President Bush's recent trip to Africa brought the development opportunities and challenges of Africa to the attention of the American public. It offered the President an opportunity to see first-hand the promise and needs of the continent, and to highlight the new initiatives he has proposed to strengthen the U.S.-Africa partnership. But media coverage of the trip has been sprinkled with skepticism about overcoming African development challenges and achieving success through the new U.S. initiatives. A recent Washington Post piece described the continent as "a graveyard for splashy but unsustainable policy initiatives."
Is this skepticism justified, or do the Administration's MCA, AIDS, and private sector initiatives hold true promise? What did the Bush team learn from African leaders about the most effective and helpful way to implement its new initiatives? What role can we expect the U.S. to play in promoting peace and security in Africa - the foundation of sustainable development on the continent? How does a strong U.S.-Africa partnership serve American interests?