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By The Skanner News
Published: 18 August 2009

(GIN) – A newly released report finds that the State Department's Africa operations are beset with "leadership shortcomings" that compound "acute staffing problems."
Based on interviews with Bureau of African Affairs employees, investigators found that the group in charge of boosting the U.S. image is a "failed office" with no strategic plan and little integration with other diplomats.
High marks, however, were given to the new leadership under the Obama administration, including Johnnie Carson, the new assistant secretary of African affairs, who received praise for "extraordinary" work under pressure.
Rather than "feeding Africa," the report notes, the U.S. should focus more on helping Africans feed themselves — and on preventing HIV/AIDS as well as treating the condition.
Citing the controversial Africom military command center, the report said it is "stepping into a void created by a lack of resources for traditional development."
Finally, the report noted that corruption "receives insufficient attention as an impediment to trade, development and investment."

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