President Obama greets well-wishers during a trip to Ghana in 2009 White House
As if the Obama administration is heeding complaints that it has not engaged with Africa enough since the president assumed office in 2009, a new focus on the continent appears to be gaining steam. These appear to be signs and a signal from the White House that is takes Africa seriously while Obama is  president of the United States.

First there was the June 14 Presidential Policy Directive geared towards sub-Saharan Africa. Now, the White House Office of Public Engagement is holding a conversation Monday, July 30 with hopes of soliciting feedback from those involved with Africa related issues.

“Administration officials will be discussing the core components and strategic priorities outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive,” said an announcement from the White House July 27.

Specifically, they are asking the public to participate in the discussion by submitting questions through an online form, watch the discussions live at 11 a.m. ET or join the conversation live via Twitter. The Twitter hashtag is #WHChat

Meanwhile, Mwangi S. Kimenyi and Nelipher Moyop of the Brooking Institution have been particularly critical of the administration with regard to its policy towards Africa.

In “Favorite or Prodigal Son? U.S.-Africa Policy under Obama,” they said:

“But after two and half years of Obama’s presidency, a sense of disappointment among Africans is building.” The article is dated July 6, 2011.


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