Saturday, August 2, 2014

Monday in Washington, August 4, 2014

This week in Washington is dominated (August 4-6) by the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by the White House. Many think tanks and NGOs will have Africa-focused programs and host individual African leaders. For many, it will be the first time that they feature more than one speaker of color.

Over 50 African heads of state are expected at the Summit. Not invited are the presidents of four countries with a record of human rights violations – Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Central African Republic.

On Monday, President Obama's birthday, there will be a civil society forum. The U.S. emphasis on human rights and good governance separates this gathering from recent Africa investment summits held by China, India, Japan and Russia.

Also Monday, August 4th is the anniversary of the 1993 Kono Statement providing an unofficial apology to the Comfort Women. Through Prime Minister Abe's two terms in office the Kono Statement has been methodically deconstructed to remove the focus on apology and the involvement of the Japanese Government. No member of the current Abe Administration uses the word apology when referring to the Kono Statement. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga also says the government is working off of the March 2007 revision of the Kono Statement saying that the Japanese government did not coerce women and that the Statement is a non-binding announcement of the conclusion of a study.

August 6th is the 69th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and August 9th on Nagasaki, Japan. There will be a number of activities organized by the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area.

Congress is in recess and will not return until September 7th. Washington will be quiet in August and hopefully there will be no "August Surprise."

THE GAME HAS CHANGED: THE NEW LANDSCAPE FOR INNOVATION AND BUSINESS IN AFRICA. 8/4, 9:15am-5:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Karen R. Bass (D-CA), U.S. House of Representatives; Christopher Smith (R-NJ), U.S. House of Representatives; Vera Songwe, nonresidential senior fellow, Global Economy and Development, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings; Carolyn Cambell, managing director and general counsel, Emerging Capital Partners; Donald Kaberuka, president, African Development Bank; Mo Lbrahim, founder and chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Jason Njokum founder and CEO, iROKO Partners; Amadous Sy, senior fellow, Global Economy and Development, Africa Growth Initiative; Fernando de Sousa, general manager, African Initiatives; Jay Ireland, president and CEO, GE Africa; Robert Collymore, CEO, Safaricom; Strive Masiyiwa, executive chairman, Econet Wireless International; Kemal, vice president and director, Global Economy and Development, Brookings; Helene Cooper, White House correspondent, New York Times; William Sallis, writer and former editor, African Affairs, Financial Times; Alaune “Akon” Thiam, recording artist and philanthropist; and Witney Schneidman, nonresident fellow, Global Economy and Development, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings.

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY LAW (BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK). 8/4, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law and Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Speaker: Stephen Vladeck, professor, Washington College of Law, American University. 

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