Today we sit with Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa Program at CSIS, to find out Africa’s current global position. In our conversation, Judd reveals the continent’s shortcomings and touches on foreign policy and local democracy before pulling the curtain back on the many things that Africa can be hopeful for. The show opens with Judd telling us what inspired him to become an expert in his field. We find out about his mission to provide a fairer perspective of the continent that is oftentimes missing by Washington and American media. Judd goes on to tell listeners about the many misconceptions of Africa, and shares some of the top African news stories that have not been reported by western media; namely flourishing democracy and peaceful transitions of power in many of its nations. As the US makes its own transition of power, Judd gives his predictions for African policy under the Biden administration. We then dig into some of Africa’s bigger contemporary struggles like urbanization, revenue mobilization and the need to create better social contracts, and why COVID-19 has been a catalyst for action for many African countries. In the latter half of the show, Judd explores topics like knowledge creation and the difficulties that returning African expats face. We then take a look at how global powers have been involved with the continent, as Judd comments on the Trump administration and China’s heavy involvement. To conclude the show, Judd talks about why Africa has coped well amid the COVID-19 pandemic, oddly thanks due to its disconnected nature. Be sure to tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
● Introducing today’s guest, Judd Devermont.
● Judd tells us how he got him interested in Africa and what he does as CSIS.
● Hear about some of the biggest misconceptions of Africa.
● Some of the top African news stories that have not been reported.
● Evidence that democracy is flourishing in many parts of Africa.
● Judd’s predictions for African foreign policy under the Biden administration.
● Urbanization trends currently seen in Africa.
● Why domestic revenue mobilization is a sticky issue in African countries.
● How COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for health policy in some African states.
● Judd touches on trickle-down knowledge and returning African expats.
● We hear Judd’s opinion on Trump’s African foreign policy.
● Judd touches on the Trump Administration recognizing Western Sahara’s political status.
● How the world is becoming more transactional and multipolar.
● Judd takes a look at China’s involvement in Africa.