7 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Beyond the Headlines: A Kaleidoscopic Exploration of Contemporary African Politics and International Cooperation

| June 21, 2024

Dr. Gloria Ayee led a study group over the course of five sessions during the Spring of 2024, exploring the current pivotal moment on the African continent. Reflecting back, Dr. Ayee highlights the key takeaways from the study group.

A colorful map of Africa

Belfer Center

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Africa Beyond the Headlines: A Kaleidoscopic Exploration of Contemporary African Politics and International Cooperation

Dr. Gloria Ayee led a study group over the course of five sessions during the Spring of 2024, exploring the current pivotal moment on the African continent. Participants of the study group were invited to reflect on the role that international cooperation must play in supporting inclusive, sustainable development in Africa, as well as to move beyond outdated perspectives and learn about Africa’s profound transformation through trade, investments in clean energy and health, and youth empowerment initiatives.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Women in Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Healthcare in Focus: Political Hurdles and Policy Progress in Africa

| Apr. 25, 2024

On April 23, the final session examined healthcare access policies and public health initiatives across Africa. In our discussions, we explored the politics of health and healthcare policy, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified political barriers to expanding healthcare coverage and access, and the dialogue centered on areas of progress in addressing infectious and chronic diseases. Beyond focusing on the challenges in implementing effective healthcare policies, in this session we invited participants to propose policy solutions as we look towards the future. The study group counted with the presence of external expert guest Dr. Salma Abdalla. Dr. Abdalla is a Sudanese medical doctor and Assistant Professor in Global Health and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. She was the Director of the Rockefeller-Boston University 3-D Commission on Determinants of health, Data science, and Decision making. She also served as a secretariat member for the WHO Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Katie Chen, Master in Public Administration/ International Development Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, delivered a memo briefing on how to boost childhood immunization rates in African countries, including through increased vaccine manufacturing, drone delivery., and behavioural interventions to combat vaccine hesitancy.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Climate Change: Political Implications and Policy Response in Africa

| Apr. 18, 2024

The fourth session addressed the pressing issue of climate change and its political implications in Africa. This session highlighted the disproportionate impact of climate change effects on African nations and how governments are responding through policy measures. A significant focus of the discussion was placed on current climate financial models and the challenges to accessing funding for renewable energy and electrification projects in Africa. The study group counted with the presence of external expert speaker Ely Sandler, Fellow at the Belfer Center. Ely has worked as a senior consultant at the World Bank and previously at Morgan Stanley for nearly a decade. Policy proposals that Ely developed at Harvard were presented at COP27 and are now being adopted by the World Bank and UAE COP28 Presidency, with the hope of catalyzing trillions of dollars of green investment, in part through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Politics and Prosperity: Examining Economic Development in Africa

| Apr. 11, 2024

On April 9, the study group met for the third time to examine economic development in Africa. The group explored connections between politics and economic growth trajectories across the continent, and analyzed the role of political instability and policy decisions in fostering development. Discussions covered the impact of factors like commodity markets, foreign aid, trade deals, and regional integration initiatives on development indicators. The study group counted with the presence of external expert guest H.E. Patrick Achi, former Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire. Prime Minister Achi shared about his experience at the highest level of government and presented the story of Côte d’Ivoire’s post-independence development as a microcosm of the broader challenges and opportunities facing African nations.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Global Players: The Role of International Humanitarian Organizations in Africa

| Apr. 09, 2024

On April 2, the study group met for the second time to evaluate the role of international humanitarian groups in shaping political and social outcomes in Africa. The group examined how these organizations deal with emergencies, crises, and conflict situations across the continent, and scrutinized their influence on policy decisions and discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of their involvement. Discussions covered the expanding influence of organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and the International Rescue Committee (ICR). The study group counted with the presence of external expert guest Professor Sabs K. Quereshi, a senior-level leader with 17+ years of experience in global health, gender equality, health policy and equity, national security, humanitarian response, and government and multilateral affairs sectors in the U.S., with the UN, and worldwide.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Democratic Transitions and Conflict Zones: The Impact on Policy-Making in Africa

| Mar. 28, 2024

On March 26, the study group met for the first time to examine recent democratic progress and backsliding in African countries. The session focused on ongoing conflicts in different regions of Africa and examined their political underpinnings. Participants also discussed the role of third-party actors in supporting and facilitating conflict mediation and peacebuilding efforts in the continent. The study group counted with the presence of external expert guest Dr. Antje Herrberg, Chief of Staff of the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Niger (EUCAP Sahel Niger). Dr. Herrberg brings more than two decades of professional and personal experience in transition and conflict resolution, intractable conflict, and terrorism with a deep interest to alleviate the suffering of people. Furthermore, Florian Dirmayer, Master in Public Policy Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, delivered a memo briefing on European Union Security Cooperation with Niger After the 2023 Military Coup.