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By Bernadette Paolo A new National Security Strategy (NSS) for the United States released in February of 2015 includes many references to trade being vital to U.S. security interests. That is why Congress must renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) without further delay. “The United States is safer and stronger when fewer people face destitution, when our trading partners are flourishing and when societies are free,” reads one reference in the NSS. Given this truth, it is incumbent that the U.S. Congress act swiftly to insure that trade facilitation is a priority, particularly as it pertains to the continent of Africa. The African continent is fast evolving and widely considered to be the next frontier for economic growth. In many sub-Saharan countries, GDP is expected to rise above five percent in 2015. As Africa flexes its muscle in the global market and demands more equitable business deals, as its population exceeds well over a billion people, and as the oil flows and untapped resources remain, its trading partners are becoming more diverse than ever in its history. But old and new challenges remain in the face of progress. High levels of poverty combined with a burgeoning youth population,…

Washington, DC — The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa and the World Affairs Council – Washington, DC, will host 600 students for a Youth Forum entitled “Africa: A Continent for the 21st Century” from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on November 17, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. In addition to learning about foreign policy as it pertains to Africa and the media, students from the Washington metropolitan area will learn about and discuss the issues of Energy, Peace and Security, Trade and Investment, Energy, Food Security and Agriculture, Health and Technology. Workshops will be convened for teachers and students by policymakers and leading experts in their respective fields. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, will deliver the keynote address. Other Opening Plenary speakers include Heidi Shoup, President of the World Affairs Council-DC; Bernadette Paolo, President and CEO of The Africa Society; Her Excellency Faida Mitifu, Ambassador to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Tami Hultman, Co-Founder of AllAfrica.com; and Kenyan poet, Ana Mwalagho. Featured presenters convening workshops include Florizelle Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa; Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Dean, Africa Center for Strategic Studies;…