The U.S. and Africa: Democratization, Peacekeeping, and Countering Extremism

THU, SEP 24, 2015 (38:25)

The United States’ long and complicated history with the African continent has grown ever more tumultuous in the new millennium. Now home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, traditional goals of promoting peace and democracy are fast being replaced by a desire to invest and engage African nations economically.

Despite new challenges and opportunities, U.S. Africa policy has remained in flux under President Obama. The growing threat of Islamic extremism in both the Western and Eastern parts of the continent has further complicated American foreign policy.

Dr. Pearl Robinson discusses U.S. Policy in Africa and the challenges and opportunities present in the second decade of the 21st century. She'll look at how American policy has shifted in response to the growing threat posed by Islamic extremism in Africa, and how U.S. policies are perceived by Africans and their leaders.

Photo: "Michelle-obama-bringbackourgirls" by Michelle Obama, Office of the First Lady - First Lady of the United States Twitter account [1] (confirmed account). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

+ BIO: Pearl T. Robinson

Pearl T. Robinson has authored more than 40 articles and book chapters on African and African American politics. She is co-author of Stabilizing Nigeria: Sanctions, Incentives, and Support for Civil Society and co-editor and co-author of Transformation and Resiliency in Africa .

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a past President of the African Studies Association, she has chaired the SSRC/ACLS Joint Committee on African Studies; served on the boards of Oxfam-America and TransAfrica; as a curriculum consultant for the PBS/BBC series The Africans: A Triple Heritage; and as an advisor for Hopes on the Horizon, a 2-hour documentary film about democratic movements in Africa during the 1990s.

Robinson is a past Director of Tufts' International Relations Program and has taught at Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. In 2011 UC San Diego's Research Center in African and African American Studies named Robinson recipient of its Teshome H. Gabriel Distinguished Africanist Award. Her current projects include an intellectual biography of 1950 Nobel Peace laureate Ralph Bunche, and Mama Kiota!, a documentary film about Islam and female empowerment in Niger.

Robinson spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger providing public health education in a rural Hausa town.

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