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Is the African Leaders White House Summit Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy? American University Experts Available to Discuss Summit and African First Ladies Initiative

Released: 1-Aug-2014 11:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: American University
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only

WHO: American University experts

WHAT: African Leaders Summit & Spouse Meetings

WHEN: August 1 – ongoing

WHERE: Via telephone, in-studio or at American University

Newswise — American University experts are available to discuss the White House Summit with Africa’s democratically elected leaders on August 5-6. Additionally, the African leaders’ spouses will reunite with first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush at the Kennedy Center as part of a day’s long forum focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships as part of African First Ladies Initiative which last convened just over a year ago in Tanzania.

Carl LeVan, assistant professor in American University’s School of International Service, is an expert on comparative political institutions, democratization, and African security. LeVan’s years of on the ground in Africa -- most recently in Nigeria this past spring—have allowed him to witness how economies are growing but at the same time under threat from groups like Boko Haram or other militant groups who seek to disrupt western style growth and progress that not only includes economic prosperity but education access across the board. LeVan’s forthcoming book is Dictators and Democracy in African Development: The Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria.

LeVan is available to speak about:
• The summit’s opportunities to facilitate and coordinate continued economic and trade development, safeguards and respect for human rights, and security issues;
• How the Obama administration is poised to play a key role in Africa’s progress and sustained growth trajectory during his last two years in office;
• Current security issues that require diplomatic and military cooperation to combat militant groups like Boko Haram;
• Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and likely cool reception he will receive in Washington; and,
• Why leaders from Zimbabwe and Sudan were not invited to take part.

Anita McBride, American University Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies executive-in-residence, is co-founder of the African First Ladies Initiative, former chief of staff to Laura Bush, and served in three presidential administrations. McBride accompanied former first lady Laura Bush to Tanzania and is actively engaged in empowerment, development and education issues for women around the world.

McBride can discuss:
• The Africa First Ladies Initiative she helped co-found for RAND Corp that is now part of the Bush Institute First Ladies Initiative;
• The impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships taking place in Washington next week;
• Previous meetings the African first ladies have had with Laura Bush in Tanzania in July 2013 and New York in September 2013; and,
• How former U.S. first ladies have remained involved in advocacy projects after returning to private life.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

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