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Africa Action
Activities and Programs

Campaign to Stop Genocide in Darfur:

Since the summer of 2004, Africa Action has been especially engaged in advocacy and activism to stop the genocide in Darfur, western Sudan. In 2003, the government of Sudan unleashed a campaign of genocide against civilians in Darfur, which has cost more than 450,000 lives in over four years, and the death toll continues to mount. Although the U.S. government has acknowledged this genocide, it has failed to provide the leadership needed for the international community to take the necessary action to stop the genocide and protect the people of Darfur.

Africa Action''''s Campaign to Stop Genocide in Darfur is mobilizing support across the country to demand that President Bush assert U.S. leadership and take every step necessary through the United Nations to reinforce the current African Union (AU) mission in Darfur with a robust international force that can protect civilians and humanitarian operations. Africa Action’s work helped ensure the passage by the United Nations (UN) Security Council on August 31, 2006, of Resolution 1706, which authorizes a UN peacekeeping mission to protect the people of Darfur. Now, Africa Action calls on the U.S. to use its leverage to overcome the political obstacles to the deployment of such a UN mission and to ensure that it is sent to Darfur on an urgent basis.

Campaign to End HIV/AIDS in Africa:

Launched in 2001, Africa Action’s Campaign to End HIV/AIDS in Africa targets the structural injustices that perpetuate the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Africa is ground zero of the global pandemic – AIDS claimed the lives of 2.1 million Sub-Saharan Africans in 2006.

Africa Action’s Campaign to End HIV/AIDS in Africa asserts health as a fundamental human right. We mobilize U.S. activists to change the policies of our own government to help end the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. We played a leadership role in the coalition that pressured the Bush Administration to launch its AIDS initiative in 2003. The campaign continues to call for equal access to cheap low-cost generic drugs and treatment for all who need them, and an end to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, HIV status and sexual orientation. Africa Action’s Student Network was launched at the February 2005 student march against AIDS.

Africa Action is working with allies in the AIDS advocacy community to dramatically increase U.S. funding to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and to extend access to lifesaving treatment. We believe HIV/AIDS is the most urgent global threat to human security and that responding to this crisis is the greatest moral challenge of our time.

Campaign to Cancel Africa''''s Debt:

Africa Action has long been engaged in advocacy and mobilizing for 100% cancellation of Africa’s debt. Africa''''s over $200 billion external debt burden is the single biggest obstacle to the continent''''s development and to the fight against HIV/AIDS. As of mid-2006, the albatross of illegitimate debt diverts $14 billion annually in debt service fees from spending on health care, education and other important needs. Our partner, the All-Africa Conference of Churches has called this debt "a new form of slavery, as vicious as the slave trade".

Africa Action is working to end the repeated failure of the U.S. and other wealthy creditors to take urgent action on the debt crisis. Our Campaign to Cancel Africa’s Debt mobilizes pressure on the U.S. government to push for 100% unconditional debt cancellation for all African countries. Although the Group of Eight (G-8) rich countries announced a deal on debt cancellation for 14 African countries in June 2005, this deal falls far short of the promises of 100% debt cancellation made by G-8 officials in recent years. Debt cancellation is essential to the continent''''s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS and poverty, and to regain its economic independence.

The Campaign to Cancel Africa’s Debt demands that the Bush Administration do more to achieve 100% debt cancellation for all impoverished African countries without harmful economic conditions.

Baraza and Tour:

Since 2003, Africa Action has organized an annual Baraza (Kiswahili for “assembly”). The Baraza is an invitation-only event, bringing together about 60 activists and analysts from the U.S. and Africa for two days to discuss key trends and challenges in U.S. policy toward Africa. The Baraza provides an opportunity to discuss and debate strategies to challenge and change U.S. policies that consistently fail to adequately address the most urgent issues on the continent such as HIV/AIDS, the debt crisis, and conflict. Participants also identify common priorities and opportunities for action in the year ahead. Previous discussion topics have included, among others: Africa’s health crisis and the structural obstacles to its resolution, selectivity in U.S. policy toward Africa, misrepresenting Africa in the U.S. media, and U.S.-Africa economic ties.

The Baraza is followed by a tour of at least two U.S. cities by Africa Action staff and leading civil society leaders from Africa for a range of media and community events focused on analyzing the current state of U.S. policy toward Africa.

Policy Analysis & Information for Action:

Africa Action provides information and analysis to change how people think about Africa, and U.S. relations with Africa. We help shape the debate around U.S. policies toward Africa by offering a progressive analysis of current policies, and by increasing public awareness about priority issues and challenges. The information we provide helps build support for our campaigns and other work to change U.S. and international policies toward Africa.

Africa Action produces a range of resources on African affairs and Africa policy, including position papers, reports, commentaries, fact sheets and talking points. Our Africa Policy E-Journal, an email service that began in 1995, is archived on our website, featuring documents and analysis on key issues in Africa policy.

Media Relations:

Africa Action works with local, national and international media to increase public awareness about U.S. Africa policy, and to support our mobilization efforts around our campaign and other work.

We contribute op-eds and articles to mainstream and progressive newspapers and publications, and we produce radio commentaries and public service announcements for local and national stations. Our staff is interviewed regularly for print media and on television and radio. We also generate press releases, statements, and other forms of analysis and advocacy around key issues.

Public Education & Outreach:

Africa Action’s public education and outreach activities target a variety of constituencies around the country, including students, faith communities, state & local elected officials, organized labor and local activists in major U.S. cities.

We work with local partners to organize teach-ins, workshops and other speaking events to help educate and mobilize people around our campaign. Our staff members also appear as presenters at national conferences and as guest speakers in communities and on campuses across the U.S., to talk about the priority issues in Africa policy and the work of Africa Action.

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