Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Condi In Africa

Let me begin by saying that I have not been in blogging mode for quite a while - as seems to be the norm on the KBW - but this morning I woke up with great zeal and wrote down some thoughts on issues that have been on my mind over the last 2 or so weeks. The following are the fruits of my labour (some may think it is a waste of time, but I find it to be a very stimulating exercise).

For sometime a buddy of mine and I have been wondering why Condi has not traveled to Africa yet. In her first couple of months as Secretary she was racking up the frequent flyer miles, traversing the globe from Moscow to Mexico city and the list is endless, she made a number of high profile speeches but Africa was nowhere to be seen.

Now it's true that she visited Egypt - and my buddy and I took solace in this - but she was there to discuss the broader middle East and not Africa. This time round she is visiting the continent, Senegal and Sudan. She is finally going home. As the following link notes, it is a shorter trip than was initially planned, but we will take anything: http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=150002408&p=y5xxx3yy4

On a related note, Mrs. Bush was in Africa for the past week, but if you followed the American media you would not know this. According to Mrs. Bush her trip (with both her daughters) moved her
But one scarcely had a bip from the media about her (except that she wanted a woman in place of O'Connor). So I wonder has Africa exhausted her 15 min yearly quota of news coverage? Over the last 3 years Africa has seemed to only come on the radar during the summer (Bush's trip in 2003 and Darfur in 2004 and the G8 2005), and then quickly fallen from the radar screen. One need only look at the hoopla that was caused when Mrs. Bush took her first solo trip to Europe early this year, some speculated that she wanted a more robust role in foreign policy, but let the woman take a trip to Africa and nada.

The most unfortunate thing I have heard related to Africa in the past couple of weeks, was a Fox News anchor (Brian Kilmeade) arguing that the London bombings should distract from the ultimate goal of the G8 and bring terrorism back to issue 1: http://mediamatters.org/items/200507070005

Kweli we have a lot to swim against.


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