Africana Studies Professor Co-Authors Opinion Piece about VP Harris' recent visit to Africa

Talk about wearing many hats! When Felix Kumah-Abiwu, Ph.D., associate professor of Africana Studies at Kent State University, is not making final preparations for taking students to South Africa (later this month), teaching courses and advising students, he’s writing books and co-authoring an opinion piece on Vice President Kamala Harris' recent visit to Africa in late March of this year.

Felix Kumah-Abiwu

Kumah-Abiwu recently co-authored the article with York College History Professor Nicholas Githuku. Their article was mentioned in Foreign Policy Magazine, one of the leading policy journals in the United States on U.S. foreign policy. The article is entitled, "VP Kamala Harris' Africa Visit: Rethinking US-Africa Relations," and it was focused on Vice President Kamala Harris's first formal visit to Africa early in April with the Second Gentleman, and about US-Africa relations or foreign policy.

They argue that Kamala Harris’s three-nation tour of Africa was a positive direction in U.S.-Africa relations under the first U.S. vice president of African and South Asian descent. But, they argue that Washington needs to adjust to compete with China’s long-term commercial game plan. “The US needs to retool by designing its African policy priorities with greater emphasis on ‘commercial diplomacy,’” they wrote, adding that “the trend of the ‘more aid syndrome’” rather than “any radical pronouncement of mutually beneficial and expansive trade relations,” is a “disconcerting reminder” of how the West has historically engaged with the continent.

He also co-edited a book that was recently published on the legacy of the late former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, one of the dominant political leaders in Ghana's history. The national newspaper of Ghana (Daily Graphic) published a story on their edited book last week.

Kumah-Abiwu is also the Founding Director of the Center for African Studies at Kent State. His research focuses on the politics of development, African security issues, elections and democratization in Africa, foreign policy analysis, foreign aid, social movements (African diaspora), African American males/public education as well as global narcotics policy.

To learn more about the Department of Africana Studies, visit:

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POSTED: Monday, May 8, 2023 03:15 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 9, 2023 09:17 AM
Jim Maxwell