The African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum is a program meant to better establish and maintain the African economy. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum is a program meant to better establish and maintain the African economy. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

This week in Lome, Togo, many African finance and trade ministers, along with a large contingent of senior U.S. government, will meet for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, which is intended to stimulate economic growth to help Africa integrate into the global economy.

The meeting will serve as the first official opportunity for African officials to hear the Trump administration outline its approaches to economic and trade relations with the continent.

Though Rep. Ed Royce, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and a group of bipartisan committee leaders recently introduced the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act, which encourages policies that promote trade, cooperation and needed technical assistance to better support AGOA, many Africans are still concerned about its future.

Leading U.S. delegation expected to attend the forum include Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and officials from USAID and the State, Treasury and Agriculture departments.

Zuma Survives Another Push for No-Confidence Vote

South African President Jacob Zuma survived another push Tuesday, Aug. 8 for a vote of no-confidence, which would have removed him from office if successful.

The vote, which was meant to show that a majority does not support the policy of a leader or governing body, came after a series of leaked emails surfaced, allegedly showing Zuma and his billionaire friends, the Gupta family, exerting influence to provoke corruption, intimidating ANC officials into ensuring Zuma stays in office and money laundering.

Many African citizens are vehemently calling for the removal of Zuma, who has been hounded by reports of hiring a British PR firm to distract attention from these allegations by blaming the country’s problems on white-owned businesses, or “white monopoly capital,” and potential voter fraud.

Both the Guptas and Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

University of New Mexico Hosts Black Cultural Conference

African American Student Services (AASS) at The University of New Mexico will host a black cultural conference next month.

The “Mobilizing the Black Millennial Legacy” will be held from Sept. 21-23 and focus on awareness of the differences within the black culture in order to provide a cross-cultural perspective.

Keynote speakers will include Cleveland Sellers and son Bakari. The elder Sellers helped lead the civil rights organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement, and Bakari is a former South Carolina congressman.

During the conference key items seminar speakers will address include social justice, health, higher education and professional development and leadership.

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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