What is the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit?
It’s the largest engagement a U.S. president has ever had with African leaders and governments. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will bring together 50 heads of state, along with a range of U.S. and African civil society and business leaders, to discuss the future of Africa.
What issues will the Summit address?
The summit leader sessions will focus on topics such as trade and investment, peace and regional stability, and good governance. The signature events will address issues such as civil society, women’s empowerment, global health, resilience and food security, and wildlife trafficking.
What will happen at the wildlife trafficking event?
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will host several African presidents, U.S. government representatives, nongovernmental organization leaders and Washington Fellows in a conversation on combatting wildlife trafficking.
During the event, African presidents are anticipated to share best practices and ways forward on countering the wildlife trafficking threat and inspiring youth to safeguard their natural heritage.
Why is this issue important to young African leaders?
Wildlife trafficking is a multibillion dollar criminal enterprise. It threatens not only conservation efforts but also security and livelihoods.
From turtles to lions, countless species have been poached to the brink of extinction. More than 60 African elephants were slaughtered every day in 2012 to supply the illegal ivory trade. And in 2013, a record 1,004 rhinos across South Africa were poached for their keratin horns.
In addition to this environmental destruction, wildlife trafficking also undermines the rule of law, fuels corruption, jeopardizes economic development and contributes to the spread of disease. The consequences are particularly devastating for African countries on the frontlines of the poaching crisis, with increasingly well-armed poaching syndicates posing a significant challenge for African militaries, police forces, park rangers and community scouts.
The U.S. National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking outlines three ways the United States will work to combat wildlife trafficking: 1.) strengthening domestic and global enforcement; 2.) reducing global demand; and 3.) building international cooperation and partnerships.