What Lies Ahead for the Sahel? A Panel Discussion
October 24th, 2023 12:00PM -1:00PM
Political upheaval in and around Africa’s Sahel region threatens international efforts to accelerate shared prosperity and lasting peace in the Sahel countries and the region at-large. In the last three years, seven coups–military and constitutional–have pushed out elected leaders in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Gabon, Chad, and Sudan. Domestic divisions in these countries are compounded by a divided response internationally. In general, Western powers have supported the democratically-elected governments whereas other big players like Russia work to capitalize on the region’s instability.
Join us on October 24th at 12pm PT for a virtual conversation with Ambassador (ret.) Michelle Gavin, the Ralph Bunce senior fellow for African Policy Studies and Ambassador (ret.) Jendayi Frazer, adjunct senior fellow for Africa Studies both at the Council on Foreign Relations as we look at the root causes for these upheavals and the prospects for peace and prosperity in this important region.
About Our Speakers
Michelle D. Gavin is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). She has over twenty years of experience in international affairs in government and non-profit roles. She was formerly the managing director of The Africa Center, a multidisciplinary institution dedicated to increasing understanding of contemporary Africa. From 2011 to 2014 she was the U.S. ambassador to Botswana and served concurrently as the U.S. representative to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Jendayi Frazer is the Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution Stanford University, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She also founded 50 Ventures, a private consulting and investment company focused on Africa’s governance, education, enterprise, and stability sectors. She served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 2005 to 2009, and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the NSC from 2001 until becoming U.S. Ambassador to South Africa in 2004. Frazer was a Distinguished Public Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and Assistant Professor at Harvard University and University of Denver.
About Our Moderator
Oge Onubogu is the Director of the Africa Program at the Wilson Center and a governance and democracy professional with nearly two decades of experience on Africa and U.S-Africa relations, including working with African governments, international partners, civil society, academia, and the private sector.
Ms. Onubogu most recently was the Director of the West Africa Program at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), where she led the strategic development and expansion of USIP’s portfolio in Nigeria and Coastal West Africa. In this position, she oversaw the design and implementation of projects to mitigate violent conflict, promote inclusion and strengthen community-oriented security by partnering with African and U.S. policymakers, civic leaders and organizations.
Ms. Onubogu holds a master’s degree in International Development from the Heller School at Brandeis University, and an undergraduate degree in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She also holds a Public Leadership Credential from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.