tv Brookings Discussion on Security in Sub- Saharan African Countries CSPAN August 20, 2019 8:01am-9:54am EDT
>> a panel look at the security situation in sub-saharan africa. they also touched on u.s. policy towards africa. the brookings institute institution posted this conversation. >> good morning, everyone and welcome to brookings. happy mid august. thank you for making some time for discussions of africa issues and coming to brookings on this day right smack in the middle of time when a lot of people at the beach. mike allen with the foreign policy program. suzanne maloney and i for brookings would like to welcome you along with landry signe, we're joined as well by matthew
carotenuto is a professor at ste university with which we frankly work together on african issues which also runs an excellent program in nairobi that just celebrate its 45th anniversary. matt was there doing research and bringing some alumni alone on the trigger and then finally joining the panel is jon temin from freedom house, works on their africa program and previous work in the obama administration's policy plans to use institute of peace. i want to thank jon for outstanding article he co-authored in the current issue of foreign affairs on some of the new promising democratic movement in some of africa's biggest countries which was largely aspiration for this event although we modified a little bit but we had kenya and tanzania to the list along with south africa, democratic republic of congo or as a peace corps volunteer 100 jews ago when it was still practically
before belgian congo days, and also nigeria and ethiopia. so between the six countries with roughly half of africa's population represented and, frankly, a fair amount of hopefulness. no one is going to be pollyanna-ish and say everything is going great but we thought it was a useful way to bring together i can -- conceptual way to bring the tamoxifen, economics front and more broadly even though they all struggle and any progress is still fragile. with that i'm going to stop, and the baton to suzanne maloney, our deputy director of foreign policy program and one of the countries top irate experts. iran is not too far from africa. so she thinks about this for so but she be our moderator today. >> thanks, mike, thanks to all of you for coming out on a monday morning in august. i'm glad to see such a packed house and look forward to a really interesting and inspiring conversation. i would like to start with professor carotenuto irritate
you could give us a kind of historical sense, situate this moment over the course of history. where do we stand, particularly if you might focus on kenya? >> hanky. thanks, mike, thanks suzanne and brookings for inviting me. whenever thinking about this event and would think about african security and broadly defined across the continent, as historian i definitely want to emphasize there's not a one-size-fits-all approach. that we have to think about local history, cultural context and even the colonial legacy 50 years removed in most places from independence. security depends on good governance, accountability, protection of human rights, access to basic services, and a growing and inclusive economy. it's a very complex topic, even if we are thinking about the six countries or any one individual. if we think about african governance, let me say a little about that historically.
african governance is often defined of conventional thinking of democracy were we've seen gains across the continent without the precondition of being a middle income country. voter turnout and enthusiasm for the electoral process remains very high across the continent. it's important for us to realize these relatively young democracies in this context. most african states did not have the first national election until the 1950s, some that even until the 1990s. if we think about the last 50 years or so, we can think about the 1960s and 1970s, early '70s as this moment of hope and optimism, but one that often took an authoritarian turn, where cold war politics back at dictatorial rule. a lot of nationalist leaders criminalize dissent as being unpatriotic. which set course for public medic natures towards african governance questions and issues
related to security throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s. the end of the cold war as many of you know spark political revitalization across the continent. we had seen a bit of the backslide in some places and saw a lot of democratic gains in the last ten years or so have been an even across the continent. i'm sure my colleagues will talk about those. current trends in thinking about this, if a think about some of the major issues framing a lot of these debates, one of which is about decentralization of political power, whether local government, national government, the executive branch has say. often that is focused on a winner take all approach in african elections which is been a recipe for potential conflict. sometimes we focus too much on elections and don't necessarily think about institutions. one of the things many of us will talk about is the role institutions play. how african states deal with
dissent and marginalization in their communities across the country is also quite important. youth voices, women's voices, ethnic and religious minorities are important to discuss. for a historian inking about justice and reconciliation questions, particularly and close conflict situations, i've often framed how issues of insecurity have been persisted in some areas of the continent. finally, before i get to kenya, thinking about the role that regional bodies play, the african union, first and foremost, also regional vice like -- how they play in managing regional issues of security within the continent and not just from outside forces. if we think about kenya, an area i do most of my work and mike said as our institution has a long running off-campus program there. i can think about them in a few ways. one of which is the external threat. if you read the press much of the external threat comes from
issues developing relationship to somalia, particularly al-shabaab insurgent group that formed in 2006 and since 2011, the kenyan military has had an operation in southern somalia and then joined the amazon peacekeeping mission in the region. that hast not quelled the cross-border issues that sparked the invasion of kenyan security forces into southern somalia since 2011. 2011. there been more than 250 attacks in the country that can be attributed to al-shabaab, including several high-profile ones that many of you might know. the westgate mall attack in 2013, the university attack in 2015 and most notably and recently the january attack at the hotel in nairobi which marked the third anniversary of kenya's largest military defeat outside the country. if we think about this from an external threat it's important for us to think about issues of marginalization. the northeastern part of the country has long been sort of marginalized on issues of local
development, often referred to as the northern frontier district from the cold colonial days. it was a backwater for national level investment and infrastructure, education and all these things have contributed to many of the local somalia population, the kenyan population feeling marginalized and write for recruitment issues amongst al-shabaab which is exacerbated some of this. the issue fekete has reacted and dealt with that security question has been very heavy-handed. one scholar noted it was like killing a mosquito with a hammer, where extrajudicial violence often targeting somali population indiscriminately and refugee populations that are protected under u.n. resolutions. threat to close a refugee camp in 2016 have been quite problematic. we can get into some of those questions and more issues in complexity as we talk about it. from the intro standpoint, governance and in television
frame a lot of the security questions regionally but also specifically to kenya. electoral violence, free -- three of the last six democratic elections have been marked by levels of political violence. that's often because as a sippy for kenyan elections have been a winner take all approach and so there's a lot invested in these. if we think about political violence in kenya it's important for us to talk not just about reductive terms like ethnicity but also think about larger questions where it would look at the history of marginalization that is fueled some of this. competition over land, the lack of giving with historical injustices dating back to the colonial days. just as one tidbit on that, if you look at voting analysis from 2013, the opposition candidate in kenya won the top eight most unequal counties in the country, 60% of the poorest regions of the country so clearly there's a class issue which is obscured by
debate about ethnicity and other forms of identity politics. what are the bright spots? kenny has a robust civil society, and relatively free paris but a messy -- press. infrastructure and development investments have been quite high in recent years but at what cost. china now owns more than 20% of kenya's foreign debt. much of that is fueling infrastructure revolution in kenya and lots of debates what is the cost that will have in the future. a lot of debate about devolution of power, trying to check the historic power of the presidency in kenya. these debates are quite healthy. those of us who study kenyan politics are quite pleased with what's happening at the local level. people's interest in races for governor or members of county assemblies of the checks and balances at the local level rather than at the national level. if we look at the latest attack that happened in january of 2019, the hotel, kenyan security
forces responded in ways that were much more effective in dealing with that attack if we compare it to the westgate hotel attack in 2013 which was marred by an organization, who was in charge, how are people going to respond. within minutes of that attack commencing, albeit quite severe, the kenyan security forces were on the ground and they were able to successfully evacuate more than 700 people from that region, that every of the city. i think there's a lot to say. if we think about this we are not just talk about kenya. we are talking about it in a continental context so it's important to say how was a disaffected kenya's role in the region? kenya is a major player in east africa. it has been historically the center of government and business but this history of both political violence, dealing with dissent, dealing with threats of terrorism i think if entered kenya's ability to interact and provide any sort of model in the region.
not being outspoken about checking of authoritarian rule in rwanda, uganda and thus result in tanzania, i think that is somewhat at the heart of really making it difficult for kenya to maintain itself as a regional player and regional center for east africa. i will stop there and let my colleagues fill in. >> i'm going to ask landry signe was a fellow in a brookings program on global economy and development to speak to the questions of both nigeria and the extent you are willing and able to fit in an early moments, also south africa, two countries expensing excessive, interesting, dynamic internal politics and playing an enormous role in setting both the political and security agenda for the region. >> thank you very much. thank you mike for convening this panel. perhaps before speaking of nigeria and south africa i want
to speak about the border transit on the continent. let's say that many of the critical factors affecting the overall economic and political performance for the continent include the rapid urbanization and population growth. by 2030 africa 11.7 billion people, which is extremely important, and about 80% of the growth will be in cities. that also will have an impact on stability, , knowing that in the '90s, for example, democratization, popular mobilization in major cities. second factor, the digital transformation. it is critical because we had seen that in countries such as tunisia or even egypt,
government transition occurred after mobilization media. it's extremely important. very simply, in the late '90s, new york city had more -- [inaudible] when the africa has 100 million mobile phone subscribers. another factor is the rapid industrialization in the industries without smokestacks which are different from manufacturing but also job in face of it this is important because more than 60% of the african population is below the age of 30. we have an important shortage in terms of employment. unemployment is very high. we have a couple of -- which
facilitate or worsen political stability. we have an administration of mobilization in south africa where people were not happy about all subsequent africans coming for work, including from zimbabwe. and finally there's also democratic backsliding. i think the continent has made a lot of progress on the '90s to the 2010 come about, but you have many countries, even if they were not democratic, which have regressed in terms of political rights i think, for example, of countries such as the democratic, such as -- [inaudible]
so those factors are important because they are not connected to the countries are run. in some cases like in the case of -- they have contributed to generate for extremist in the northern part. extremely important. come to nigeria, i will be speaking about the recent election and the prospect of the recent election. at the windows the incumbent president has won elections, not just at the national level, but the governor, gubernatorial. those are important to highlight because most african countries are what i will call high presidentialism which meets every democratic system, a president can function in a way
which is not very different from some authoritarian regimes. so the checks and balance is quite muted. it's almost like the winner takes all. the president could be prime minister, could be democratically elected however in the way things are, in the way of running the country, the parliament has a limited impact so the development in kenya was therefore very interesting. annual election would be held after the contest. so the first i want to highlight is the president. the political party of the president has one election at all levels. which means a level of checks and balances is quite limited. but now perhaps let me speak
about four or six key trends in nigeria. why nigeria? extremely important. first off, nigeria has about 20% of the gdp of the continent and about 75% of the gdp of the west african region. so nigeria is just too big to ignore. second point is also related to extreme poverty. so nigeria has about 94 million people living below extreme poverty lines, which represents over 47% of the population. if you really want to end poverty on the continent you have to address extreme poverty in both nigeria that immigrant republic of congo, and in the numbers continent only, at the
continental level will be much lower. extreme poverty is a critical factor because, especially with the demographic boom which will be turned either in dividends or in a potential bond. so a second factor as most of you know here, boko haram, and in general islamist insurgency movements in the northeast. so of course now we have islamic state of west africa province, which has led to more than 2 million displaced people and thousands of dead. that doesn't just affect
nigeria. it also affects the broader region with cameroon, with chad, among other countries which are affected by alcohol ramah. -- boko haram. we also have as one of the challenges the nomadic henchmen and the farmers. this conflict is extremely important, has led to the death of thousands of people, and it's critical as we see the two climate change, the change of habit. there's a deep drought. for example, a drop of rain went from like the rain season, went from 150 days on average to 120 days, which is problematic for
the farmers and the hedge men. so this is another important factor with the competition for arab land, water, which add to insecurity and conflicts among other factors. we also have intentions in the niger half. they remain important. and need to be effectively addressed so the content, some progress is being made but there is an important gap, which brings us to the -- the task of anyone who would be president of nigeria is extremely complex between economic, cultural,
security, manufacturing challenges. it's not easy to lead a giant like nigeria. and when we add that factor, corruption, there are a lot of options but more transparency is needed and the level of corruption is still incredibly high. like engaging with some investor, , told me how much thy paid to cross the border. so those factors, and we also know about some of the challenges when the the presidt decided to suspend the chief justice. so let me and about nigeria now, and i will continue later if i can defer to one my colleagues to speak about south africa. >> thank you so much. let me now turn to mike. you were a peace corps volunteer
in congo quite a few years ago,, but you've been following the situation very closely particularly over the course of the past year and that had an opportunity to engage with the president and when it should say a few words about what you think things are going in the drc. >> thank you. oakland but my ideas out as a recent provocation and others can trick because i'm not going to try to be perfectly analytical balance. i'm feeling hopeful about drc. that's going to be my bottom line. there are a lot of reason not to be too helpful but as a person who was peace corps volunteer during the 1980s and saw the error decline which culminate in the end of the regime and civil warfare in the east, now have an ebola outbreak that the world health organization has just declared a real health emergency public health emergency you might whenever anybody can talk about hopefulness. also in a place president even though he was not the preferred candidate, former president is
still seem to want an election that was not clean. where previous panels in the last 12 months we tried to get then candidate but we also had a couple of car klees, president obama's former great lakes on fourth talking about the politics in drc and let people are very worried think the election was again ready to some extent. were concerned tshisekedi had done a deal and a been some kind of understanding for all i know but i'm still hopeful because as jon belk and for the first article about the people can bn there's an effort to sort of control a progression there's an opportunity for a new president to break from the past police to an extent, at least to begin to reform human rights practices and felix transixteen the son of the famous human rights campaigner and activist who just passed away fairly recently passed a powerful family tradition of promoting human rights. even though the political institutions are not strong, a
judiciary is not completely independent, the prime minister and the parliament may be still at the behest in many ways of kabila. there's an opportunity for some political space to emerge here. we've seen congo up and down or its economy with the copper prices, with the effects of conflict in the east and now ebola again on its ability to engage. but nonetheless there is gentle, positive movement on the economic front as well, still one of the poorest countries on earth. it makes for over 200. i didn't even know there were that many countries on earth et congo ranks so badly it's even a higher number than the number of countries i thought that run the planet, , but i guess that reflects that i'm not up-to-date on the exact account. the point is there's been some gradual positive movement and the bomb what i i want to realy drive home is i know the congolese people. it's just the most vibrant society, it's the most energetic
people. yes, legal institutions have been weak. corruption is pervasive but this is a people that has a powerful spirit, entrepreneur spirit and i think in a way that government can just parlay get out of the way we will be in a place where we can get a little bit better. i have some ideas on specifics means by which we could expedite this in the months and years ahead but i'll save that for later on. my bottom line is that a little over half year into president tshisekedi -- human rights, some degree of political distancing from kabila predecessor, some degree of movement on the economy and to meet its a lot more than i've seen in 35 years of watching and living and loving congo. i'm going to voice a positive note. >> thank you. jon, let me turn to you. we talked a lot about elections, the outcomes of elections and the prospects for the development of genuine
institutions of checks and balances around the region. you have written both specific and broadly about the prospect insets are in africa and i wonder if you could give us a broad to work and focus on a couple of countries of your choosing. >> i'm happy to do that. maybe the place to start is to note the fact we are seeing an incredible rate of leadership change in sub-saharan africa right now. this is a region that is stereotyped as the place of these aging autocrats who stay in power for decades and there are definitely still a few of those. but to give you a few statistics, in the first half of this decade 110-2014, there were 14, there were nine transfers of power among heads of state. since then from the beginning of 2015 that have been 26 of them. more than half of those transfers have been between political parties from one party to the opposition. another statistic.
in the beginning of 2015, of the 49 leaders in power in sub-saharan africa, right now only 22 of them are left. this is really a historic rate of change can store rate of change in in the world and sere for africa. that's coming with a lot of promise and opportunity. it's come with a lot of threats as well. let me talk in particular about the country that i think is the most important story we're talking about here today, and all of what my colleagues have talked to a that we can dig into. for me ethiopia is the most important story we are seeing right now. this is a country more than 100 million people, fast-growing come in a a very strategic parf the continent in the horn close to the gulf, close to other parts it of really matter for security and other reasons. i country that has a a long tie been deeply authority under the leadership of the acronym is -- a coalition of political parties. so authoritarian that in
elections in 2015 they won every single seat in the parliament, 400 something seats. but i was really the tipping point in some ways. in 2016 you start to see large protest in the two largest regions that through a series of events led to the prime minister stepping down early in 2018, the ruling party, the coalition goes into this very prolonged process of picking was next and they come up with a gentleman who was not particularly known to anybody, and turns out just to be this ambitious frenetic ball of energy and a real reformer in many ways. he is i think 42, from the roma ethnic group, and he came in and really did these audacious
moves, freeing thousands of people from prison. ethiopia has or had an incredible number of political prisoners seeking peace with the arch rival airtran, doing a lot to really open up political space and freedoms in ethiopia which i know from a lot of conversation in ethiopia is deeply appreciated by me ethiopia. >> is pushing to some legislation to support those freedoms, new legislation concerning civil society in particular. that's the good story. but with every good story comes a challenge. he is was facing a substantial backlash right now as a so many others were talking about. he facing a backlash from the old regime, the folks who were about lost out right now and that is a particular ethnic group which had been dominant for many years, modest size of the population that help real political power. they are not in the outcome pushing back in number of ways. he's also facing some
substantial ethnic violence threat the country. what happens when a space opens up so quickly and do so many good things that come with that, some bad things fill that space as well. part of what you're seeing in ethiopia is retightened ethnic identity and ethnic tensions filling that space. using a lot of ethnically driven violence a company that. so much so there were 3 million approximate into a displaced people in ethiopia as of recently, and last year 2018 ethiopia had more, tweeted more than any country in the world. the honeymoon is ending for the prime minister. but it is still an incredible opportunity in ethiopia to transition from authoritarianism to democracy. the big test coming up next year, , ethiopia scheduled to elections next year. it's unclear if they can really get things together in time to do that and if they can provide enough to could make for enabling a vibrant to do that.
but the bottom line, this is a really important story one worth watching along with the others and one which has a lot to do with the trajectory of democratic governance across the broader continent. >> thank you, john. that was terrific, all of you. i want to come back to landry on south africa but first what i would like to do is get you all to say word or two about u.s. policy. the current administration as well as how we can look at some of the folks taking vent some of these new opportunities that event presented by a series of transitions but also get ahead of some of the real threats that are facing each of these countries and the region as a whole. matt, you talk a little bit in your intro about the cold war framing which dominated u.s. policy for decades. i think, and i of course commit this from a some who works in the middle east, there's been a temptation to look at much of the world through a counterterrorism framing to some
extent over the course of the past 15-20 years. you also want in the issue through your book of this personalization, of u.s. policy and particularly the identity of the president. obviously president obama had a particular orientation toward africa as a continent in general. president trump has articulated himself and the perhaps less positive framing. can you say a few words about the history and the current administration? i will try to engage the rest of you as well. >> thank you. thinking about u.s. policy, certainly with the obama administration there was a lot of hope on the continent and some expectation that given his african roots that he would fundamentally change the way the u.s. interacts with the continent. i think the analysis so far has been that has not been the case and there's not been a fundamental shift.
the obama administration itself here the trump administration i think is still formulating their africa policy. i'm sure my colleagues would have something to say more about that. in terms of looking at you is relations, i think a couple of things in terms of security in particular if we think about this, as jon mentioned in his article, his important article in foreign affairs is it's been historically too much emphasis or perhaps one just humanitarian and public health related initiatives, and less on governance and institutions. certainly when you look at these changes and is positive bright lights were talking sometimes of the continent it's often coming from civil society from institutions like a landry mentioned. the historic role that the supreme court bladed kenyan election in 2017, overturning a presidents election for the first time in history of the continent but that was followed
up by an election not too far along later that was boycotted the opposition. clearly that institutional check was not enough to fundamentally change the system. where is the follow-up? the u.s. can play a role in helping those silicide groups, those institutions on the ground that are looking to change things on institutional level, legislative level, judicial level, et cetera. secondly, if we look at u.s. policy on the continent in the last ten or 20 years there has been increased role of the u.s. military has played, particularly in the vein of counterinsurgency and terrorism activity. if you look at somalia, since 2017 there's been a market increase in the number of airstrikes in somalia. there's been a recent report by amnesty international i believe earlier this year that highlighted the effects of increased activity which include an increase in civilian casualties. and an increase in idps threat somalia.
that is not come what may be targeting al-shabaab on the context of a security standpoint it is not helping somalia on the ground with national cohesion and local institutional building. we have to be very cautious of the role the tragic military place, but we have to also provide a lot more support for this vibrant civil society organization which across the continent are advocating much of this change we saponin at the top. >> landry, you talk a lot about both urbanization and digital transformation. what other reason which the united states can work regional leaders to promote, to take advantage of some of the opportunities for economic people that? >> excellent point. so last december the trump administration released the africa policy. i think that was the fastest strategy release in recent
decades by an american president. the first one was -- countering violent extremism. the second one was prosperity. and finally, stability through democratic development and foreign aid. more recently the general milley's what's called prosper africa, so focusing on prosperity, which is important for two reasons, for two major reason for the first one is that's the first time the u.s. administration is exciting to coordinate the action of about 18 agencies in order to improve the relation between the u.s. and africa, especially in the terms of trade and investment. it went from doubling to
substantially increasing trade and investment between africa and the u.s. so extremely important. the second one is private-sector led, which is extremely important. the trump administration for many of the things which have been controversial, at least acknowledged the tremendous economic potential of africa, and i think despite some words which were inappropriately used, it is a good thing to have an administration which look at africa from the tremendous -- and security aspect which is what i i was thinking the beginning. focus on security is extremely important, but the economic performance is also good.
much of the conflict you have any country evolve in under develop cities. this is an important point. i have just also chapter in a forthcoming book on fragility and africa leaving no fragile state and no one behind. and i think there are good things which could inspire the u.s. policy towards africa, is to focus on cities and region. why the u.s. focuses at the national level, which is good i'm not saying it's a bad thing to do. however, as i said previously, about 80% of the african population will be going in major cities.
so if we overlook the cities we may not be effectively addressing some of the core challenges on the continent. but also private-sector development is extremely important. how will we address unemployment on the continent? government cannot create those jobs but by support for private technology development, including infrastructure, we will have substantial developments. and finally, a positive development which was just announced i think last week or so, the united states trade reps and has issued a with the african union raising the development u.s.-africa relation through the african continental free trade. this is a tremendous development, especially as the u.s. has been bilateral country
specific origin versus original continental pics i think there are many good things being developed. for example, in the case of nigeria, i think that an important aspect will be to support both the state but also city and provinces or regions abilities. including for service delivery, accountability, effectiveness. it's an extremely important aspect. however, we are able to sustain that deliver an institution should be taken into consideration. that's an important factor. also it may be partly
responsible of nigeria -- much more important, so we have seen the girls who were abducted, and not enthusiastic and welcoming the u.s. support but you have seen that in terms of into regions -- [inaudible] support from the u.s., the fight against boko haram has been much more effective. that's another critical factor. you have to acknowledge the leadership of the u.s. when it comes to military activities and expertise in -- i think african countries should not shy away from it and acknowledge and receive such support. >> let me just interrupt you
from one moment because that's a natural segue to michael o'hanlon. >> i want to offer a thought about congo, and thank you. picking up also on a point that made it may be taken to the next dimension. matt may not agree with me. matt pointed out correctly we need to be careful how we use u.s. military and africa but i'm worried that we may under do it just as much as we make overdo it. because putting on my defense analyst hat as it others in a crack to do that coming of the rest of you company is military focusing on china and russia these days as part of the national defense strategy at secretary mattis and president trump. that builds on what the obama administration was doing in the last couple of years and that tends to downplay other regions in the world in sort of zero-sum terms to the extent there find a number of military american forces. i would point out to friends are worried about china and russia that we competing with both of those countries in africa as well as in other parts of the world. we don't want to only think
about the western pacific and eastern europe when we think russia and china. one of the things we're seeing go on including ndrc is a big chinese will. the chinese role is not all bad. i was a peace corps volunteer 350 miles inland from the capital. you could try that in one day i was a volunteer a decade later you need a land rover and a week to get from point a to point b. the chinese rebuilt the road and works again. i'm not it is everything turned does enough it is bad but we don't compete as long as we could do with doing better with other tools that are think congress and senator coons and other key officials have pushed. we should continue to up our game in economic and diplomatic and investment rounds, but a specific idea i would like to see us consider for congo would require a bit more american military presence on the continent and it's the idea of helping the congolese military under a new president reform so they can graduate do more of the job we relied on the u.n.
peacekeeping mission to do in these for a couple of decades. at some point, , not immediately but at some point we have to hope that you and peacekeeping mission work its way out of a job which means making the congolese military better. able to protect in the first instance health workers tried to quell the ebola outbreak but more generally trying to stabilize part of the country that right now cannot aggress economic because of insecurity as the number one problem. i would like to see the united states consider deploying advisor teams into the field to work with the congolese military. under u.n. peacekeeping umbrella but in a more specific targeted way that resemble some of the things were done in iraq and afghanistan just at a smaller scale. to me that's an idea that the time may be right with the new president to the extent we can see him willing to make some reforms in his own army that will allow this idea to have potential. by the way, while i have four i want to briefly thank my good friend an intern from this year,
hannah, so thank thank you, mas will appreciate the effort. some intern class of 19 in general and hand in particular. thank you, susan. >> jon, i'm going to prevail upon you perhaps to say and extort about the horn and the security if you might. but please take the conversation whichever direction you would prefer with respect u.s. policy. >> let me pick up on u.s. policy and i want to make three quick points. one is how important it is to focus on institutions and not individuals. as exciting as some of these new leaders on, prime minister abe, some of the others, we have to avoid playing into any cult of personality which can happen easily and we've seen time and again cult of personality can be the lifeblood of authoritarian warlords. these are encouraging leaders but what matters are the institutions. what matters are the rules of
the game that are able to change that going to outlive those leaders. that's why what prime minister in ethiopia is doing in terms of changing some legislation is so important. he has a long way to go but that's the change the united states should be supporting more than anything else. second point met talk about this is support to civil society it is so crucial. to get into south africa jeffrey become a quick story here. after the remarkable transition to democracy under the leadership of nelson mandela, more recently it was the leadership of jacob zuma which proved to be disastrous in many ways, and south africa into the situation of state capture where there was large-scale corruption amongst many of the elite. when you talk too many south africans what they will point to in terms of how south africa has been able to right the ship to some extent under the leadership of the new president are three
things, the role of the judiciary, the role of the media, the role of civil society. all three of those were critical to exposing state capture, to exposing what was happening under president zuma, and to generating some momentum for change and generating some pride amongst the population for change. united states investing in that kind of civil society engagement about the continent, we don't invest much in south africa because silicide is relatively robust. but investing in that engagement, media in particular, investigate journalism, is so important and a huge bang for the buck in terms of spending taxpayer dollars. lifeblood from u.s. policy, the states need to call things like we see it in africa. it's true across the world by think particularly and africa we find yourself twisting ourselves into a rhetorical pretzel sometimes and comes back to bite us. in 2017 there was a coup in zimbabwe, a textbook definition
of a queue. united states didn't call it that for various reasons because certain will kick into effect when you call it a coup. ultimate we don't ourselves in favors are not calling it what it is. drc, by most accounts the the president did not win that election. in many ways this the progress because president kabila is not there and his hand-picked successor is not there but the united states along with many others chose to sporting outcome that we probably know was probably not the outcome. these things get us in trouble time and again and i think u.s. policy often needs to get back to calling it like we see it. >> great advice. landry, since we finally have come to south africa i want build upon you to add a few quick words on that country because it's an important actor and we have danced around the region but we are just now started this conversation about south africa. >> absolutely. huge, interesting development.
in fact, the anc has had the lowest score at 57 when the president was reelected. that's an important point to highlight. additional to that come there's another important factor is the fact that extremism is on the rise in south africa. for example, the economic freedom front has gone from 8.6 -- 6.4% since election. the freedom breath has 2.4% so it's dramatic we see that extremes on the right. when the democratic alliance has also had the lower score, 28. 8% from 22.2% in the past election. and why do we see the decrease
an increase in term of extremism? i think it's also ready the broader economic situation and corruption in south africa. governance effectiveness or lack of governance effectiveness and accountability. we all know how zuma got ousted human capital is also critical. south africa is one of the countries with one of the highest levels of inequality across the world. as long as those challenges as i was discussed before, there's a connection between economic department, security and the political situation, which needs to be taken into consideration. so moving forward, the question of human capital is critical in south africa. the question of
industrialization, that south africa is looking for a model. in fact, when you look at the continent in general, over 50% of the consumer and business spending is located in three countries, nigeria, egypt and south africa. the countries which are critical. we also know investments are extremely important. most of you probably follow the -- [inaudible] with the challenges related to energy. energy is critical. about 95% of energy comes from -- [inaudible] and i think the i checked was about 13 billion of that, and that despite the coming of about 27 nuclear in the energy sector. so i remain hopeful for having
interacted with the president. i'm quite hopeful because i think he's capable, but capability is not enough. as jon has mentioned, things have to go be on the individual to focus on institution. i think one of the best things which could be done now is to empower the national prosecuting authority, allocating enough resources and independence to investigate cases of corruption, fraud. because without trust in the government, we will continue to see the increases in extremism. that doesn't just happen in the united states. >> suzanne, if i could add one point in south africa and part of the reason why the current transition their undergoing is so important is about africa's
foreign south africa's foreign policy as well and about africa's potential to flex their muscles beyond their borders on the global stage in a productive way. south africa is on the u.n. security council, has one of the rotational seats. next year the the president wil take up chairmanship of the african union. this is a great opportunity, but under present zuma until recently south africa was frankly not a productive force on the international stage and was really finding itself siding with authoritarian and with at the democratic forces, much more frequently than it did under president mandela and to a lesser extent under president mbeki. part of what i'm looking for in south africa is just as the the present china make this pivot domestically, easy going to make a payment on the international stage? south africa especially given the remarkable story can be such a positive voice and the candy such a model. are they going to return to that now that they have an
opportunity? >> great. i'd like to open it up to the audience. we have a standing room only crowd. we have four panelists and at least six countries and broader regional issues. what i will do is ask each of you to ask the question, not a statement with a question mark at the end but actual question. identify yourself, and to keep your question one part only, please. i'll take three at a time. so start right here in the front and maybe get all the underside and that i'll turn to the next site. let me just say that my approach to handling questions and find people, a lot of hands go. i like to make sure there's a diversity of people asking questions as well as a diversity of people on the stage. we will start right up front. >> good morning, everyone. i'm the legal state coordinator for the not too young to run
from nigeria. and also the founder of ready to lead africa. i'm a guest of the state department in the united states. part of my experience here has been really great because i learned firsthand how this country was built, and it was built on the backbone of quality education. i have had heated conversation with state department people and say, what are we not investing and ensuring that we design the support for african countries to mean quality education? you cannot be ignorant and free. it never has been and never will be. no matter the investment in africa that other countries to -- i'm sorry, if we do not have an educated population, it will
not yield result. so my question is, what is the united states doing to ensure we tied the hands of african leaders to invest in education and increase the level of its quality? so that in 20 years time we will be sitting here and talking about the issues again but talk about the progress that we are making ourselves as partners and not as people who are looking for aid here thank you. >> there are more than three on this site but i will take the gentleman right here in the lead in the back who still has her hands up. the gentleman bite you in the black suit. >> yes, thank you very much. i am an immigrant from ghana,
following u.s.-african policy for decades. i want to respect the moderators instructions, and narrow all the different questions i have to just one. but let me say i worked in the anti-apartheid movement for 11 years and i take issue with the analysis that has been given of the current state in south africa in which -- i wish we had more time to debate it. but my question might, thanks for doing this, but i just looked at the topic again and it says security in africa. we haven't talked about the sahara. molly went through a crisis the sahel is huge. we haven't talked about africa. there's a war in libya. there are so many security issues in africa speeded we'll step away from this discussion briefly for a quick u.s. senate
one is i haven't heard much about women's empowerment in any of these discussions. i think that warrants discussion. i'd like to hear more about women and other issues mentioned and i'd also like to hear more about the specific area and motivation in morality and i think there's a tie-in specifically for women as well so if you can relate to those questions in more depth i'd certainly appreciate it, thank you. >> i'll take one more question. there's a lady behind you, i believe. >> my name is adelaide.
i'm a cameroonion activist, leader of an organization. so i have a question coming from cameroon. i'm wondering how, considering the situation going on right now in cameroon because there have been talks of general-- in cameroon and if you look into the issues in cameroon and think about the strategic geographical location of cameroon in the gulf, i'm wondering why there was no mention of those issues. i see if cameroon does implode it's going to be a major issue in the whole region and talking about china, also, we just learned recently that china has
acquired lots and lots of lands in cameroon. and as a u.s. citizen, also, for me that's a deep concern, considering we do have the military in cameroon and u.s. and really been invested in the fig fight. i'm wondering, what is the u.s. position in the world and the other political crisis in cameroon concerns at this time or are you planning on holding another meeting on this issue. thank you. >> thank you, you know it's a great panel when we've already had two requests for more panels and more in-depth conversations. we have 12 minutes left if i'm reed the clock right and a lot more questions to get through and i'm asking our panelists to
take the question on women and faith and role of china in cameroon. you don't have to take all of them. you don't have to take any of them if they're not questions you don't want to. who with a nts -- wants to start? >> i'll start bypassing. >> the questions give us a sense of the complexities of the issue of security on a local and national level. speaking briefly about education, when i teach my intro to africa studies course, one of the things i emphasize to my students, as you look broadly at african governments and particularly, local level investment, education has been one of the major investments that africans themselves have prioritized since independence and vast gains were made, even though the starting, so many people didn't have access to
education and independence. a lot more people do now. it's not enough and i think it contributes to instability. there was a report by the international crisis group that was talking about northeastern kenya in relation to the al-shabaab question and basically how the questions have teachers who fled local schools and kids are not able to go and get that education and that's actually long-term, helping people be potentially susceptible to the radical recruitment to the extremist points of view. so i agree that education needs to be our priority in any foreign policy issues when it comes to the continent. the issue of conflicts, when we're mentioning cameroon. there's a regional dimension there, and panelists have talked about that on and off and the role that they play is important. when we think about the role of the african union historically to intervene in security questions, there's a history of
nonintervention there that recently has tried to be addressed and i don't think they played as prominent of a role. there are bright spots in west africa, intervened in 2011, intervened in the gambia, in 2017 and health transitions there. so i think that that shows a lot of promise in these regions. if we think about women's voices, for instance, that's extremely important, not just in, you know, counting numbers of women parliamentarians, but in how they are being voiced within civil society and so recently, for instance, in uganda, a very prominent female activist was arrested and given a 18-month prison sentence for writing a poem to the president. certainly, i know the association that i'm a member of has been outspoken about that, but regional issues as the kenyan government sort of
reached out to uganda for that kind of prosecution for that level of speech. i don't think it's risen to that level. you can think about the cases and think more broadly about the policy level. >> so i will try to answer very quickly. education is not only important, but africans should take ownership of their own voice. it's important. what i'm getting with head of state and government they acknowled acknowledge, especially through civil society and elections on all of those, to locate an important, but expecting external players to countries, that's what exactly they have tried to avoid. but definitely we are seeing
the u.s. encouraging african leaders to invest more in education. so we have discussed about this, we have invited the president of mali, when he was there the president of mali came here and the topic, it is a topic direct to my heart and i think to many of the panelists here, also, and we cannot speak enough about it. so we've decided to focus on six countries to date and in each of those countries they have been the topic of an entire day of conference or -- but very good point. we have to keep talking about those challenges because it has solutions for government. so in terms of women's empowerment and gender. it was one recommendation that i had, and don't have time to elaborate, but once again, when
talking about empowerment, one of the best ways is to the decision making processes such as what happens, one that is now and 60% of the women, part of the cabinet. and through a member of parliament, et cetera. we should not look at women and girls in a very paternalistic way, let's do things for them. we have to put -- or we have altogether to work to ensure that everyone is well-represented and i think the outcome, if it's likely to be better in terms of cameroon, i think i connected the situation with highlighted the challenges west and southwest origins of cameroon, so they
are-- i've seen the audience -- from camero cameroon, from a very long time. but definitely those issues are critical, but as you can see we didn't have enough time to speak about the six countries you have identified for today. who will represent more than 50% of the african population so no one should be overlooked. >> just briefly, on a couple of points here, one on the education question, a very good question and let me pause to say it's great to see one of the fellows here, this is a program that invests in young leaders across the country and you're not too young to run in nigeria, to encourage people to run for office and i would encourage everybody to check that out.
i don't think that the united states is going to make a lot of progress by telling leaders, you should invest more in education. i think it goes in one ear and out the other. i think the progress comes when we invest in civil society programs, people like you, who are going to organize around those issues and demand things from their government and local government and nigeria has 36 federal states that can be quite powerful themselves and might be where the advocacy might need to be. i think those investments in civil society and national ability to advocate for these things ultimately gets a lot more than whatever rhetoric we might have about how other countries might spend their own money. importantly, on gender dynamics, i want to highlight what's going on in sudan. a country undergoing a remarkable change, one that's very much driven by women who have been leading the protest movement, who have been taking great risks and really been out
in front in the change that we're seeing. the story is yet to conclude and it could go in either direction. the you know, the challenge there when women playing such a prominent role in the protest and then things get to negotiations and it's all men and that's such a missed opportunity, and that is really a mistake. and it's probably a mistake amongst the greater world for not insisting that women play a much more prominent role there and across the continent. one thing that wasn't touched on as much, i would give a shout out to the catholic church and drc. those of you who track drc, played an important role in whatever improve resolution that we had making sure that elections happen in the first place that they were not completely rigged in favor of the preferred candidate and that they did know the lead to
violence. those are accomplishments even at the outcome, as john said earlier, was not ideal. and some catholics had an important role in holding their own politicians accountable. so that was a positive step along the lines discussed by the question on faith. >> let's do another round of questions, three this time and hopefully background on both sides. starting again in the front. >> good morning. my question to the panel is-- oh. i appreciate the comments made this morning. i'm with a risk management group. my question to the panel, the state of african security, my question is, is there a lack of brain trust for the big six
based upon how they're structuring deals via china and u.s. involvement? because historically we talk about china and the african-- and when you talk about african security i have a question. who's negotiating the deals? who is the brain trust? where is the collaboration? where is the partnership? if you can address, not the lack of brain trust, we know that african countries are smart, but everybody needs a little help. thank you. >> and just behind the gentleman. >> and i hope there's a lady on this side who might like to raise her hand. >> thank you. great panel. my name is doug brooks with the international stability operations association, contractors to support peacekeeping stability operations. my question is on the african military involved and conflicts on the continent. the u.s. has been involved in
programs to improve african militaries and have been taking roles in not just somalia, but sudan and elsewhere. i'm curious have we seen a large scale professionalization of militaries in africa that makes them more on the continent. >> thank you, i think there's a woman in the back. >> hello, i've worked in senegal and tutu -- tunisia? and can anyone comment-- where i have a friend, a founder, ceo of an organization setting up a private school system in the countries that are too dangerous for the peace cor corps. >> okay. so we'll start with these three and i hope if we can get relatively telegraphic answers we might have time for another question or two from the
audience. >> i'll start and be quick, the question from doug who i think knows more than i do. we've heard john and matt talk about progress in ethiopia and kenya if i heard them right. i would not say there's progress in drc. that's why i want to see the america advisory issues considered. >> anyone who has comments on who is making the deals in nigiers? >> there's a question on who is making the deals and enduring that the african states that are negotiating with china are negotiating from a negotiation of strength and from a position of knowing what they're getting into. it's all sort of characterization of u.s. against china, new cold war and all that. i think that's kind of silly, frankly. china is there, they're going to be doing deals, and they're providing a lot of what african
nations want. but i think it is a really good point that when they are doing those negotiations, they need to know what they're getting into and so maybe that's an area for addition a l support, technical assistance, so forth. just like andrew has more thoughts on this. >> so most of the largest-- i think i said earlier that you have the -- most of the largest either offices of president or prime minister involved, with an extent. so i am not concerned about interest of china to africa. what instead is important is how african leader prioritize the interests versus having quick deals for -- including
some with corruption involved. so, i think corruption of china and et cetera, et cetera. and i don't think that when china have-- on the african side to establish priorities and to ensure along the way, those remain the top-- and outcomes can be achieved by thinking about it first versus some side of the government-- >> i agree with my panelists up here. i think that landry's point about the executive brokering the deals and sometimes claiming political winslow callie, i mean, if you think, for instance, take examination, he bent his reelection campaign on delivering this massive infrastructure project which was finished shortly before the
first election in 2017, developing the railway or upgrading from mumbasa, and what that might mean when the railway is not making the kind of money they predicted it would make on this infrastructure. shortly after winning reelection and failed to get the second funding full amount of loans needed to complete the second phase of the project. so that clearly is problematic along the level of how we think about the large scale infrastructure developments. however, when you look at the chinese, for instance, if you travel around the continent and you're seeing a major presence, building roads, particularly infrastructure, in terms of international relations, i think that makes a difference. people are seeing the impact of chinese engagement in ways that they're not seeing, for instance, in the way they used
to in the past. so that, i think, is changing opinions and getting discussion on the ground for better or for worse in a number of ways and then a sort of quick little add to the african military question, i think when you look, for instance, using kenya as an example, the response of the attack, clearly shows there have been partnerships with intel against, training, in dealing with sort of a terrorist act like that to a good extent. hough, in many places congo, particularly in kenya, corruption is a big problem in terms of institutions making change and, you know, making progress. you know you, if you look into the al-shabaab activity, a lot of it coming across the border has to do with people bribing their way across the border. what are they doing, what is the local civil society able to do, how can we support the efforts of people calling out these kind of changes and
trying to sort of rein in some of the institutional corruption that does hamper and hinder those across the continent. >> i think we have time for two more questions. take one from, i think, from each side. so if i could get this gentleman here, and then this woman over here. >> thank you. i'm from the united kingdom. there's been a lot of discussion about security and that's obviously important, but for me in the time i've spent in africa which is quite significant for now, it's a part of the defense, we have a huge amount of food security when you have the encroachment of the sahara increasingly because of climate change and generally a brain drain from subsaharan africa. how can they take a role in
addressing security issues is all. >> [inaudible] . >> take the mic. >> [inaudible] >> i'll repeat that because i don't think we heard. so the three major challenges in east africa in terms of security, recommendations for what to do about it. >> that would be a whole other panel entirely, but we'll see if we can get a couple. one more last question and the last the panel needs a minute on each of the questions, i know that's not enough and to get to all of our questions and any closing thoughts. the last word from the audience.
>> do you think that we can achieve real democracy in kenya, in south africa and other african countries without addressing the issue of land distribution, which is one of the driving forces that is creating all the-- even elections and still attached to land issue, thank you. >> let me go in reverse order for the panel. >> sure. and the first question is a really good one because it gets at the question of africa's voice on the international stage. and part of the reason that voice has been relatively week is because the big states have been relatively weak, the states today. and i think that's why some of the transitions in some of these places, ten uous and can go the other way, can be impactful beyond the continent. in particular, south africa and nigeria, these are the two heavy weights and if they can
pivot and south africa is working on it and nigeria has a way to go, they can be a voice on the global stage as they should be. nigeria is going to be the third largest in the world by 2050. africa is more affected by climate change than possibly any other part of the world. where is the african voice on climate change? it's not there for the most part. african is increasingly affected by digital rights issues. but is the voice there? not so much. this is where the big states really need to exert themselves. it's why africa is important and why their position on the security council is potentially important, something to really watch going forward. in south africa on the land distribution issue, it's obviously a big hot potato for the president, very difficult situation to deal with, and
facing pressure from parts of his own party on appropriation of land. you know, and he's got a tricky balancing act because he has to be responsive to his party and responsive to a genuine call amongst ma many south africans. but it's not an attractive possibility for all the investors that south africa needs and the president has promised to bring in $100 million in new investments. so he needs to be very careful about the messaging he's sending to the outside world. it's a tricky balance, an explosive issue in so many cases, so many places, but we probably don't have time for that now. and i want to say one other thing if this is the chance, appreciate all the very nice feedback on the foreign affairs article. i want to pause for a minute to note that's a co-authored piece. note that as well, thanks,
hear-hear. >> and i haven't heard a response to the question raised it wasn't part of the mandate, but if anybody wants to throw that into the final words. >> i'll pass and save it for another time. i promised that future event so get to those issues with a future panel. >> nigh final comment? >> drc, the only country i can claim to talk to with any expertise. the china and future agenda is a good question. drc is wrestling with the old-fashioned security agenda. it was a hot rainy place when i was there in 1980's and it doesn't have that much desert. i'm not going to take advantage just to back up john's point. some of the countries are getting stronger cohesively allows them to get to issues which are not luxuries that we can wait to talk about later, but it's hard to talk about
when you're weak in a classic and internal sense in measures. i don't want to suggest we do this sequentially, but these countries need to keep going on a positive path so they can address the new security agenda and increase their voice on the world stage. all the things that john said. >> yes, i think they are addressing the question and the land distribution and the economic development. it's not either/or. i think that driving forces should be involved as delivered simultaneously. and it's intrinsically important and part of the economic benefits and we cannot know what some will call -- human development on the other hand. so, yes, i think that--
involved in forms of challenges, however, those to suspend and improve the quality of democracy, those challenges shall be addressed as well. in terms of conventional form of security, i think it's important question, but at the gypping beginning i spoke about some of the economic transformations on the continent and including poverty in nigeria, more than 94 million people living below extreme poverty line. inequality in south africa, and proportional, and we didn't discuss a lot about tanzania.
but tanzania, i led a social cultural safari there where the goal was to bring investors and to teach them beyond looking for the traditional, you about one of the things was schools and hospitals. i think one of the hospitals involved persons, newborns were not reaching the age of 18 months. so, yes, those type of challenges are still real and shall be properly addressed, but again, they are broad issues. so i think i will stop there because i can go on and on and on. i used to teach classes for three hours, so-- . [laughter] >> and i know we're virtually out of time so i'll be very brief and just, again, talking about the issue of environmental security, i think that's a very important point and we could have obviously a whole day on that. there are bright spots.
we could learn a lot from the african continent on this from the actors on the ground and ethiopia planted 350 million trees in a single day and kenya opened the largest wind plant just this last month so there are bright spots we need to look at and think about. in terms of east africa more broadly and questions about that, i think that freedom of expression, providing that, and seeing in uganda and tanzania more recently. we have to think about that, think about inequality and has to do with the issue of land and land politics are still plaguing every former settler on the continent. there hasn't been a way of solving that problem and that needs more attention and think about accountability when we talk about corruption and questions moving forward, for instance, the kenyan president did lead efforts in arresting a
governor and the finance minister, but most people are quite skeptical that until we see someone in prison we don't yet know if those efforts are fruitful. so, i think that-- >> perhaps just before, i want to remind you that we have many recent books just released on africa at the bookstore, including a couple of minds on african transformation and developments in africa, and i will encourage you to stop by the bookstore. >> and michael hanlin latest book as well. let me ask you to join me in thanking this phenomenal panel. [applaus [applause].
[applause]. >> and we have live this morning at the national air and space museum at chantilly, virginia. where vice-president mike pence is, the group is working to set up the space force. the topics deep space exploration and cooperation with international partners and what needs to be done for u.s. commercial space leadership. vice-president pence and the rest of the panel will hear on space initiatives and human space exploration and a council discussion and policy recommendations for president trump. live coverage here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
>> once again, live coverage from chantilly, virginia. we're live at the national air and space museum in chantilly. vice-president mike pence is expected to chair the sixth meeting of the space council there, a group working to set up president trump's space force. we expect this to start in just a minute. live coverage here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, please hold all applause until the council members are seated. general council of the department of transportation, steven bradbury. director of the office of science and technology policy, dr. calvin, deputy assistant to the president and homeland security and counterterrorism advisor, rear admiral peter brown. deputy assistant to the president and center director for the defense policy and strategy, earl