People need to watch Benin — the future of Africa will go through Benin.Ambassador Omar Arouna

benin_mapThis episode originally aired in May 2016. Join us on our first installment of Conversations with Ambassadors as we sit down for a chat with Omar Arouna, the then Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to the United States, Mexico, and the Organization of American States (OAS).

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The Horn of Africa is one of the most complex, diverse, and conflict-afflicted regions in the world. While much of the region continues to be mired in violence and instability, it remains a nexus of global trading routes and is growing in geopolitical importance. The global community cannot ignore its fate.

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Comoros_in_relation_to_Afrika_mapMaybe you’ve at least heard of most countries around the world. But have you ever heard of Comoros? This small island nation east of Africa and north of Madagascar has had an outsized impact on international trade and the the history of its region. Today’s Comoros has a complex political system and a rich diversity of culture. Join us as we discuss Comoros in this latest installment of our Spotlight series!

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Up to one billion people live in slums around the world and the numbers are only expected to rise.[1. The number of people  living in slums varies widely from source to source, but the UN has reported up to one billion. There is greater consensus on the fact that the numbers are rapidly increasing. http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/briefingpapers/cities/vitalstats.shtml] In this episode, we look at what drives the rapid urbanization around the world, how it leads to overcrowded slums and informal housing, and  what can be done to improve the lives of the people living  in  these overcrowded  areas.

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Rwanda has been lauded as a development success and a role model for Sub-Saharan Africa, but critics suggest that this development has come at the expense of healthy democratic governance. Kagame’s Rwanda is an excellent case study for a broader question in international development: does democratic change lead to development, or does development lead to democratic change? Can you have one without the other?

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