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Africa: Former U.S. Ambassadors Ask Trump to Reassess His Views on Continent

Letter to President Trump from Former U.S. Ambassadors to Africa

The White House on Tuesday night received a letter signed by 78 former ambassadors who represented the United States in 48 African nations.

January 16, 2018
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As former U.S. Ambassadors to 48 African countries, we write to express our deep concern regarding reports of your recent remarks about African countries and to attest to the importance of our partnerships with most of the fifty-four African nations. Africa is a continent of great human talent and rich diversity, as well as extraordinary beauty and almost unparalleled natural resources. It is also a continent with deep historical ties with the United States.

As American ambassadors abroad we have seen Africa's complex and rich cultures, awe-inspiring resilience, and breathtaking generosity and compassion. Even as some nations have faced challenges, we have counted among our contacts dynamic entrepreneurs, gifted artists, committed activists, passionate conservationists, and brilliant educators. We learned of novel solutions to complex problems, helped American companies find partners critical to their success, and counted on African military and intelligence officials who often assumed real risks to help achieve outcomes critical to our shared security.

We know that respectful engagement with these countries is a vital part of protecting our own national interests. The United States of America is safer, healthier, more prosperous, and better equipped to solve problems that confront all of humanity when we work with, listen to, and learn from our African partners. We also know that the entire world is richer because of the contributions of Africans, including the many Americans of African descent.

It was one of the greatest honors of our lives to represent the United States of America abroad. It was also a privilege to live in and learn from the diverse and spectacular countries of Africa. We hope that you will reassess your views on Africa and its citizens, and recognize the important contributions Africans and African Americans have made and continue to make to our country, our history, and the enduring bonds that will always link Africa and the United States.

Sincerely,

Mark L. Asquino - Equatorial Guinea
Shirley E. Barnes - Madagascar
William (Mark) Bellamy - Kenya
Eric D. Benjaminson - Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Michele Thoren Bond - Lesotho
Parker W. Borg - Mali
Aurelia E. Brazeal - Kenya, Ethiopia
Pamela Bridgewater - Benin, Ghana
Reuben E. Brigety II - African Union
Kenneth L. Brown - Ivory Coast, Ghana, Republic of the Congo
1Steven A. Browning - Malawi, Uganda
Edward P. Brynn - Burkina Faso, Ghana
John Campbell - Nigeria
Katherine Canavan - Botswana
Timothy Carney - Sudan
Johnnie Carson - Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Phillip Carter - Ivory Coast, Guinea-Conakry
Herman Cohen - Senegal, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Frances D. Cook - Burundi, Cameroon
Walter L. Cutler - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tunisia
Jeffrey S. Davidow - Zambia
Ruth A. Davis - Benin, Director General of the Foreign Service
Scott H. DeLisi - Uganda, Eritrea
Christopher Dell - Angola, Zimbabwe, Deputy Ambassador at AFRICOM
Harriet Elam-Thomas - Senegal, Guinea-Bissau
Gregory W. Engle - Togo
James F. Entwistle - Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Robert A. Flaten - Rwanda
Robert S. Ford - Algeria
Patrick Gaspard - South Africa
Michelle D. Gavin - Botswana
Donald H. Gips - South Africa
Gordon Gray - Tunisia
Robert E. Gribben - Central African Republic, Rwanda
Patricia McMahon Hawkins - Togo
Karl Hofmann - Togo
Patricia M. Haslach - Ethiopia
Genta Hawkins Holmes - Namibia
Robert G. Houdek - Uganda, Eritrea
Michael S. Hoza - Cameroon
Vicki J. Huddleston - Madagascar, Mali
Janice L. Jacobs - Senegal
Howard F. Jeter - Botswana, Nigeria
Dennis C. Jett - Mozambique
Jimmy J. Kolker - Burkina Faso, Uganda
Edward Gibson Lanpher - Zimbabwe
Dawn M. Liberi - Burundi
Princeton N. Lyman - Nigeria, South Africa
Jackson McDonald - The Gambia, Guinea
James D. McGee - Swaziland, Madagascar, Comoros, Zimbabwe
Roger A. Meece - Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gillian Milovanovic - Mali
Susan D. Page - South Sudan
David Passage - Botswana
Edward J. Perkins - Liberia, South Africa, Director General of the Foreign Service
Robert C. Perry - Central African Republic
Thomas R. Pickering - Nigeria
Jo Ellen Powell - Mauritania
Nancy Powell - Uganda, Ghana
Anthony Quainton - Central African Republic
Elizabeth Raspolic - Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Charles A. Ray - Zimbabwe
Fernando E. Rondon - Madagascar, Comoros
Richard A. Roth - Senegal, Guinea-Bissau
Robin Renee Sanders - Republic of the Congo, Nigeria
Mattie R. Sharpless - Central African Republic
David H. Shinn - Burkina Faso, Ethiopia
A. Ellen Shippy - Malawi
George M. Staples - Rwanda, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Director General of the Foreign Service
Linda Thomas-Greenfield - Liberia, Director General of the Foreign Service, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Jacob Walles - Tunisia
Lannon Walker - Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast
Melissa F. Wells - Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa)
Joseph C. Wilson - Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Frank G. Wisner - Zambia, Egypt
John M. Yates - Cape Verde, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Permanent Charge (3 years) Zaire, Special Envoy for Somalia
Mary Carlin Yates - Burundi, Ghana, Sudan
Johnny Young - Sierra Leone, Togo

 

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