The transcript of Secretary John Kerry’s remarks at the AU’s 50th anniversary dinner is quite interesting, especially when contrasted to the similar sentiments mirrored by the Bureau of African Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary, Reuben Brigety, a few days earlier, to commemorate the same occasion at the Washington Hilton (alas, no one invited me to cover the event).
Kerry speaks of his wife’s childhood in colonial Mozambique and her education in South Africa. He uses the political changes in southern Africa since that time to highlight Africa’s steady march toward good governance. Brigety invokes the American civil rights movement in his remarks to show the common strides that both regions have made over the past 50 years. Both mention PEPFAR, address Africa’s youthful demographics, and reference the statistic that six of the ten fastest growing world economies are in Africa (amazingly no mention of AGOA by Kerry!).
There must be a concerted effort to get all parties on the same playbook in the aftermath of the Benghazi incident. Hopefully more studious attention to the democracy promotion playbook will lead to a shift in US policy that currently supports regimes obviously undeserving of the democratic mantle (Uganda, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, etc.).