Upcoming events on Africa

Heads up on two upcoming events on Africa. The first is titled AFRICOM: The American Military and Public Diplomacy in Africa and will be at the University of Southern California February 8, 2008:

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School and the USC Center for International Studies are pleased to announce the upcoming conference, AFRICOM: The American Military and Public Diplomacy in Africa. The first of a series of conferences on public diplomacy, this conference will be held on Friday, February 8, 2008 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

This conference will feature panel sessions addressing U.S.-African relations, the State Department and Department of Defense concepts of public diplomacy in Africa, and African perspectives on the issue. Some questions to be discussed include how AFRICOM should be presented to African publics, to what extent African nations and regional organizations will be involved in shaping AFRICOM’s role, and how AFRICOM will work with other developmental and humanitarian projects on the continent. The conference hopes to provide AFRICOM as a case study for a discussion of public diplomacy in a broader sense, considering who should conduct public diplomacy and how it can be better integrated into government policy.

Confirmed panelists include: Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Ryan Henry, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense; Nicole Lee, Executive Director of the TransAfrica Forum; Amb. Brian Carlson, State-DoD Liaison in the Office of the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; Mark Malan, Peacebuilding Program Officer at Refugees International; and H.E. Peter N.R.O Ogego, Kenyan Ambassador to the United States. The conference will be recorded and followed by the publication of the transcript and briefing papers. All sessions will be open to the USC community, the news media, the Los Angeles consular corps, and the general public.

For further information, please contact Lisa Larsen, Assistant Director for Programming and Events, at (213) 821-0768 or llarsen@usc.edu.

The second event is a 1.5 day event, February 28-29, 2008: Countering Terrorism in Africa through Human Security Solutions at The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

The Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies—with support from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and co-sponsorship from the Conflict and Human Security Studies Program at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point; the Fletcher Institute for Human Security; the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University; and Synexxus, Inc.—presents a two-day conference, “Countering Terrorism in Africa Through Human Security Solutions” on Thursday, February 28 and Friday, February 20 at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

The conference will explore the mutual concerns of development, human rights, and security professionals working in a region that, due to poverty, civil violence, and mismanaged security interventions, may be susceptible to: influence and activity carried out by global terrorist networks such as al Qaeda and affiliated movements (AQAM); radicalization and the formation of independent violent terrorist cells; and the use of violent, civilian-focused terrorist tactics. Through three panels and two keynote addresses, the aim of this conference is to explore collaborative efforts to improve human security in Africa by addressing both development and security issues, which could help to improve conditions on the continent and, by extension, prevent terrorist networks from exploiting grievances and garnering support.

Both look interesting and worthwhile.

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