Santa Fe Council on International Relations' Personal Meeting Room - Shared screen with speaker view
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Folks - please write your questions for Amb. White in this chat window, or be prepared to “raise your hand” when the Q&A arrives!
In the mid-60's, I was a Washington-based Peace Corp staff member with responsibility for the programs in Liberia, Sierra Leon, Nigeria, and Ghana. I escorted 50 volunteers to their assignment in Liberia., and delivered them all over the country. Liberia was an area of influence of the United States. Please discuss how and when the US finally was supportive, because --- at that time, unlike what the British had done to build infrastructure and education and health programs in their colonial countries --- Liberia had none of these things. It only had the Tubman's and , in the capital city, every function was performed by young men imported from Europe.
In my experience (Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia), USAID people are incredibly dedicated and innovative, searching for what works and casting aside obsolete ideas. I’m sure USAID and its counterparts are measurably responsible for improving standards of living, health, etc, in much of the developing world. But what can be done to build a constituency for “foreign aid” in the U.S.? (Similar to what can be done to create a constituency for diplomacy.) One of the oddest myths about “big government” is that a huge percentage of the federal budget goes to foreign aid, when nothing could be further than the truth.
I lived for 10 good years in Lagos in the 1970’s. I got to know the artists in Osogbo, the center of an early expression of contemporary African art. I am an art historian so I happily made a collection of their work.
Can you speak to Malian textile traditions and/or “fine” art in Liberia and/or Mali.
Thanks for the stories about Bellefarandi. I sent a photo I took in 2011 to Vicki and Sandy of the street named for you. The roots to Mali's political mess seem to have been laid for many decades before, including the reign of Amado Toumani Toure, who was president for some time before the Coup of 2012. Is there something that you wish you had done differently that might have laid a broader base of democratic rule?
Apologies to Vicki for not taking a photo of your street name--I didn't know you then!
we will have to go back - one day
Cyclebeads: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CycleBeads Developed by a friend of mine, Dr. Victoria Jennings, Georgetown Med School.
Thanks Tom! I don’t think we’ll have time to revisit this question, but I encourage all to check it out!
Thanks very much, everyone!
Thanks for an informative, stimulating talk, everyone.