Video On Demand

Online Event: CSIS Debate Series: Great Power Competition

July 7, 2020 • 9:00 – 10:00 am EDT

Is Great Power Competition a Constructive Framework for Formulating U.S. Policies in sub-Saharan Africa?

Since the start of the Trump Administration, the United States has identified strategic competition with China and Russia as a core objective in sub-Saharan Africa. In the National Security StrategyNational Defense Strategy, and President Trump’s Africa Strategy, the U.S. government committed itself to counter threats posed by its global rivalries. In December 2018, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed Beijing and Moscow’s activities “stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment; interfere with U.S. military operations; and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests.”

In its fifth and final debate, the CSIS Africa Program asks former U.S. policymakers and African leaders if great power competition is the most constructive framework for formulating and implementing U.S. policies in sub-Saharan Africa. Does it promote stability, prosperity, independence, and security on the African continent? What are the opportunities and risks embedded in this concept? Does it effectively incorporate African perspectives and agency? And how does it evolve during a global pandemic? As an audience member, you get to vote live on key debate points via a SurveyMonkey poll. Save the date, register, and subscribe to the CSIS Africa Program distribution list to receive updates on the Series.

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This event is made possible through the generous support of Open Society Foundations.

Event Partners


Judd Devermont

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

Public Policy Analyst and Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ghana; Co-Founder, Databank Group
Senior Adviser, CSIS; Chairman and Co-Founder, Financial Integrity Network