In a Voice of America interview, Susan Page, NDI regional director for Southern and East Africa programs, discussed the incoming administration’s potential response to ongoing crises in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other sub-Saharan countries. Sharing insight from her recent trip to Zimbabwe, Page described the immediate humanitarian challenges in the country as well as the stalemate over the highly anticipated power-sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Page expressed hope that President-elect Obama will “expand and reinforce” the current administration’s diplomatic efforts across the continent.
In a separate VOA interview, Chris Fomunyoh, NDI senior associate for Central and West Africa programs, addressed the U.S. presidential election and transition. Discussing the effects of an Obama presidency on U.S.-Africa relations, Fomunyoh remarked that “having a president in the White House who truly understands the realities of the continent will have a definite impact.” He went on to argue that President-elect Obama “has the unique potential to communicate with Africans past their leaders – to interact with Africans at the grassroots level.”
Published on Nov. 24, 2008