Archive - December 13, 2012

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RPCVs Write: U.S. Must Step Forward To Stabilize Congo
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An African Market in Grand Central Station, NYC

RPCVs Write: U.S. Must Step Forward To Stabilize Congo

By: Michael O’Hanlon and Tony Gambino December 11, 2012 [Tony Gambino and Michael O’Hanlon were PCVs in the Congo in the 1970s and ’80s; Tony was also the  USAID mission director there from 2001-04. Today he teaches at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Michael O’Hanlon is senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. This article appeared on December 12, 2012 in Politico. It was entitled “U.S. Must Step Forward in Effort to Stabilize Congo.” Larry Lesser, a PCV in Nigeria, 1963-65, and later served at the Embassy in Kigali 1977-79 drew my attention to it. Larry also commented, “Personally I found the article somewhat idealistic but not persuasive.  I don’t think it is within the power of the U.S. to stabilize Congo — not even in concert with other African nations or other nations globally.  I don’t think Congo can be stabilized.  It isn’t a viable nation-state and eastern Congo historically has . . .

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An African Market in Grand Central Station, NYC

Years ago someone I worked with in D.C. said that RPCVs were like retired FBI agents, and when I asked him why, he remarked, “they take care of their own.” True enough. We especially ‘take care of those PCVs we served with” so let me do that now, and also do you a favor by recommending Bamboula, a craft store that is  owned and operated and everything else by Jasperdean Kobes (Ethiopia 1962-64). Jasperdean is an importer and wholesaler of contemporary gifts handcrafted from six African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda). The company’s mission is to create work and income for African artisans by selling handcrafted products to retailers in the US. Customers include independent gift shops, national mail order catalogs, museums and zoos, and other specialty retailers. In recent years, Jasperdean has also consulted for the West Africa Trade Hub, the East and Central Africa . . .

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