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Letter from the Africa Center Director Celebrating Alumni Newsletter: Ubuntu

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Dear Africa Center alumni,

Warm greetings from the National Defense University campus in Washington, DC. It is my honor to introduce this first edition of the Ubuntu newsletter for Africa Center alumni to you.  Ubuntu is a South African word that captures the idea that we “are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us,” as President Barack Obama said in his eulogy for former President Nelson Mandela. This makes me think of the interconnectedness of security and the imperative of conceptualizing security as citizen or human security, as we do at the Africa Center.

Each issue of Ubuntu will be focused on a key milestone or issue in the African security environment. For this inaugural edition, we chose maritime safety and security in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct.  I hope we will also be able to share news of promotions, new assignments, published articles and books, alumni chapter updates, and other resources via Ubuntu on a regular basis

In that regard, I would like to take the opportunity to share several pieces of Africa Center news. To start, let me introduce our newest faculty member, Dr. Daisy Muibu, who recently joined the Africa Center’s academic team.  Dr. Muibu comes to us from Harvard’s School of Public Health where she has been doing work most recently related to countering violent extremism as well as disengagement, deradicalization, and reintegration.  Her other research interests include counterterrorism and security sector governance in conflict-affected states, and she brings a wealth of expertise from previous work in East Africa.

As we head into the final quarter of 2023, we at the Africa Center are looking around the corner to 2024, which will mark a significant milestone as the 25th anniversary since our establishment as part of the U.S. Department of Defense.  Since then, we have had the opportunity to meet and dialogue with thousands of security sector practitioners all across the African continent on a very broad range of topics.  We would welcome hearing your updates and remembrances as part of our efforts to commemorate this silver anniversary in the year ahead.

We value and appreciate your continued engagement over the years – thank you in advance for your willingness to share insights and news with this broader alumni community through Ubuntu.  I welcome your feedback on the format and content as we continue to experiment with both in the months ahead.

Sincerely yours,