Dear Africa Center alumni,
I am writing to extend well wishes at the start of 2024 – a New Year and one in which we are delighted to celebrate the Africa Center’s 25th anniversary. We have certainly come a long way since a few team members crowded into temporary spaces in a northern Virginia office building under the leadership of Dr. Nancy Walker and delivered a first overseas program, the Senior Leaders Seminar, in Senegal in November 1999. This first event brought together senior-level civilian government officials, flag-level military officers, and representatives of civil society from 50 African countries for two weeks of intense academic work.
In contrast, operating today from the National Defense University campus, the Africa Center team delivers cutting edge research and delivers dozens of programs and publications on an annual basis, in addition to a concerted effort to sustain connections with alumni throughout Africa.
In this anniversary year, we look forward to welcoming the 20th course for next generation/emerging security sector leaders during our hallmark multi-week program in June. The program will include a special reception at which we hope to include video or other greetings from cherished alumni who wish to reflect on impact the Africa Center may have had in the course of your career. You may submit your reflections to [email protected] and upload video messages here.
We have also set as a goal to connect with as many alumni chapters and individual alumni as possible. In that regard, we hope you will share updates on your current work and postings with us for future newsletters this year. Also, in addition to continued invitations to Africa Center webinars, we are adding the ability for alumni to self-nominate for several upcoming programs so we can continue to benefit from your perspectives. Please watch your inboxes for opportunities.
The theme for this version of the newsletter – the future of African peace support operations — is derived from our first program of the year. Organized by Dr. Nate Allen, the Africa Center worked with the United Nations (UN), African Union, and former leaders from African peace operations to discuss lessons learned and opportunities presented by the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2971 (December 21, 2023). The resolution provides for the possibility of UN-assessed contributions to provide financial support for African Union-led missions on the continent. Many years in the making, the resolution is an important development in support of African agency and burden-sharing within the international community.
We value and appreciate your continued engagement over these past 25 years – thank you for your partnership and support.