African Affairs; and Ambassador Michael Battle, senior advisor for the African Leaders Summit at the US State Department.
In his remarks, Pham noted that while demand for natural resources, demographic trends, and technology were among the factors driving the emergence of Africa as a significant global economic player in the twenty-first century, the largely untold story was how much of the political stability and economic growth was being driven by cooperation between African countries. As an example, he singled out the role that Morocco is playing in a number of West African countries with its security assistance, cultural and moderating religious influence, and significant investment in a variety of sectors, including financial institutions, telecommunications, agriculture, mining, and infrastructure.