Storella and Holmes Argue for Stronger U.S.-Zambia Ties to Improve Governance and Health

From left to right: U.S. President Joe Biden, Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema, Zambia First Lady Mutinta Hichilema, U.S. First Lady Jill Biden (Source: @HHichilema/Twitter)

Ambassador Mark Storella, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Director of the School’s African Studies Center, co-authored a Think Global Health op-ed on the United States-Africa Leadership Summit and how strong relationships between countries in Africa, like Zambia, and the U.S. can strengthen good governance, health, and prosperity and improve U.S. ties with Africa as a whole. 

Storella published the article, titled “U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit:  Zambia’s Lessons on Governance, Health, and Partnership,” with Charles Holmes, Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and Director of the university’s Center for Innovation in Global Health. The authors make the case that the efforts of the new Hakainde Hichilema administration in Zambia to improve governance could have substantial payoffs for the Zambian health system and Zambian people. Storella and Homes highlight the U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit as a prime opportunity for the U.S. to further engage and support Zambia’s progress and to advance President Joe Biden‘s National Security Policy, including competition and even potential collaboration with China.

The U.S. has been a reliable partner with Zambia even as it went through a period of erosion in governance leading to Zambia becoming the first country to default on its international loans – many owed to China – under COVID. Zambia has demonstrated resilience precisely because its leaders are committed to strengthening governance and the international community and the U.S. have responded by restructuring loans and continuing assistance. Storella and Homes urge the Biden administration to challenge China to reinforce links between governance and health in Africa and conclude, “The Biden administration is wisely leaning into areas of shared values, priorities, and aspirations with Zambia’s Hichilema administration…to amplify the impact of investments to improve the lives of people in African countries.”

The full article can be read on Think Global Health‘s website.

Ambassador Mark C. Storella was a United States Foreign Service Officer for over three decades serving as Ambassador to Zambia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, and Dean of the Leadership and Management School of the Foreign Service Institute. Storella is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Excellence in Service Award, the Thomas Jefferson Award presented by American Citizens Abroad, and several Department of State superior and meritorious honor awards. Learn more about Ambassador Storella on his faculty profile.