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USA: 'Africa must be led by civil society' - John Kerry01:22

USA: 'Africa must be led by civil society' - John Kerry

United States, Washington D.C.
August 4, 2014 at 02:07 GMT +00:00 · Published

Empowered civil society is the key to African development, John Kerry told African leaders and journalists at the US-Africa Summit in Washington, D.C., Monday. Kerry's talk came on the opening day of the US-Africa Leaders Forum, where over 50 African heads of state are present. It is the first such event and has been billed as the US responding to a changing world. With six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world in Africa, the US are changing their priorities, facing competition in African markets from rising economies such as China and Brazil.

In his opening address, John Kerry spoke of his activist past and vowed for continued US support for civil society, stating that movements from below are the best lever of social change. Kerry also made clear that the leaders of social movements from civil society could well develop into state leadership role, given the conditions of "democracy and process."

In the discussion that followed, the funding of civil society was discussed, with journalist and chair Shaka Ssali posing the problem that 'whoever pays the piper, calls the tune.' On top of African governments funding civil society projects, the US is also actively engaged in funding movements from civil society amenable to its interests through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

USA: 'Africa must be led by civil society' - John Kerry01:22
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Empowered civil society is the key to African development, John Kerry told African leaders and journalists at the US-Africa Summit in Washington, D.C., Monday. Kerry's talk came on the opening day of the US-Africa Leaders Forum, where over 50 African heads of state are present. It is the first such event and has been billed as the US responding to a changing world. With six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world in Africa, the US are changing their priorities, facing competition in African markets from rising economies such as China and Brazil.

In his opening address, John Kerry spoke of his activist past and vowed for continued US support for civil society, stating that movements from below are the best lever of social change. Kerry also made clear that the leaders of social movements from civil society could well develop into state leadership role, given the conditions of "democracy and process."

In the discussion that followed, the funding of civil society was discussed, with journalist and chair Shaka Ssali posing the problem that 'whoever pays the piper, calls the tune.' On top of African governments funding civil society projects, the US is also actively engaged in funding movements from civil society amenable to its interests through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

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