Photograph — Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter

In a world where the developed countries are tending towards extreme nationalism fuelled by a new wave of populism in the West, the place of Africa, largely underdeveloped and the biggest beneficiary of the internationalist approach of former years, in World Affairs has been at the centre of debates. From the difficulties faced by the continent and how much progress has been made in recent years to what the future holds for Africa and how it can ensure stability and self-sufficiency, themes centred around the development of one of the oldest continents remains a big discussion on the global scene.

It is in line with this reality that the Atlantic Council, a WashingtonDC-based think tank international organisation is hosting an international discussion focused on the place of Africa in a changing world. The discussion scheduled for March 9, 2017, will have the outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the keynote speaker, delivering an address on “The Place of Africa on the World Stage.”

The discussion to be moderated by the Vice President and Director of Africa Affairs at the Atlantic centre, Dr J. Peter Pham will see Thomas-Greenfield reflect on the role of Africa in a fast changing world. Having served as the overseer of African affairs in the US department of state for the past three years, Thomas-Greenfield is expected to speak on the efforts of the US government at solving some problems faced by African countries as well as turning some identified difficulties into opportunities. Her vast experience in African affairs from a career that spans over 34 years makes her a leading voice in matters African discussions.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat with a focus on Africa. She was appointed the Head of the State Department Bureau of African Affairs in 2013 by President Barack Obama. Prior to her appointment, she served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources. In that capacity, she maintained her relationship with a number of African countries, serving in Nigeria (two and half years), Gambia and Kenya. She arrived Rwanda on an official assignment to assess refugee situation only two days before the genocide broke out. She was herself held at gunpoint by Hutus who mistook her for a Tutsi. She was allowed to leave Rwanda two days after the incident.

Thomas-Greenfield led the state department team that observed the Liberian election in 2005. She later served as US ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012.

Her vast experience in African affairs from a career that spans over 34 years makes her a leading voice in matters African discussions. On March 9, Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be discussing Africa after three and half years of spearheading American diplomacy on the continent.


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