Read this article in: Français

AFRICA: CFA launches 2002 town hall-meeting series in US

The Constituency for Africa (CFA) will launch its 2002 town-hall meetings on Africa on 21-22 February 2002 in Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

The theme for the series is "Building a New Relationship with Africa", and will encourage community-level dialogue on US policy towards Africa, CFA announced on Monday. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, conflict resolution, regional integration and other issues will be explored, and an "Action Plan for Africa" for each city will be introduced as a mechanism for local follow-up.

Meanwhile, the Africa business round-table series, with the theme of "Integrating Africa into the Global Economy", will explore opportunities for increased two-way trade and investment with Africa within the framework of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), with particular focus on the involvement of US and African small-business enterprises. CFA has received a grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to help facilitate linkages between US and African small businesses.

Participants in the town hall and business round-table meetings in 2002 will include senior-level representatives of the Bush administration; members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other members of the US Congress; members of the African ambassadorial corps; African economic counsellors; members of state and local legislatures; experts on HIV/AIDS and conflict resolution; foreign policy experts; US and African business leaders; small business owners; and US and African media.

"The US needs to reconnect with Africa," said CFA President Chief Executive Officer Melvin Foote. "The events of September 11 have forever changed the way we, as Americans, view the world... One of the lesser-discussed issues is the impact of September 11 on Africa. Is September 11 also a death sentence for the 25 million African men, women, and children infected with HIV/AIDS?"

In 2002, CFA is planning to convene town-hall meetings and Africa business round-tables in up to 25 US cities. Over the last five years, CFA has convened over 35 town-hall meetings throughout the US, in which more than 10,000 people have participated.

The second town-hall meeting will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 27-28 February 2002. It is being convened in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, African-American Chamber of Commerce, and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Council.

Other planned cities for 2002 include Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Harlem, NY; Houston, TX; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, KS; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Newark, NJ; Oakland, CA; Queens, NY; Richmond, VA; Tulsa, OK; Upper Marlboro, MD; and Washington, DC. There are also plans to convene a town hall meeting in Port O’ Spain, Trinidad to coincide with Emancipation Day celebrations.

The mission of the Constituency for Africa is to mobilise and foster increased cooperation and coordination among a broad-based coalition of American, African, and international organisations, institutions, and individuals committed to the progress and empowerment of Africa and African peoples.

[For further information, contact David Saunders of CFA in Washington, DC, at (202) 371-0588]

Theme (s): Economy,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

Other OCHA Sites
United Nations - OCHA
DFID - UK Department for International Development
Irish Aid
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation - SDC