1.1. What is the Purpose of the handbook? : The handbook provides information and guidelines relating to the selection, preparation, and participation of state delegates in the National Summit on Africa's process. It includes information on the mission or the National Summit on Africa, the role of National Summit on Africa state delegates, how to become a delegate, and how delegates are to prepare for participation in the National Summit on Africa process.
1.2. What is the National Summit on Africa and what are its goals? : The National Summit on Africa is a non-profit, non-partisan, and inclusive nationwide effort working for the betterment of U.S.-Africa relations by I) educating the American public about Africa; ii) broadening and strengthening the network of Africa's supporters in the U.S., and iii) developing a shared National Policy Plan of Action for mutually beneficial relations between the U.S. and the countries of Africa.
1.3. How is the National Summit on Africa Achieving its goals?: The National Summit of Africa is achieving these goals through a series of five regional summits and preparatory meetings at which ALL interested people can participate in public education activities and engage in discussions to develop policies to guide U.S.-Africa relations. The National Summit on Africa process will culminate in a national summit event in Washington, D.C., held from 17-20 February 2000.
1.4 What is the Purpose, Goals and
Outcomes of the national summit event in February 2000?: The
National Summit process is designed to change the way the U.S.
looks at and interacts with the countries of Africa. The year
2000 national summit event is the finale of a three-year process
offering all people resident in the U.S. the opportunity to help
develop a strategy to bring about that change. The event is intended
to accomplish multiple goals. Among its objectives are the following:
to complete the Summit's National Policy Plan of Action and plan
for its implementation; to strengthen existing organizations focused
on U.S.-Africa relations: to organize a broader, stronger constituency
base for Africa: to stimulate political debate; to increase business
and people-to-people linkages: and to educate the American public
about Africa. The outcome of the national summit event will be
a highly motivated, well-mobilized cadre of people from all sectors
of U.S. society who care about Africa, and who have contributed
to the formulation of a concrete plan for bringing about real
2.1 What are the Benefits of Being a Delegate? : By being a delegate and actively participating in the National Summit on Africa process (including the regional summit, the National summit event, and state and local activities), delegates benefit in many ways, Including the following:
I. Delegates have the opportunity to participate in an historic event. Never before has a policy dialogue of this nature been held on any subject in this country;
II. Delegates have the opportunity to bring their voice to bear on the matter of how best to build mutually beneficial relations between the U.S. and Africa,
III. The National Summit on Africa process provides delegates with access to a wide variety of highly engaging and stimulating cultural and educational programs and activities;
IV. The National Summit on Africa process also provides delegates with tremendous networking and access opportunities; and
V. Delegates have the unprecedented opportunity to organize people in their state and locality for Africa.
2.2 What does a delegate do? : Delegates represent their state in the National Summit on Africa process. The primary responsibilities of a delegate are:
- I. To work with other delegates to organize state meetings and activities for purposes of a) obtaining policy recommendations on future U.S.-Africa relations; b) preparing for the national summit event in Washington, D.C. and c) providing public education on U.S.-Africa relations. As such delegates are expected to keep themselves fully informed about current events in Africa. It is therefore in the best interest of each delegation to meet periodically to discuss these current events and their impact on U.S.-Africa relations (particularly as they relate to the Summit's five themes).
II. To use the Draft Policy Plan of Action and the regional policy plans of action (available on our web site at www.africasummit.org) to solicit further recommendations on the future of U.S.-Africa relations from different sectors and constituencies within their state. The delegation will then bring this input (in the farm of recommendations) to the national summit event in Washington, D.C., where it will be considered, along with input from other state delegations, during discussion of the draft National Policy Plan of Action. Please note that the Summit processes -regional and state activities and events, as well as the national summit event in Washington, D.C. - is open to All interested people. However, ONLY delegates will be eligible to vote on the National Policy Plan of Action during the national summit event in Washington, D.C.
III. To work with other delegates to identify three (3) priority policy priorities on U.S. Africa relations that each state would like to serve as the anchors of the final National Policy Plan of Action for U.S.-Africa Relations that will emerge at the national summit event. Please note that these 3 policy priorities are in addition to, not instead of, general recommendations made under each of the five themes.
IV. Delegates help to raise funds that will enable their state delegation to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national summit event
V. Delegates work to develop a proposed follow-up mechanism that will help to ensure the implementation of the National Policy Plan of Action. This follow-up mechanism, along with those from other states, will be discussed at the national summit event.
2.3. Who is Eligible to Stand as a State Delegate? : Anyone with an interest in working for the betterment of U.S.-Africa relations is eligible to stand as G delegate to the National Summit on Africa. The only qualifications are that each delegate:
I. Must live in the state that she or he seeks to represent
II. Must be prepared to take an active role in the state delegations activities;
III. Must be prepared to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national summit event on Africa.
Please note that the delegate position is a purely VOLUNTARY one. It does not have monetary or any other kind of compensation attached to it.
2.4. How are Delegates elected? : During the course of each regional summit, time is set aside for each state to caucus and elect delegates. Anyone interested in becoming a delegate is free to compete for a spot on the delegation, providing he or she satisfies the qualifications outlined in 2.3 above. However, not all states will be able to fill their full slate of delegates at the regional summit. In this case, state delegations should aim to elect or appoint at least a chairperson and/or vice-chairperson at the regional summit.
2.5. Who is Responsible for Identifying Remainder of delegates after the Regional Summit? : If a state is unable to elect its full slate of delegates at the regional summit, it is the responsibility of the chairperson and vice-chairperson to spearhead the effort of identifying the remaining delegates.
2.6. What is the Role of the Chairperson/Vice-Chairperson? : State delegation chairpersons and vice-chairpersons are granted authority to act on behalf of the National Summit on Africa in matters pertaining to their state delegation. Chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of each state delegation play the central role in mobilizing, organizing, and preparing delegates from their state for participation in the national summit event in Washington, D.C. in February 2000. To this end, the responsibilities of these officers include:
I. Identification and organization of a powerful/diverse delegation to participate in the national summit event in Washington, D.C.
a) As the National Summit on Africa is an open and inclusive process aimed at building a broad-based network of supporters for Africa, delegates must reflect the diversity of the state that they represent including gender, race, age, etc.
b) State delegations must also draw from the private and public sectors, including non-governmental organizations, state and local government, business, academic, religious, labor, etc.
c) In order to ensure a powerful delegation, each state delegation is strongly encouraged to determine beforehand how many slots will be set aside for :
I) delegates representing organizations/institutions, and
II) individual delegates
Thus each state delegation would be composed of organizational and individual delegates.
In order to ensure the accomplishment of the requirements outlined above, the chairperson/vice-chairperson must be at the forefront of seeking to actively engage various constituencies in the work of the state delegation. This inclusive and diverse mix of organizational and individual delegates will help to ensure the long-term success of the Summit process.
History Preamble Mission Economic Development Delegates Calendar