With the unveiling of a new logo, the National Basketball Association (NBA) made its new Basketball Africa League (BAL) official— fulfilling its commitment to launch its first league outside of the United States. But while this is the organization’s first league in Africa, the NBA is not new to the continent— particularly when it comes to engaging with African youth and investing in infrastructure and civil society across the continent.
With the youth population in Africa projected to double to 1 billion by 2050, America’s military and development professionals have increasingly recognized that engaging youth is critical to peace and prosperity. The United States has a remarkable legacy of leveraging its development and diplomacy programs to drive economic growth and mitigate the conditions that make communities vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups.
Nearly thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the state of democracy in the world remains a mixed picture of both progress and decline. But investments in diplomacy and development by the U.S. and new leadership in developing democracies provides fresh potential in addressing corruption.
At the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Mozambique last week, USAID Administrator Mark Green and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley rolled out more details on the Administration’s Prosper Africa initiative with the ambitious goal of doubling two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
In the last two decades, there have been countless advances that have changed our lives—new medicines, smart phones, and global movements for equality, to name a few. And according to a new report, in the last 18 years—the span of a childhood—the lives of more than 280 million children around the world, including the U.S., have improved dramatically.
U.S. assistance to Central and Latin America – from Plan Colombia to the Alliance for Prosperity – has long focused on addressing the root causes of instability and migration through strategic investments that combat violence, provide safe spaces for youth, promote economic development, and fight corruption. Here are just 9 U.S. foreign assistance programs in Central America that are making a difference.
Speaking to students, farmers, and business leaders in Iowa at the beginning of the month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed America’s commitment to promote global food security and prosperity in the American agricultural sector. He explained that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department “work hard to support American agriculture … so that you all can sell pork and beef, and Kansas can sell their wheat … all the things that America makes so wonderfully.”
An unusual coalition – from Secretaries of State, Commerce, Treasury, and Defense to the heads of America’s development agencies, from a Democratic Senator to a Freedom Caucus member, and from a National Security Advisor to leaders of private and public sector organizations including the World Bank, UNICEF, UPS, P&G, Deloitte, and Walmart – joined the President this week, committing America to promote women’s economic empowerment around the world.
The path forward in Venezuela remains uncertain since National Assembly President Juan Guaidó took the oath of office and declared himself the legitimate interim president of Venezuela. He was quickly recognized by the United States, Canada, and much of Central and Latin America, even as Russia, China, and Turkey warned they would continue to support President Maduro. While the Administration insists that no options are “off the table,” it has so far focused on a strong diplomatic and economic response to defend democratic values and encourage a peaceful transition of power. As the crisis unfolds, here are three critical issues to watch as the hunger and political crisis in Venezuela continues to spiral downward.