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Follow the President in Africa via a New Blog

Herskovits Library of African Studies presents array of opinion on Obama’s historic trip

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June 27, 2013 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is providing multiple perspectives on President Obama’s historic trip to Africa and helping drive U.S. policy and interest in the continent’s transformation.

A new blog created by the University’s world-renowned Herskovits Library of African Studies features an essay by Richard Joseph -- a Northwestern faculty member who has served as an Africa advisor to Obama and President Jimmy Carter -- as well as commentary by three Northwestern library staffers.

The essay by Joseph, John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern, was included in President Obama’s briefing papers for his Africa trip. Joseph writes that a new Africa has emerged after decades of political and economic stagnation, and that Africans today are seeking bold and attentive leadership from America.

Library staffer Badu Diakhate will produce reports on the library blog based on his Senegalese family’s impressions of the Obama visit. Library assistant Erik Ponder will blog from Tanzania and bibliographer of Africana Esmeralda Kale will blog from South Africa. The blog will also present reporting on the Obama visit by journalists from Africa and around the world.

Joseph’s essay is also available on the African Demos Forum, an online network of policy analysts devoted to the promotion of growth, democracy and security in Africa Joseph founded this year. Its goal is to galvanize attention to pressing issues surrounding African democracy today and developmental governance.

To provide first-hand perspective on how Obama’s visit is being received in Africa, the Herskovits Library is making copies of daily African newspapers available each day the president visits Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa.