DipNote Poll: Is the Increased Emphasis on Africa...

April 15, 2008

I went home to New York for Easter weekend and was surprised to find my work life infiltrating the holiday weekend. On Saturday night I went to a popular Broadway musical. The theatre was packed, the production phenomenal and the applause lengthy. The surprise came after the curtain came down and the lead actor asked the audience to give money to a charity that helps prevent disease in Africa. My curiosity was piqued by the recipient. I had never seen a Broadway actor pitch for any charity outside of the U.S before. Surprise number two came during Easter services at the church I have been going to since I was a little girl. Three quarters of the way through, a woman went to the pulpit and spoke about a church trip she had made to Africa. The story was riveting, and then she came to the point -- a plea for the congregation to give generously this year because everything donated on Easter Sunday would go to charities in Africa.


Working in Washington, one can lose perspective on what the general public is focusing on at any given time. 

Having worked at USAID and now the State Department, I was well versed on the situation in Africa and development in the region. The President's unprecedented increase in aid to Africa surpasses that of any of his predecessors; the richest man in America devotes a large portion of his foundation to the cause; and the most visible celebrity in America adopts children from, visits, and gives time and money to this region.

I've noticed "Africa:"on many of the resume I've received lately. It seems as if every high school and college student is racing to do good work on the continent of Africa. I have often asked myself whether this is a trend, or a sustainable interest of the American people. Is this the "in" cause due to all the attention high profile names have given to it, or is this a cause the general public believes is important to global stability?

Today, DipNote is partnering with Sodahead, a polling company, to quantify your thoughts on various foreign policy issues. This is your poll, devoid of any bias. The only opinions taken will be the ones you give. The poll will attempt to determine broad trends of thought with regard to an international issue.




United States
April 16, 2008

Mike in U.S. writes:

Africa is starving! There are so many people who are suffering over there it makes me sick to my stomach. I just saw a documentary about the Haitians making cookies out of mud. It broke my heart. We need to help those people.

Will N.
Tennessee, USA
April 17, 2008

Will in Tennessee writes:

What I like about the responce to Africa is that it changes the psychology of how we deal with the continant. It creates a self sustaining continant that can vie for itself.

District Of Columbia, USA
April 18, 2008

Ajani in Washington, DC writes:

While it is easy to associate Africa with the Big 5 (starvation, war, death, savagery, and the jungle), there are NUMEROUS other elements to the continent that far outweigh the negative images we see on a daily basis.

The Mamelodi Project (Promoting a Positive Vision of Africa...)


New York, USA
April 20, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Africa has become the post-colonial model continent for all countries and regions who have been exploited and abused. Imagine we could back-click all the wealth which has been stolen from Africa (Haiti, etc, etc.) and restore those trillions. We could solve so many problems, feed so many people, etc., etc. It is time to track-back the trillions and restore the future for all Africas. www.trackback.org (no such website...it would be riddled with negative comments!)

April 22, 2008

Andrew writes:

22nd Apr. 2008: African American relations seem to be stable except with certain African governments that do not tend to embrace freedom & the fair elections of democracy wholeheartedly. slavery may still happen in some parts of Africa, but can be eradicated by Christian & abolitionist & other religious groups and legislation such as the us anti-slavery act & amendments to the U.S. constitution.

District Of Columbia, USA
April 24, 2008

Mark in Washington, DC writes:

Frankly, I think it's hard for the U.S. to engage constructively in Africa given how few Americans know anything about the continent.

Speaking of which... Haiti isn't in Africa.


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