The Trump administration has yet to make clear its policy stance towards Africa leaving governments on the continent wondering what to expect from the US over the next three years and afterwards.  What can the continent expect from the US in terms of economic, diplomatic and developmental engagement over the next three years and what does this mean for the US' role in Africa in the long term.

Sue CookE, Harvard Center for African Studies






Carlos dos Santos, Ambassador e Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Republic of Mozambique to the U.S.

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Ambassador Carolos Dos Santos most recently served as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2011-2105) where he was voted  Best Diplomat of the Year (2013).  Prior to that, he served as Ambassador of Mozambique to Germany (2006-2011).  His long and distinguished career includes serving as Director for Europe and the Americas at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005-2006), Advisor to the President (2003 - 2005) and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1996 - 2002).  He was the President's Private Secretary (1992 - 1996).  He was the President's Private Secretary (1992 - 1996), Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1991 - 1992) and Head of the Political Department of the Africa and Middle East Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Elliot Pence, Senior Director, Mclarty Associates

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Eliot leads McLarty Associates' Africa practice, is the co-founder of Insider and the founding Executive Director of the US-Nigeria Council.  Eliot has written extensively on doing business in frontier markets in outlets including Financial Times, New York Times, Reuters, and CNN.  He is a board member of the African Leadership Network, an Aspen Scholar and CFR Term member. Eliot holds an MA from Yale University.



Aubrey Hruby, Co-Founder, Africa Experts Network

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AUBREY HRUBY is a Partner at Baylis Emerging Markets, a Co-Founder of the Africa Expert Network (AXN), and an advisor to investors and Fortune 500 companies doing business in Africa. She designs market entry strategies, sources opportunities and facilitates transactions. Aubrey leads CEO-level delegations to Africa and has worked in more than 25 African markets. As a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Advisor to the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, she speaks regularly on African business issues. She has interviewed with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg Radio, CNBC, CCTV, and Africa24. She writes regularly for the Financial Times and Newsweek. Aubrey is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a board member of Invest Africa USA, a Young Leader at the Milken Institute, and the co-author of award-winning The Next Africa (Macmillan, 2015).



The development of economies and easy of doing business in Africa is largely a product of how political parties are run and function. African political parties are struggling to develop as they are riddled with factionalism abused by the rich and corrupt to capture state power for selfish ends. The absence of intra-party democracy results in poor policies and candidates running for public office. Despite central role played by political parties in governance they are shunned and least supported entities and yet they shape national economies. The panel discussion will explore ways in which business sector can play a constructive role beyond funding parties and individuals to ensuring political parties are better run and managed. The mantra that parties are messy and controversial and should be left to their own devise is unsustainable as the decisions at party level invariably affect all facets of public life.

The panel will discuss the following: (1) The crisis of political parties in development in Africa; (2) How private sector development partners can assist in strengthening political parties and (3) Mechanisms of attractive quality leadership that can help shape progressive policies to push for development

Glen Mpani, Managing Associate for Shikamo Political Advisory & Campaign Services (SPACS)

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Managing associate for Shikamo Political Advisory and Campaign Services (SPACS). He is a democracy and governance practitioner who has worked in various capacities for the last 15 years in Africa. His areas of interest are in representative democracy focusing on political party development, local government and elections. Glen's work over the years has exposed him to working with state and non-state actors at national, regional and international level. He holds an Honors and Masters in Democratic Governance from the University of Cape Town. Currently he is Mason fellow studying towards a Master's in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Steve Jarding, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

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Steve Jarding, Lecturer in Public Policy, is an American and international educator, lecturer, writer and political consultant. He has taught at the Kennedy School since 2004 where his teaching has been recognized as "exemplary" by Kennedy School alumni, and where his course on campaign management has twice been nominated for the "Most Influential Course Award. His research focuses on political campaigns, political advertising, and campaign management. In addition to his teaching, Jarding is the founding partner and CEO of the international consulting company, SJB Strategies International which advises candidates and causes around the world. He has lectured or consulted in over 15 countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. In addition, over a 37-year career, Jarding has managed and worked on numerous statewide and national campaigns in the United States including an impressive list of winning US Senate and gubernatorial races. Jarding is co-author of the book, "Foxes in the Henhouse" published by Simon and Shuster in 2006 and the author of the "American" chapter on political advertising in the soon to be published international textbook, Handbook on Political Advertising. He has also served as communications director and senior advisor to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C. He has been a Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and a Fellow at the Congressional Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma where he received his Master's Degree in Government. He holds a BA degree from the University of South Dakota.

Abdul Tejan-Cole, Private Legal Practitioner


Abdul Tejan-Cole is a private legal practitioner. He was President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association and Appellate Counsel at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He lectured law at the University of Sierra Leone and also served as the head of Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission. He was Executive Director of Open Society Initiative for West Africa. He is a Yale University World Fellow and a Columbia University Teaching Fellow.

Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director, Vanguard Africa Foundation


Jeffrey Smith (Executive Director) has over a decade of experience working and consulting on international human rights and democracy promotion campaigns, including prior positions at the Robert F. Kennedy Center, Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy, Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa (IDASA), and UNESCO. He has been cited as one of the most influential human rights advocates on social media today, and has been honored multiple times for his work, most recently in 2017 by the Government of the Gambia as a "Champion for Democracy" due to his efforts in that country's pro-democracy struggle. He has led, planned and conducted assessment missions to a number of African countries, including the Gambia Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He has organized and led high-profile African delegations to the White House, U.S. State Department, the U.S. Congress, and the United Nations Human Rights Council. He frequently provides expert briefings to U.S. government institutions, presents on public panels, and has written extensively on issues related to democracy and US-Africa policy for premier international publications, including The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, World Politics Review, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post. He is routinely quoted by major media outlets and has provided on-air analysis for Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, MSNBC and a range of NPR programs.

Daher Ahmed Farah, Politician, Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development (MRD), Djibouti