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  • Author: Mark Wentling
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: My friends say I was born and raised in Kansas, but I was made in Africa. I first stepped on the continent in 1970 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo and stayed much longer than expected, serving with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and working with non-governmental organizations across the continent. I ended up knowing firsthand in varying degrees each of Africa’s 54 countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Memoir, Peace Corps, USAID
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States of America
  • Author: Mark Wentling
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Guinea’s first president, Ahmed Sékou Touré (AST) died on March 26, 1984, following emergency heart surgery at a Cleveland hospital. When Guinea gained independence from France in 1958, AST was the only leader of France’s African colonies to say “no” to Charles De Gaulle’s offer of continued association with France, stating loudly “We prefer poverty in liberty to riches in slavery.” The French thus quickly abandoned with much vengeance their most wealthy West African Francophone colony, destroying everything they could not take with them.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir, USAID
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea
  • Author: Brenda Brown Schoonover
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: IntraHealth, originally known as Intrah, the Program for International Training in Health, was created in 1979 to train health workers and enhance the skills and champion health workers in overseas countries in areas where they are most needed. Intrah grew out of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) cooperative agreement with the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC). Much of IntraHealth International’s success in global development is due to its President and CEO, Pape Amadou Gaye, who is stepping down after 16 years heading the organization. I first met Pape Gaye in the late 1990s, when he was Regional Director for Intrah’s West and North Africa programs in Lome, Togo, where I was U.S. Ambassador.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States of America
  • Author: Mark Wentling
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In April 1991, while I was serving in Lomé, Togo as the USAID Representative for Togo and Benin, protests in Lomé against the dictatorial regime of President Eyadéma reached the boiling point. One night, President Eyadéma’s barbaric soldiers entered the original neighborhood of Lomé, Bè, and killed a couple dozen people or more. They collected the bodies and threw them into the lagoon which cut across the northern part of old Lomé. Their morbid idea was that when the people saw the dead bodies, they would cease revolting against Eyadéma, his cronies and all for which they stood.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Trauma, Memoir, USAID
  • Political Geography: Africa, Togo
  • Author: Robert E. Gribbin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years ago, in April 1994, the havoc of genocide visited Rwanda. In a three-month-long paroxysm of violence, almost a million souls died. The country was devastated, the remaining population cowed, government non-existent, and the economy in shambles. Twenty-five years ago, in April 1994, the havoc of genocide visited Rwanda. In a three-month-long paroxysm of violence, almost a million souls died. The country was devastated, the remaining population cowed, government non-existent, and the economy in shambles.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Politics, History, Peacekeeping, Refugees, Memory
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Tanzania, North America, Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, United States of America, Zaire
  • Author: Mark L. Asquino
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Almost fifty years have passed since the terrible day in 1971 when one State Department officer brutally killed another in the tiny, African country of Equatorial Guinea. What took place there is a lurid story of sex, madness and murder that almost every foreign service officer has heard about at one time or another. In many ways it’s the State Department’s version of the 1984 classic film, “Nightmare on Elm Street.” However, the murder in Equatorial Guinea is a real-life tale of horror that continues to intrigue foreign service officers. Here are the basic facts of what happened.
  • Topic: Cold War, Crime, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, North America, United States of America, Equatorial Guinea
  • Author: Bob Baker
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: While many films made by the US Information Agency (USIA) were very useful in Africa to tell about American society and policies, two were not. These two, one about President Kennedy and the other about American agriculture, had the opposite result from that intended. Local African culture distorted the films’ messages.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Film, Soft Power, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ralph Bresler
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: My wife Barbara and I, and our children, were fortunate to work closely with Dr. Jane Goodall during our 1987-1991 tour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In 1989 Goodall called on Secretary of State James Baker in order to enlist him in her new cause of trying to save chimpanzees in the wild. After discussing her many years of groundbreaking chimpanzee research in Gombe, Tanzania, Goodall explained that, in addition to destruction of habitat, a major problem was the bushmeat trade. She noted that ten adult chimps were killed in the wild protecting every infant captured, and only one out of ten infant chimps survived the journey to the marketplace after being taken from their mothers. Secretary Baker offered the Department’s assistance to her effort. As the largest chimpanzee population was in the DRC, Kinshasa was her first stop in this new endeavor.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Environment, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, United States of America, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Ben East
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: I pictured myself in a Peace Corps-issue hammock on an island somewhere, or crossing high glaciers in the glaring Himalayan sun. Then the recruiter called and offered Malawi. Pointless to remind her what I’d written where the application asked my preference: ‘Anywhere but Africa.’ Before that call, a recruiter—maybe the same recruiter—offered another would-be Volunteer a choice. Would she prefer Nepal, or Malawi? A logical thinker with a Math degree and an Indian heritage, she chose Malawi. ‘I can travel to Nepal on my own any time. When will I travel to Africa outside the Peace Corps?’ So when the recruiter called me, fate was already decided.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir, Peace Corps
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: Antonio Pinto da France
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Angola – O dia-a-dia de um embaixador Angola – an ambassador’s daily diary by Ambassador Antonio Pinto da France Edicao de Livros e Revistas, Lisbon 2004 (Translation by Ed Marks). I was the third Portuguese ambassador to Angola and therefore still able to bear witness to some aspects of the early days of independence. I was destined to live a period of Angolan history that will not reoccur. It seemed to me, therefore, that as in Guinea-Bissau, I had an obligation to bear testimony to this unique period.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Portugal, Angola